About six weeks ago, I planned my whole goddamned life through the middle of January. And almost none of that has come to pass.
Two days in Novi Sad? Cancelled. Another month in Belgrade? Traded for Bosnia, Croatia, and Slovenia. And now. the crux of the whole plan, the thing around which everything else rotated:
My night at the Grand Ferdinand.
Barely anything of what I put together back then has come to pass; even this stint in Budapest – the initial stint of which I booked back then – has been extended by a week to accommodate the new lockdown in Slovakia.
Back in November, when it seemed like everything was going as planned, I thought for sure I’d be able to get my booster and, while it took effect, watch the world continue to resemble the nebulous “before-time” that I can barely remember.
But Omicron – or Omarion, as my skin-folk call it – seems to have upended us all anew, and thwarted all of the carefully laid plans that I had so painstakingly made.
I refunded four bus tickets and two flights, and have finally made my final plans for the end of 2021: another few days here in Budapest followed by a long, overland bus journey to Venice via Trieste. From there we’ll head to Florence on the 9th, but after that? I have no idea.
But something that I don’t talk about too frequently is my “country count”: as in the number of countries I’ve been to. I don’t talk about it a ton because, ultimately, it’s not a good rubric for anything. It doesn’t relate how traveled someone is nor how well they execute those travels. But I, like most nomads, keep my own tally, although unlike them I largely keep that number a secret.
But it looks like a kind of momentous tally is pretty close to being ticked for me, and I’ve actually begun to put that thought into what country I’d like that to be.
As recently as a couple days ago it was going to be Austria, a country I casually call my “West Virginia” because I can never quite seem to make it there, though I’ve been to every country it shares a border with.
Except Lichtenstein, now that I think about it. But you know what I mean.
But speaking of Lichtenstein: I will be very near to a country that I have been dying to visit since I was a teenager and flew to Milan for the first time.
But as much as I’d like to tell you this tentative plan, I fear saying it out loud in case all those plans have to change.
And though it doesn’t seem quite prudent to make resolutions, I also may have an idea or two up my sleeve for what I’d like to accomplish in 2022.
But for now, let’s just say “we’ll see,” and all just watch this year finally end.
And then we can hope together that 2022 will see our ability to have foresight return, because this spontaneous life has begun to wear on me in a way that I’m losing the ability to bear.
I guess that’s the plan.