Hello everybody! It’s been much too long…

We are all fully vaccinated and the world is beginning to partially open up once again. Our fingers are crossed…

Test and Understand: We just returned from a 23-day adventure that had us touch base in six countries on our first exploratory trip since our March 2020 COVID-19 lockdown. Sadly, it was the first time we have flown on a commercial aircraft since then. We’re sure it’s been hard on you to, but we keep remembering that we are the fortunate ones. We also know that just because you can go–doesn’t mean you should go!

Of course, whenever and wherever we go somewhere it always remains a state secret because a lot of our event research takes place on these short and long trips abroad…but for those of you curious enough, we’re sure that some of the pictures you’ll see here will probably allow you to put 2 + 2 together and reveal a country or two…clues?

Frankly, we don’t really vacation per se with travel being such an integral part of our daily lives and being on the road as often as we are, but we did attempt to do as travelers everywhere normally do when they visit exciting destinations: We ate a lot of great food. Visited many local highlights. Saw some spectacular art–bought some too as we are prone to do! Experienced nature as often as possible. Wandered relentlessly from sunrise to starlight. Visited the beaches and shopped in markets (wet ones, dry ones & corporate ones alike). And most importantly, we interacted with locals and made some new friends. We accomplished all our goals…to varying degrees. We traveled by air, rail, subway, rental car, taxi, ferry and bus…and few other eclectic modes of transportation. We stayed in hotels, preplanned rentals and spur of the moment Airbnb’s along with private residences. We ate home cooked meals, counter fast-foods, picnicked in parks and at fancy restaurants too. We acted as travelers 24/7 for the three weeks. It was a test and understand trip.

Boy have things changed.

What we can tell you after 23-days on the road, traveling both solo and as a group, is that it was not always easy. Local norms, official rules and health protocols varied widely; and in the event next spring of a 2022 travel adventure occurring—nine long months away for things to settle down and harmonize—that our travel ways will be different. The destinations we will visit will be different. The things we do and experiences we have while traveling to those places will be different too. In a nutshell, the world of travel has changed dramatically and probably will not return to the normal we knew so well pre-March 2020.

I can tell you however, with absolute certainty, that unless two things occur: firstly, and most importantly, that vaccine access rapidly expands globally (as I write, only 1% of people on the African continent have been vaccinated!?), and secondly, that the world adopts some form of an internationally recognized COVID-19 vaccination passport–like our Yellow Fever certificates we have traveled with for decades–that multi-destination international travel will be fraught with difficulties, challenging and a more expensive endeavor encompassing a maze of bureaucratic uncertainties.

That said, we DO remain hopeful that we can pull off a 2022 spring event. So please stay tuned, get vaccinated and get your passport renewed if it is anywhere near expiring around November 2022. And remain positive.

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