It’s 4 a.m. and I’m wide awake, too excited to sleep! I just found a pretty good airfare from Detroit to Albania and I booked it for September 6! I’d been monitoring the fares and they were running around $1000 for decent flights from Detroit. (Flights without super long layovers and that allow a checked bag and carry-on). I kept checking British Airways and it was always $3046 for a one way ticket! Are you kidding me?? And I keep seeing scary rumors of much higher airfares to come. Tonight I entered a fictitious return rate for a round trip on British Airways, and it was $1145, which was GREAT because I had a $546 credit voucher from my first cancelled flight in March! (Thanks, Covid cancellation policies!) So my ticket only cost $600! Isn’t it crazy that a round trip ticket is 1/3 the one way fare!
I’ll fly from Guayaquil to Phoenix on August 8 and pick up the cool-weather clothing I’ve got stashed with a friend there, do a 5 day dogsitting gig, repack and fly to Detroit for a three week visit with old friends, then on to Albania. I grew up in Novi, a suburb of Detroit, and still have lots of friends there.
My best friend Cindy and I are hoping to do a two week camping tour of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I love it up there, and she’s never seen much of it. But it’ll have to be tent camping….I hope we can survive sleeping on the ground for two weeks! I’ll keep an eye out on Craigslist for some nice used cots.
All along I’ve been thinking I wanted to live in the mid-coastal city of Vlore, but lately I’ve been looking more at Sarande. It’s a couple hours farther south, so about 4 hours from the Tirana airport, but has some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe! The Airbnb rentals have shot up in the past couple months, instead of the $300-400 a month range for off-season, suddenly the same places are $500-700! I don’t know why! I found a beautiful beachfront apartment in Sarande, within walking distance of grocery stores, restaurants, etc. for $300 a month and I think I’m going to book it from September 10 until April 1. That’ll give me plenty of time to look around and decide if I want to apply for Residency.
From Sarande it’s a short 30 minute ferry ride to the Greek island of Corfu, and there’s an international airport there, though it’s smaller than Tirana so going to the US is a little more complicated, but it’s doable. The expat community in Sarande is much more active than Vlore, though I suspect most of them are a lot younger than me. The city goes pretty dead after the summer beach season but being such an extreme Introvert, it won’t bother me a bit if some of the bars and restaurants are closed; in fact I’ll probably like it better!
So…. that’s how I spent last night. I think I’d better at least TRY to get some sleep now, since I have to be up in a little over three hours. Ugggh, I’m gonna be sorry!