29 April 2020

Last-Minute Changes

Back in late February, I was planning to have a long weekend. I wanted to take Friday and Monday off, and have a short break somewhere. I actually bought tickets and made hotel reservations back in January for the last weekend of February, bridging into March. I was planning on going to Florence, since it had been a long time since I was last in Italy, and there's still plenty of things to discover even after visiting Florence for the first time back in 2014. However, there was the coronavirus.

I was watching how the situation was developing. One week before, I thought I was going, since Florence seemed to be okay, and all of the cases seemed to be confined in the north. I was supposed to leave Thursday evening, flying out directly from work, and coming back Monday evening.

By Tuesday, however, my company released a directive, saying that if we have been in Italy, then we should self-quarantine and do home office for the next two weeks. That just made things not so ideal, not to mention the fact that the number of cases were growing every day, and I definitely don't want to be stuck in Italy (they have quarantined a few towns, so it could be the case these measures might grow).

So I decided to change my plans. I had my flight refunded, and cancelled my hotel. I unfortunately had to pay a penalty, but the money is less the issue, and shelling out approximately 120 EUR for peace of mind is definitely worth it. The airline follows official travel directives, and unfortunately, they were only refunding or rebooking tickets concerning northern Italy, and Florence isn't part of the scope.

In any case, all of this happened on Tuesday, two days before I was supposed to leave. That was a first.

And another first: I still wanted to go somewhere, so one day later, I made plans to go somewhere else. When I cancelled my plans on Tuesday, I was already thinking of alternatives. I already found one, but didn't finalise them until one day later, Wednesday. Who knows, many things could happen in one day, and I didn't want to cancel two plans in a row. In any case, that worst case scenario didn't happen, and when Friday rolled in, I was in the airport, waiting for my flight to depart.

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