For years, people I met and socialized with talked to me about genocides, sectarian conflicts, military dictatorships and religious terrorism, surmising from the nature of my work that those are the sorts of things in which I would be interested. They were mistaken, and I was determined to use my newly acquired right to travel in the Schengen zone to bring back to life the version of me with whom I always was most familiar and comfortable.
Twelfth-century writer Ibn Abd Rabbih reveals a relish for travel that resonates strongly today. When he moves from the third to first person in his travel guides, we can understand this man who lived a millennium ago and share in his enduringly human enjoyment of seeing new places, a pleasure we relish all the more after two years in which we have been forced to be “armchair” travelers ourselves.
The Mediterranean and Aegean coastlines are known to be party spots during the summer months, with resorts and rentals catering to all budgets. The familiar sight of tipsy, heavily sun-kissed Russians and northern Europeans still prevails, but the halal-conscious travelers are becoming more numerous along these shores, although they won’t often be seen.
The lines were long; getting food was at times a nightmare. The children — who are yet to be vaccinated — need to wear a mask while indoors or on rides. But the magic of Disney is still there, and post-vaccine life is as good as it gets a year after we were hoarding toilet paper in the U.S.