To Book Or Not To Book?
MEGA|August 2021
The adventure—and misadventures—of a traveler in the middle of the pandemic
JEB FRONDA

In 2020 we all saw the fall of travel and tourism. By the numbers it looked fatal for a multi-billion dollar industry whose foundation are the millions of people traveling around the world to explore. But at the very core of this, as one of those frequent travelers who, at the very least, fly out twice a year, is that hollow corner of the spirit which could only be fulfilled by walking down a narrow street alley of a wintery Florence or drinking Agua de Valencia with friendly strangers before a full moon party in Spain. Okay, those were pretty cool adventures when I was young and single but you know what I mean.

The travel bans prove to be even more challenging as a significant half of a long-distance relationship. Our quarterly trips for birthdays and anniversaries turned into calls over Skype and online shopping with promised delivery once we finally see each other. We knew that a year and a half of not seeing each other made our relationship stronger, but this isn’t a love story. However, it was definitely ignited by it.

In April 2021 traveling was getting back into its groove, at least for the Unites States. The Philippines, with lockdowns that are stretching on to forever, not so much. Because of this, I was the one who needed to fly to my boyfriend Rob. I instantly found flights that go through Taiwan, one of the countries that handled the pandemic really well, so what could go wrong right? Apparently everything.

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