March 5, 2014

I bought the flight, we leave in 4 days! Destination SDQ, Dominican Republic and Haiti! I’m agitated because:

  1. I have to postpone various appointments I had
  2. The flight is going to be a bit challenging: about 30 hours from Milan Malpensa to Santo Domingo, including two nights at the airport: the first one in Milan, because the flight is at 9am, the second in New York, that we hope to be able to visit, because we arrive in the afternoon and leave the following day.
  3. We are away for 6 weeks: will it be too long and too expensive? Surely I’m going to miss my cats. Cindy, with her sweet big eyes; Cagliostro with his bright hair.
  4. We have only a few days to organise the trip: travel insurance, first night in Santo Domingo, vaccination (luckily Luca already has an appointment for tomorrow morning), ESTA application to enter in the United States, study a bit of the area and possible itineraries, pack our luggages trying not to forget anything…

On the first page of my planners I always write the countries I would like to visit in that year. Dominican Republic was not among them. What made me change my mind? The possibility to go to Haiti, that was already a poor country before the earthquake in 2010 threw it to complete despair, afflicted by alternate cholera outbreaks, and where voodoo is the most common religion. I wasn’t able to go to Benin in January for their voodoo festival, I wanted to see something in Haiti. Unfortunately in Haiti the most important celebrations start on Good Friday, just a few days we’re due back, and at that time we will have to be in the Dominican republic to make sure we don’t miss our flight (during the Holy Week it will probably be very busy and it will be more difficult to find an accomodation).

This trip is the first one I do with someone else, after many years traveling alone. It will be interesting. I got used to many things that don’t get my attention anymore, I’m sure Luca will make me notice some aspects I wouldn’t notice. I will have new eyes to look with.

Buying the right flight ticket wasn’t easy. When, after weeks of indecision, we finally picked the destination, it took more time to choose the route and the length of the flight: from Verona for 4 weeks (there weren’t other flights), with an airport close to home, not too expensive and relatively short flight, or from Milan for 5 or 6 weeks, two nights at the airport and 30 hours flight? I don’t know why, but when I have to choose I always go for the most challenging option. Maybe because I think “while I’m young I can do it”. Four weeks weren’t enough. I prefer to have more time to visit the two countries without rushing; once the flight was bought I started to regret it, but that is my problem, I am forever undecided. Plus, I haven’t been out of Europe for two years, if I have to go, I want to do it properly. It will be fun to see how Luca copes with the traveling, the furthest he has been was Spain.

So, once we decided for 6 weeks, the flight. From March 9 to April 21. With 2 changes (New York and Atlanta). I don’t like to make many changes because I feel the chance to have my luggage lost is higher, but ok. We were about to buy the flights on TUI, 712 euro, but when it’s time to pay we realise it’s 140 euro more. For payment by card. What? No way. At the end on Delta website at 750 euro we found a flight from March 10 to April 21 with one stopover, and with a timetable that allows us to visit Manhattan for a few hours. Ok, chosen. And I start getting anxious.