This has definitely been a strange year for traveling.
First, flights stopped altogether. Then ridiculous stipulations were placed on passengers making it nearly impossible for anyone to actually want to travel.
But a few brave souls have gone above and beyond in order to take that trip they’ve been waiting for all year.
Josiah Burton and Therese Rocco were two such people.
They both wanted to take a trip of a lifetime, but had no one to travel with.
Josiah previously had plans to travel overseas with a friend until strict border closures thwarted their plans.
“I was supposed to be going to Japan with a friend, but Japan is now closed,” Josiah, a 32-year-old from Iowa, tells CNN Travel. “So, I was looking for a country open to Americans.”
Josiah landed on Turkey as his destination.
“I was originally looking at Croatia, but you needed a negative Covid test within 72 hours. Turkey didn’t have any such requirement, so I chose there.”
But since his original travel companion didn’t want to risk traveling during the pandemic, Josiah decided to explore the Facebook group 10XTravel to find an adventurous traveler like himself.
“I didn’t really want to travel alone, so I posted a message in the Facebook group that if anyone’s interested in coming or meeting up, or who will be in Turkey at the same time, to let me know.”
That’s when Theresa Rocca, 36, from Denver, saw the message and knew she wanted to learn more about his travel plans.
“I was looking for somebody to go on vacation with,” she tells CNN. “And I couldn’t get any of my friends or family members to go because of their worries about the coronavirus.”
Josiah was excited about the prospect of having a travel companion – even if they had never met before!
A few hours later, Theresa had booked the same itinerary and, “That was that. From that point on we were travel buddies,” as Josiah puts it.
Do you think Josiah and Theresa had reservations about traveling to the other side of the world with a complete stranger?
But after a few conversations, they were sure that with their easy going attitudes and safeguards in place – such as separate hotel rooms – they were ready to see all Istanbul had to offer.
And from their flight on Turkish Airlines, to their paragliding adventure in the coastal town of Kusadasi, the two travel friends had more fun than they could’ve ever imagined. They also experienced Taksim Square, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia, and a Bosphorus cruise tour.
Josiah and Theresa plan on traveling together again soon and recommend other solo travelers take a chance on finding a travel companion they’ve never met.
While I personally would never be able to take the risk like these two did, I can see how thrill-seekers are inspired to work around the stifling new system in the travel industry.