Nobody needed to travel with me, so I went on trip with a complete stranger

(CNN) – In the closed year, to prevent flight and coronavirus infection, there are other options for people looking for outdoor trips.

But what if you are the only person in the group of friends you want to go on a date with?

That is what happened to both Josiah Burton and Therese Rocca. Nobody wants to go with them.

And so, even though they were completely strangers, they decided to go on vacation together.

“I was supposed to go to Japan with a friend, but Japan is now closed,” Burton, 32, of Iowa, told CNN Travel. “”

“My friend thought he didn’t want to go during the coronavirus, but I still wanted to go. At first I looked at Croatia, but you needed a Covid error test within 72 hours. Turkey didn’t have these requirements, so I decided to go there.”

With no one to turn to, he turned to 10XTravel, a Facebook group followed by 40,000 people who offer tips on how to save money along the way.

“I did not want to travel alone, so I sent a message on Facebook that if anyone wants to come or meet, or who will be in Turkey right away, let me know.”

Rocca, 36, from Denver, saw the message and responded immediately.

Traveling friends

The two mounted air balloons in the middle of Turkey.

Courtesy of Josiah Burton

“I’m looking for someone to take me on vacation,” he told CNN. “And I didn’t take any of my friends or relatives to go because I complained about the disease.

“Because of that, I saw what Josiah had written and talked about. He gave me his tour and said, feel free to tell me to discuss it. That’s why, I did.”

“We talked about our travels, what we like to do. You know, we are very flexible, we love to play the game. And it just happened by chance I had already gone to work because I had to live in South Africa. It’s closed to US citizens right now, so I have to quit,” he said.

After a brief online interview, Rocca decided to re-write the same trip to Turkey.

“He told me he was going to sleep on it,” Burton says. “But an hour later he texted me and said he had booked the trip with the same trip. That was it. From then on we were best traveling companions.”

Rocca and Burton continued to chat online over the next few days to reserve travel, travel and insurance.

“Then I realized I was leaving with a complete stranger,” says Rocca. “So, I told her, are you sure you’re okay with another girl you’ve never met coming with you? And she was like: Yes, that’s fine.

“It was the same time, God, I believe we agreed because we just volunteered to do this. My relatives and friends asked me if I could get along with someone I had never met.

“They are also worried that I should go on vacation with a stranger. But they relied on my opinion; I believed in my judgment,” he adds.

“I knew I was going to be fine, especially in these times. Instead, it made me more comfortable to have a travel companion as opposed to going alone because of what was going on.”

First meeting

travel with guest 4-1

The two men are off to do business at Turkey Airlines.

Courtesy of Josiah Burton

Moving away from someone you have never met has its advantages, Burton says.

“I used to tell my friends that going with a stranger to me was the best thing in the world, because you don’t feel you have a responsibility to that person. If they don’t want to do something, then you get frustrated with them.

“We kept separate rooms, so we had our own place. If there were any problems, then we could just go do our own thing. I thought to myself, just go have fun.”

The start time on the first internet to book the trip and meet in person was only four days. A time when some may seem like a joke, but it is “strange” in online meetings.

“We met online less than a week before we left,” Burton says. “They chatted for a few days and then they all went to Chicago airport on their way to Istanbul. This was the first meeting I met at the Chicago airport.”

With a smile on his face, Rocca remembers that first meeting very happy. “She was waiting for me near the reception area because my plane arrived a little later than hers. I went to her and I was like: Oh no, you’re a real person,” he says.

The first meeting of the two was a memorable one for Burton. “We hugged each other, ushered us in and then sat in the living room and just chatted. Therese had never been to a business class before, so we chose chairs for the neighborhood.

“The holidays started there, it was fun from then on.”

Reaching the nerves

walk with guest 3-1

Burton and Rocca are now good friends and want to travel again.

Courtesy of Josiah Burton

After enjoying their first international tour, the duo arrived in Istanbul on September 5 and were quick to explore the city together.

“We were a bit nervous when we went down because we didn’t know what to do about our health or how it would be, but everything was fine,” Burton says.

“The first thing we did when we checked into the hotel was to get on the bus, take off so we could see where we wanted to go and where everything was.

“We did almost every major tourist attraction in Istanbul – Taksim Square, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia. We also took the Bosporus. It was amazing.”

The new friends fled to Cappadocia, a remote area in central Turkey, where they stayed in a cave hotel and enjoyed a balloon. From there he went to the coastal town of Kusadasi, where he went paragliding and visited the hot springs.

Using a combination of money and resources, Burton and Rocca managed to do a lot of good on vacation in Turkey.

“We flew with Turkish Airlines and stayed in mixed hotels for the past week. Hilton is the largest hotel group, but we also stayed in an independent hotel in Cappadocia.

“In all, we just spent about $ 1,000 each. This includes air travel, hotel business and spending money.”

After a long stay together, the journey could have been one of two ways – a great fall or strong friends. For Rocca and Burton they were the last.

“I can say that the journey went beyond my expectations,” Rocca says. “I don’t think it could be a real boyfriend, but I think it did. We’re friends.

“We’ve talked about meeting when we come back because we’re only two hours away from each other. It’s easy for both of us to fly to Florida, so we can meet there.”

Burton agrees.

“We’ve been building a good relationship. We’ve talked about traveling together. I have made a trip to Spain with my mother next May and Therese said she could join them.

“Instead, we also discussed creating a business venture to help others find great events and travel partners. We call it the Vacation Pursuit. So, take a look at the site!”

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