Til then, I walk alone


Travel Docs

As I mentioned in the last post chapter, Linda went to Portugal a week ahead of me. We were both supposed to go at the same time, but due to issues with Linda’s passport, and other problems a while back, the details for the trip fluctuated as circumstances changed.

Major subject change, but you’ll see why in a minute.

I subscribe to TrustedHousesitters.com, which is really, I think, more about pet-sitting. For a very reasonable annual subscription price, we can go on as many trips as we want and get house- and pet-sitters for no charge. Any of you who have pets and who travel know how expensive boarding is.

All sits are insured, all subscribers have background checks done, and they receive reviews from previous sits. For that annual subscription rate, people who want to travel and see different parts of the country can apply to house- and pet-sit for you. You look at their profiles, read their reviews, and then choose one. A few are retired people, but most are young professionals, digital nomads.

I had confirmed a sitter, Josh, early on, but when the date for our trip changed the last time, he had already been confirmed for a different sit. He was only available for the last two weeks of our Portugal trip.

I kept the listing up on TrustedHousesitters.com, but the trip was getting close. At such short notice, we just weren’t getting any more applications.

So we made a difficult decision. I’ve written in the past about Linda’s specific needs concerning her home environment. I have some too, but not as severe as hers. For instance, she lived in Seattle several years ago and discovered how severely the constant rain and overcast affect her. She also has more specific preferences, while mine are a little more general. So I decided that, if only one of us can go for the first week, it should be her. If she finds a place in that first week that she really likes, chances are good that I’ll like it, too.

With those fluctuations in the trip early on, the tickets had already been through one change. At this point, they were non-changeable and non-refundable.

So I went online to look for a plane ticket a week later. Remember almost a year ago (of course you do!) how I wrote about signing up for a credit card that rewards travel points? I’ve been using that card for everything that I used to use my debit card for – groceries, gas, Amazon, etc., then I would pay off the balance every month.

In the past year, I had accumulated enough points to get a new flight to Portugal, with a thousand points left over. So while it sucks that I’m missing that first week, at least it’s not costing me anything (except those points).

My flight was scheduled to take off at 12:50 p.m. Friday. Linda had experienced a number of issues on her flights out, due to various issues related, directly and indirectly, to travel in a time of COVID. So, in hopes of giving myself enough time to deal with these same issues, I set out early Friday morning to begin my journey alone.