Logline: Against all odds, Mattopia Jones proves adventure is still out there, even in the thick of a global pandemic.
"For three weeks, I was in a beautiful bubble and managed to escape from the pandemic, largely forget about what was ailing the world and do more on the trip than I could have possibly hoped."
(comment made to the Times while waiting for baggage at Denver International Airport)
2 February 2022
Where to begin? The ever-changing COVID protocols? The chairs? The ridiculous itinerary? The multiverse dream? The snorkeling? The mummified monk?
Might as well start at the beginning with that ridiculous itinerary, the end product of numerous flight cancellations and reroutings put in effect by the pandemic.
Original reservation booked 5 June 2021
The world was starting to reopen and it seemed like a shoo-in that international travel would be back in full swing by the Christmas holidays of 2021. A layover all day in Los Angeles was filled with plans to visit the new Academy Museum and revisiting favorite haunts. The Delta variant, rising as the dominant strain at this time, would complicate things.
Alternate reservation booked 22 October 2021
At this time, there were indications the connecting flights to/from Taipei would be cancelled since Taiwan was not allowing international travelers, even for connecting flights without leaving the airport. This was booked as a fallback plan.
Alternate reservation changed 23 October 2021
Almost immediately, the direct flight from Denver to Tokyo was automatically rerouted with a connection through San Francisco.
Original reservation changed 29 October 2021
With confirmation the Taipei connection was cancelled, the options were sparse and the departure was bumped up from Friday to Wednesday in order to still leverage the original reservation booked with miles.
Original reservation changed 18 November 2021
And then the direct flight from Tokyo to Denver was rerouted through San Francisco. Nonetheless, this was the itinerary followed.
After trying to appease my wanderlust with visits to the carefully curated environments of Walt Disney World in December 2020 and Disneyland in September 2021, it was time to get back out into real world adventure. But the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, COVID protocol changes, shifting visa requirements and the numerous flight changes started to cast doubt on this endeavor.
Stay tuned, True Believers, and keep hitting that refresh button for the latest updates.
Mattopia Jones embarks on a quest to find the world’s most elusive treasure: peace.
Thailand • Australia • Japan
South Korea • India
Boats, planes, hot air balloons... anything to get the job done.
Thailand • Vietnam • Myanmar
Mattopia Jones covers the world's loudest folk band:
5 continents • 19 countries
39 cities • 11 tours • 48 venues
77 shows • 1 Sphere
3 special appearances
6 boys dreaming out loud
0 restraining orders
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