Wednesday, June 1, 2022

To go or not to go

We leave for Europe in three weeks for a two-week Road Scholar cruise. We fly from Seattle to Barcelona where we board a small ship (350 passengers) that visits Spain, Portugal, Morocco, France and England. We made this reservation last November. Knowing that we'd both had surgeries during the previous summer, we splurged big time on business class airfare so we could fully recline and sleep on the ten-hour flight between Seattle and London, and we'll arrive in Barcelona a day before the trip starts to minimize jet lag.

Passengers on the trip choose "relaxed" or "discovery" events and are assigned to groups of 35 people for the entire trip. Since Art and I are still not fully recuperated from summer surgeries last year, we both use canes when we walk outside the house. So we chose the "relaxed" group which doesn't involve as much walking.

Then, in late February, Art developed sepsis and spent a week in the hospital. He is still recovering from that illness. His doctor described him as "deconditioned", which is "a complex process of physiological change following a period of of inactivity, bedrest or sedentary lifestyle." He was also very low in vitamin B12 at his wellness exam last month, so he's begun getting injections. He has already reported more energy after just two shots. He finally got a physical therapy appointment for this week. He's getting stronger, but it's a slow process.

When I think about the amount of energy traveling requires I wonder whether it's wise for us to take this trip. I looked at the cancellation policy included in the Road Scholar contract. We could cancel it any time before the date of travel, for any reason, for a full credit, to be used in the next 18 months. And British Airways will give a credit to be used in the next year.

I also looked at the travel insurance we bought. Full cancellation with refund can be had if someone dies, or for a sickness or injury that: a) occurs before departure on your trip; b) requires medical treatment at the time of cancellation; and c) as certified by a physician, results in medical restrictions so disabling as to cause your trip to be canceled. Using this insurance would allow a full refund for both the cruise and the airfare.

So, I'm pondering. After a couple more weeks we'll decide. Right now, for me, it would be almost a relief to cancel and reschedule for a year out. For Art, it doesn't seem to be an issue. I asked him last month if he still wants to do this trip and he said, "We haven't been to any of those places." He wants to go.


Kathy @ SMART Living said...

Hi Linda. I'm writing this from Southern Italy and we too decided to just go for it and came anyway. Of course, while we still have a few health issues (Thom has a bad cold he keeps calling bad allergies) and I've had a few issues of my own--ours don't seem as serious as yours. But I'm still glad we did it. I SO needed to travel again. And yes, we did the business class too and you are doing a cruise where they will mostly handle your luggage, etc. But it does take energy and gumption to do it no matter how "slow travel"you make it. What it came down to for us was to listen to our own intuition right before time to go and go with that. And it sounds like you will be doing that too. And one thing? No matter what happens it makes for some interesting stories and a few blog posts! Lemonade! I look forward to hearing what you decide. ~Kathy

Linda Reeder said...

If you think you can make it, go. I have reached the stage where I am no longer planning long range. Even if I do find out what's wrong with me it might not be fixable. Go while you can.

Unknown said...

Hi Linda, That is a tough call. I know you said it doesn't seem to be an issue with Art. How does he feel specifically about going with your intuition and cancelling and rescheduling?In any case I know you will do what is best for you two. Please let us know what you decide.

Bob Lowry said...

This is a hard one. Logically, it seems like you should cancel and reschedule, especially since you will be out very little money. Yet, we all hear the clock ticking. We all realize we have only so many opportunities still in front of us to do something this memorable.

If this were not a cruse, I think the decision would be easy: don't go. But, with upgraded airline seats and a cruise where you unpack once, everything is done for you, and you can just stay on the ship on a particular day if that seems best, I would give it a shot. You say Art is getting his energy back, and knowing you, you never lost it.

So make memories and embrace the joy of something you have been looking forward to.

DJan said...

If I could afford it and be able to get my money mostly all back if I decided not to go after all, I'd definitely plan on going. I look forward to hearing what you decide and how it all works out.

Joanne Noragon said...

What a tough choice. Glad I'm not making it.

Madeline Kasian said...

I wish it were not true, but I have seven friends who have all gotten covid during their overseas travels in the past month. Some of got stuck in Europe in quarantine, others did not test positive till the day after getting back here. If you go, make sure to read some articles on how to prepare ahead of time if your covid test is positive when you want to return to USA and have some funds and plans on how you will be able to stay in Europe till the covid test comes back negative (can take a while.) I hate to be the Debby downer but I think I would not want to be out of the country if not in the best of health right now. Since you CAN get full refunds and rebook, at least you don’t lose $. Reduced mobility, recent sepsis, risk of Covid and quarantine… I guess because I am a retired Nurse it doesn’t sound like a great idea to me. But then,I am a bit more risk averse than some of your other readers—.. even though I am getting older too, I don’t want to take chance of illness on a trip even if I have to miss a few experiences.there are lots of things to do in USA if you and Art want a getaway that is not so taxing.Just my honest thoughts. Best wishes whichever you decide!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Madeline. My 45 year old nephew returned from a business trip to Portugal a week and a half ago. He tested positive for COVID the day after he returned, and he is still testing positive now. Of the eight colleagues he spent time with in Portugal, he has been able to be in touch with seven of them, all of whom have COVID. He has had COVID before, but he was far more ill this time. We have seen news reports of a particularly tough version of COVID from Portugal. Given your ability to postpone, I would lean toward doing that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,
I am using this to let you know (in case you haven't heard that JCs Helper left us on May 25th. He was my friend for 50 years and I had the privilege of spending a week with him just a couple of weeks earlier.
Jeff May