Attentive viewers of ‘Viv’s video’ from New York will have spotted that we actually managed to depart New York. But to go where and did they even let us in?!
Before we reveal the ‘desert’, we must first cover the starter and main courses. This, then, is a 5 minute read to reveal to you just where we are now and just how we got here. If you missed the video, this was our view at 19:40 the other evening.
It’s strange to think that of all the views we enjoyed in New York, it’ll be this that’ll be most memorable. I mean, wow.
First, let’s rewind…
Thursday 20th May through to Tuesday 25th May
We know we need to leave America, both for financial reasons and the fact we’ve been here long enough. With only minor changes between the UK and Europe occurring over the months, I was running out of ideas. to be able to move on
Leading up to three days between Thursday the 20th, I thought I had an ace up my sleeve in the form of Portugal. This was a perfect plan as it would allow a 10 day stay there to then come back to the UK without needing to self-isolate and follow those infuriating rules and believe me, they are infuriating. Sampling policies in 7 countries make that an informed opinion.
So what went wrong with the Portugal plan? We couldn’t categorically confirm if it would be possible for Brazilian citizens too OR if it was possible for persons coming FROM the United States for tourism purposes to enter. Two factors seemingly against us.
Bugger. Big time.
Wednesday 26th May
The last five days in NYC weren’t easy because we had the pressure to enjoy our time in a great city but always in the back of our minds was the very real prospect of not knowing how we were going to move on from the States. In between the nice photos and the travel stories we provide, there’s a lot of tension and anxiety endured. It’s an incredibly difficult situation and at times, I wouldn’t wish it on an enemy – as the saying goes. When we’re not exploring or writing posts or video editing, we’re going through online data to try and find a snippet of text that we’ve not come across that makes a visit to another country possible.
On the evening of Wednesday 26, nearly a week later from ‘no plan’, I feel I’ve found something so I quietly pray nothing in the small print kills this find.
Thursday 27th May
I discover a particular country has made a big policy change in the last week. Coincidentally, it appears to have been around the same time the UK made a change to their policy with regards to Portugal and some other ‘green’ countries.
The change is specific to coming FROM The United States; it claims to now be allowing tourism from the US to enter. You cannot begin to imagine the mixed feelings of elation and disbelief at the same time I had upon discovering this gem last night.
I wake Vivian early and ask her to qualify this lead as I think it’s solid intel. Dreary-eyed she reads and she soon wakes up fast having felt we were on to something, although she’s also thinking surely not? I understand that as everything has been against us in this regard.
We don’t mess about, on this very morning we go straight to book a PCR test. A sore subject for us as the US happily gives us a vaccine for free but we have to pay (a lot) for a PCR test. We proceed because we have to.
Friday 28th May
With a claimed 72 hour maximum for results, we waited anxiously for the result to come back before we consider booking a flight.
It’s nearing midday – 24 hours since we took the test (but who knows how long it takes the lab to receive and process the samples). They are within their 72 hours time window so nothing wrong on their part, just desperation on ours.
We check out from our room and hang about in the reception area for a short while. The plan is to store our bags with the hotel whilst we have half a day out and about.
Except, we would not have this half a day out. Instead, we spent the next 2 hours in a Starbucks! Lazy buggers you would be entitled to think but hold that opinion for a minute.
During the ‘reception hang-out,’ an email pops into our mailboxes with our negative results.
Viv is chuffed but I am absolutely elated and I’ll tell you why…
You see, Viv is unaware that I am aware there is a flight out to where we want to go not only tomorrow (which she is assuming we’ll get) but tonight at a decent time and price.
When I say tonight, I mean 19.30 – some 6 hours away from now lol. We would save over-priced accommodation for tonight also so the pros begin to outweigh the cons.
But, folks, it happened. We finished up at Starbucks no later than 3pm, ate some fast food on the way back to collect our bags before leaving to reach the airport for a 19.30 flight.
Despite being vaccinated and despite a negative test a day before, we would need to take another RAPID test at JFK. Still, at least this was free and quick, so no worries! Whatever.
Saturday 28th May
In the early hours of Saturday morning, we arrive in a very special country. We still cannot believe we’re here, all things considered. It was only a few days ago we learned it *might* be possible to enter. But we did it and here’s our entry into the airport.
This flight is so new (under 2 weeks) that the following happened…
So that’s various TV crews interviewing people and also a bunch of free gifts provided by one of the duty-free shops! That’s a first, right? Being given (not buying) things duty-free!
And now to complete that well-known saying…
’When in _ _ _ _’
Catch you soon, folks. We’re still knackered. Blasted jet lag and time zones!