Today was a landmark day, finding us back on an international flight to Peru. It’s been 20 months since we were last in Peru, and when we left, we planned to return in early November, 2020, just over a year ago. Since then, we’ve lived in different levels of quarantine for the pandemic, gotten vaccinated, and then booster shots. To prepare for this flight, we also got Covid tests, though they are not required. Good thing, too, because our results are still not back, and our flight to Peru takes off in less than two hours. We also filled out a health affidavit for the Peruvian immigration authorities that took each of us about five tries to complete, save, email to phone, and make screen shot. (Now it’s done, and we’re checked in for our flight.)
Since we were last in South America, I turned 70 (how did that happen!?) and somehow all our aches and pains have gotten slightly worse. Our seats on the plane are a bit less padded, our stamina has decreased a little bit, and a full day of travel seems even more tiring than it used to. We face an uncomfortable question. Should we keep up our life of travel, or is it time to ease up? This is entirely our choice. We can still afford to travel, and we have always worked our various medical appointments into our plans. I still see an eye specialist every month, no matter where we are. Jonathan saw a bunch of doctors while we were in the US to track down the source of a nagging cough. He can continue with that when we are in the US, though most doctors would prefer to have him around for a test, a few weeks, a consult, a few weeks, another test, another consult. This gets frustrating for us, as there seems to be an open-ended procession of things to do and we’d like to set a departure date.
For now, we are back on the road, weighing whether to spend the next travel season of March through October visiting Europe as we had planned, or whether we might do better to spend those months testing places we might want to settle in the US. We can rent for a month, or three months, or even a year, but we will have to move again at the end of each stay.
Last year, during our extended visit in California, we thought perhaps we’d look for a longer-term place to rent near Monterey. It’s beautiful, there are lots of trails to hike and ocean shore to walk. By the end of our stay, though, we realized that California is going to be short of both water and housing for the foreseeable future. Is that our best choice? Before we settle for living in a man-made environmental disaster, we’d like to try a few other places, starting on the east coast of the US. We haven’t given up on our desire to be near the ocean. We will spend many of our afternoons in Peru walking down the length of our beach and back, trying to sort our priorities. I’ll keep you posted.