As someone who had over twenty trips abroad booked for 2020, and then had to cancel every single one of them due to COVID-19, I’m quite thrilled about getting on a plane tomorrow.
As mentioned previously, I was supposed to be in Tokyo right now. I would have been slipping into the familiar routine of cocktails in the executive lounge of our hotel, followed by a delicious meal, then bar-hopping and dancing in some of Shinjuku Ni-Chome’s many excellent gay bars.
Instead, I’m flying to Edinburgh.
No, it’s not Tokyo, but it has its charms. Plus, I can go there and no risk being told to self-isolate for two weeks when I get home. Plus, it’s a quick hop over the Firth of Forth to go see family in Fife. And there’s no jet lag to wrestle with.
It’ll be my second trip on a plane since lockdown was eased here in the UK. I’m conscious that for many people, that would seem like a luxury. But until February of this year, I was making monthly business trips to Barcelona and Dublin and taking regular city break holidays all around Europe. I also had two trips to Japan reserved (one to see the Spring cherry blossom bloom for the very first time!) and a solo trip to Helsinki, just because.
I keep reminding myself that I’m lucky to have avoided COVID completely (so far) and still be fully employed. As are all my family and closest friends. All the same, I do find myself lapsing into a ‘why me?’ moan every so often. But a few days in Edinburgh will dial that right down.
I love Edinburgh.
It’s stunning to just look at, but also has the most amazing layout, full of interesting back streets, side streets, avenues and lanes. I could wander it happily for hours and hours. There’s history on every street corner and it will be a delightful break from the square mile of London I’ve been inhabiting since working from home started on March 10th.
I have to admit though, it’s not helping that the photos app on my iPhone keeps reminding me that I was in Osaka this time last year and I look like I was having the time of my life.
Onwards and upwards. #FirstWorldProblems