With apologies to the late Tom Petty. I have planned on this second long trip for years. I planned the route. The bike and prep. The shipping. The various legs across different continents, at different seasons, with occasional stops at home now and then.
But nobody planned for COVID. So plans change.
And now we wait…
The ABC’s (and D’s) of Planning a Round-The-World Ride During COVID
We have a Plan A, B, C, and D at this point, all depending on when we can travel abroad. Our Plan A was to leave the US for Europe in May, attend the Isle of Man TT races, and then head to Norway and a big loop of Europe before our Schengen Visa expired (more on that in another post).
Since the 2021 Isle of Man TT races have already been canceled, we don’t have to be there at the end of May. That buys us some time to wait. Those Manx have the island locked down to outsiders, effectively keeping their little slice of heaven safe but severely limiting the national income without tourists. But we still plan to attend the TT in 2022.
Although we have tickets to see Green Day, Weezer and Fallout Boy in concert in the Netherlands at the end of June, we have no idea if that will happen either. So our Plan B is basically just shifting our Plan A European loop to begin around July 15. Assuming, of course, that we can travel internationally by then.
Meanwhile, we have already invited a friend to house-sit for us beginning in May. This is a firm commitment, as she is a “digital nomad”. She works remotely, so as long as she has internet, she can work from just about anywhere. In this case, she will work from our house for six months. This also means that we will be departing in May, regardless. We just aren’t sure where we are headed first at this point. Plan B will send us off to travel in the States, if it is safe to do so at that time, until July 15.
Plan C takes Plan B’s start date even further out, but also because of seasonal conditions, it means we will travel the US from May until mid-September, and our European travel will shift to the southern parts as the temperatures in the north drop.
And Plan D, which is unfortunately looking more and more likely, will keep us in the States for 2021, but we will travel as extensively as possible. This will shift the beginning of our European expedition to early 2022. We are remaining optimistic and hoping that international travel opens up before the end of ’21, but there is plenty to see in our own backyard of the continental US until then.
If all goes fairly well, we have a couple of surprises in store around November.