“No matter where you go, there you are.” If the pandemic had a mantra, that would be it. And it followed me straight to Aruba.
After many, long uneventful months of staying put, my boyfriend and I decided that it was time to get our Vitamin-D deprived selves some Caribbean sun. We dusted off our bathing suits, passports, and our sense of adventure and headed south.
All that stood between us and a week of bliss was a Covid test. As mandated by the Aruban government, we had to get tested either before the flight or when we landed. We chose the ‘upon arrival’ option, as neither of us had symptoms or were feeling sick. Post-PRC test, we headed straight to our 5-star accommodations, to quarantine in our hotel room while we waited for the test results.
I awoke the next morning to some harrowing news. I had tested positive for Covid-19. Talk about a vacation detour. My lovely boyfriend, on the other hand, tested negative. The Aruban government, our hotel, and the government assigned medical team handled the situation seamlessly. Let’s just say that getting escorted out of our room by men in face shields to a private elevator to a Covid- patient transplant van didn’t exactly scream “getaway.”
Thanks to some extra poking and prodding, we were able to obtain a villa for our new 7-day quarantine. The three-bedroom residence had its own private salt pool, three bedrooms, a gazebo, and an open layout kitchen. We definitely hit the quarantine jackpot.
But quarantine is still quarantine, no matter where you go. We soon got were tired of takeout, Netflix, and our daily afternoon naps. We missed the energy of our city, the routine of our everyday lives, and connecting with other people.
On day 7, I was visited by the doctor I had spoken with on Day 1. After a check-up, he certified that I was free to go. We checked back into the same hotel we had booked (which felt like ions ago) and got to flirt with the idea of what our vacation would have looked like if we were there for the whole 5 days.
Even if it wasn’t the “vacation” we had anticipated, we ended it with memories that we will treasure forever. We were able to take romantic sunset strolls, eat amazing meals (fried calzones are my new favorite food) and take in the turquoise waters and confectioners sugar sand. We laughed at the whole experience, from top to bottom. Of course, this is the cherry on the 2020 sundae.
This experience taught me to expect the unexpected; to be open to the curveballs that life throws (and have a hell of a good mitt when it does.) And it helps with you have an amazing partner to hold your hand through it all.