Mister E and I have concluded that it is time to get some serious travelling underway again. When the pandemic struck we had just embarked on the start of our ambitious plan to visit every EU member country before the transition period for Brexit ended; the Adieu Tour, as we named it, however, came to an abrupt end with only Cyprus under our belts. Perhaps it's time to resurrect the idea with a Missing EU series of trips.
Of course before we can organise anything there's the tricky issue of travel insurance. We let our annual policy lapse as a consequence of the restrictions on travel over the last couple of years and investigating a replacement has proved something of a shock. It seems all those hospital visits earlier this year have done me no favours. I may have been given a clear bill of health so far as the heart is concerned but that emergency admission coupled with the discovery of a gallstone after one single uncomfortable episode, have upped the premium to eye-watering levels.
A comparison site suggested a fee of £3500; one company refused to cover us even for travel within Europe; another offered insurance excluding cancellation cover for the princely sum of £1500. My pleas of good health seemed to fall on deaf ears and as for the chat bot, it simply had no interest in the number of hours I spend a week in fitness classes or the pool.
Eventually we got ourselves sorted with a worldwide policy that excludes North America and the Caribbean. The cost of cover for that part of the world seemingly putting the UK's government debt to shame.
It certainly makes you realise that as you get older and inevitable health issues arise, those travel plans you thought you'd have the whole of retirement to bring to fruition may need prioritising if they are to be undertaken before insurance cover becomes completely unaffordable.
The youngest managed to cheer me regardless. "Book yourselves on a cruise," she told me, "You'll be the fittest couple on board!"