I’m going to Paris and I couldn’t be more excited about it! And no, I didn’t write this post to make you jealous. But are you? A little bit?
On Monday I leave Asheville and head to Paris (pronounced no other way than par-ee) for a naming event hosted by Viking. Not only will I have the privilege of attending this event, but I was also invited sail on board one of Viking’s new Seine river vessels for a mini-voyage. Viking will launch eight longships on March 16th, four purpose-built Seine river vessels and four additional Longships on the Rhine in Amsterdam.
But, as I said, I didn’t write this post to make you jealous. Sure, the event will be beautiful and exciting, and Paris will be fun and lively; but this journey is also significant because it shows how far the world has come since the last Viking event I attended in January of 2020.
The world has since shut down due to a global pandemic, we have been through waves and variants, we have worn masks and gotten boosters, we have delayed travel plans – which seem to finally be getting taken off hold, and finally, if feels as if we have made it through the pandemic onto the other side. The threat of Omicron sparked fears that we may have another year without travel. Protocols tightened again for a moment but, as the variant loses momentum, just days before Viking launches these eight ships France will end its health pass and masking requirements.
In Buncombe County, North Carolina, it feels as if we are one of the last places to have lifted our mandates with nearly half of the nation’s mask mandates ending between mid-January and mid-February of this year.
The pandemic provided other challenges, too. For us, it meant taking significant pay cuts to keep our websites going. The lack of voyages we were taking was reflected in the lack of content that we were able to post on the site. Now, nearly two years later, I have two river cruises planned within the next two months.
It feels as if we have finally rounded a corner – with Covid, that is. Don’t forget threat of a Third World War…
Follow me on my journey on Instagram and remember to help aid the Ukrainians during this time. You can figure out a few ways to do that here.
Until next week!
See you from the Seine.