‘We just have to get on that plane.” This thought was constantly resounding in our minds as our trip to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania drew close. Traveling in the “New Normal” post COVID-19 world is not without its challenges. It can be done. And it can be done safely. But let’s get back to getting on that plane.
We had checked everything off the list. Gear, immunizations and training all complete. Amazon and REI had delivered their last packages. We were packed and ready to go. There was only one way we weren’t going. The negative COVID-19 test required for travel was the last item that needed to be checked off.
The first step in traveling during the “New Normal” is to check the requirements of the country you’re visiting. In our case, Tanzania required a Negative COVID Test no older than 72 hours from our arrival. This presented a slight challenge because of our long layover (6 hours) in route. In hindsight we would have paid more attention to our total flight time when making our reservations. Lesson learned.
After taking two Covid tests (just in case) the nerve racking wait for results began. It felt like forever when in reality it was only a day. What a relief it was to see that email. As my eyes settled on the word “Negative”, I knew we were getting on that plane. Mount Kilimanjaro here we come!
As we settled in our seats on the plane the reality of wearing a mask for the majority of our 36 hour flight set in. Watching the Quatar Airlines flight attendants give gentle reminders to other passengers let us know we were in for an interesting experience.
Although masks have become a normal part of everyday life, comfort while traveling was still a priority. Gone are the days of just deciding on a comfortable but cute travel outfit. Now the mask is just as important, so putting extra effort into that decision was a wise thing to do. Some of the situations we were facing were the ability to sleep while traveling, listening to movies with headphones, and the ease of adjustment for eating and drinking. We were “on that plane.” We settled into the “New Normal” and made it work.
Two flights and a six hour layover later, we could hardly contain our excitement as our plane started its descent in preparation for its landing at Kilimanjaro International Airport. But along with that excitement came the realization that we had one more COVID test to take on our arrival.
As we stood in line waiting to be processed that little nervous feeling came back. Please don’t let us come this far just to come this far we prayed. But as Faith and Favor would have it, once again we were negative. The anxiety of traveling in the New Normal was replaced with the excitement that we were on the verge of climbing the world’s tallest free standing mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro!
Stay tuned for what happens next in our shared travel adventure.
What are your travel plans in the New Normal? Have you experienced any travel anxiety and how did you deal with it? Where’s your next travel adventure taking you? Tell us. We want to hear all about it.
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In the meantime, never stop dreaming!