The great thing about hiking is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to actually do it. The great thing about living temporarily in the countryside is that even during a pandemic you can go out and hike without having to worry about meeting too many other people. Another great thing about hiking is that it gets even better when you share it. And when you’re able to share it with the person you love – great!
First of all, Johns first visit to Germany happened under way different circumstances than we imagined. Entry bans make it hard these days to travel and to see each other. Closed borders in a globalised world with so many intertwined lifes and binational relationships are just terrible. Tourism is not the only reason for travel. Fortunately by mid August a few countries within the Schengen zone made it possible for partners from outside the EU to enter. Silver linings!
After having put a lot of paperwork together to meet the requirements to get a travel exception for John, and after a couple of nerve wracking hours when I was worried the airline still wouldn’t let him board, he eventually made it to Germany!
But as the pandemic situation worsened in November, we got stuck in the Thuringian Forest. All the plans about what to do and see in Germany fell flat. But, overall, most important, we had us! We did a lot of quarantine walking and hiking and so we roamed the central Thuringian Forest and the area around the house over and over again. I probably never knew the area better than I do now – even though I grew up in the Thuringian Forest. We saw fall turning into winter, experienced snow on the ridges and spent hours of precious quality time together.
Anyhow, even the most dull, boring and even miserable trails become suddenly bright and interesting and fun when you walk them with the person you love. And, isn’t life just like a long trail?