Well it looks like I'm stuck in limbo in the U.S. for a bit longer than I anticipated. I had originally planned my departure date for July 24th flying out of Dulles arriving in Spain on the 25th. I wanted to give this Covid thing a bit more time for countries to decide whether or not they were going to extend the closure of their borders to international tourists. Spain was scheduled to re-open to all other travel from outside the EU on July 1st with no restrictions. Now that the EU has decided to do a complete ban of Americans due to the increase of cases there's no way of knowing realistically when we will be allowed to travel again. From what I've been reading though individual countries in the bloc do not have to follow the advice of the European Union but they also risk other states deciding to close theirs borders with that country again.
As far as I know there are a few countries that are open to all international passengers Serbia is open with no restrictions, Belarus is open with a required 14 day quarantine possible, Spain is open last I checked but that may now change considering the EU's decision. This pandemic is going to hurt the economy especially countries like Greece, Malta, Cyprus and Italy who depend on travelers coming, 20% of their GDP alone comes from tourism. If Americans are barred from vacation there those countries could stand to lose billions in tourist dollars.
There are still options available to travel but many of those places are still forcing quarantine on arriving passengers and that's not something that I'm really interested in so in the meantime I will be patient till this thing blows over. My plan for now is to shoot for August sometime and hopefully be able to hike the Camino in Spain when the weather is cooler. The EU is planning on releasing updates every two weeks as things progress so there is a chance they might reverse their decision at a later date. I really don't want to be stuck in the U.S. for another month but at this point there's not much I can do about it.
I am considering another contingency though now that the Euro trip could fall through this year. I can't say I blame them really, gotta protect your people and they are doing a damn sight better than the U.S. is currently who supposedly has the best healthcare system in the world. I've been looking at Guam, an American territory so you can stay indefinitely as a citizen but as of now they are forcing two week quarantine at a govt. facility on all passengers arriving regardless of nationality. You are responsible for the costs of that quarantine too. The trip the south pacific nation is a long haul you're looking at a $1,500 ticket minimum, a 23 hour flight with 2 layovers one at LAX and another in Honolulu. I have some things to consider for now about what route I'm going to take in the coming months. If Europe anticipates opening to us sometime in August that is the more likely choice but if not riding this thing out on the beach in the south pacific definitely sounds like a plan.
I am anxious to hit the road, I feel like I've been waiting on this day to come for far too long. I'm sure it's going to be an overwhelming yet addicting experience but I'm ready for it. I've lived the first half of my life feeling stuck under circumstances, either too broke to leave or too stupid to move but I'm determined that I won't be spending the next half of my life here. For now I think a multi day hike and camp would do wonders for me until the the time comes. I still have a few preparations to take care in the meantime but as of now my bags are packed and ready to go.