After 20 months, the United States will reopen its borders on Monday for fully vaccinated international travelers. Three Belgians testify as to why they booked their airline tickets months in advance.
Agnes Abramsen (78): ‘I want to be in prison with my boyfriend’
“I’ve already been to the US 12 times, but my next trip will be my last.” Most tourists visit Seattle to enjoy its museums and spectacular skies, but Agnes Abramsen from Brussels does not associate the city with harmless travel. His U.S. accomplice was sentenced in 1987 to life in prison for killing a police officer and injuring another.
Abramssen, who had been writing letters to prisoners for some time, accidentally contacted him. The two fell in love, after which she visited him in his cell several times. Although their LAT relationship often went through periods when they could not be together, the corona crisis provided additional testing. “I can make half an hour video calls twice a week, but it’s not a great situation. I want to be with him.
The forced divorce allowed Abramsen to spend more time evicting her boyfriend. “I know he is innocent and I have documents to prove it. For example, the judge who sentenced him to death said she was wrong. In a few months, Abramsen will return to Seattle to argue the case with a judge. “Then I have no money to go back to. It has to work. Otherwise I declare war on the state of Washington.
Nick (32): ‘I finally see my boyfriend again after three years’
“The US travel ban has made me very sad.” Nick from Antwerp – who doesn’t want to be in the newspaper with his last name – will be relieved of much stress when he boardes a flight to Los Angeles next week. A year ago, he started talking again with Raphael, the American lawyer he met through the dating site in 2018, and then briefly met in Barcelona. “Three years ago we felt good together, but he was afraid to engage in a relationship where we never saw each other. The contact had diminished, but he told me he was sorry during the second corona wave.
Nick and Raphael started dating again, however it is not easy to do so only through digital channels. “You have the technology to see each other from a greater distance than we did twenty years ago, but it’s painful that we can not catch each other.” Nevertheless, they decided in April to choose each other. “We didn’t think at the time that we would have six more months to see each other, but he said he never wanted more than me and that it felt right.” Nick will stay in the US for the first three months on Saturday, though it is unclear how to proceed after that. “I think the coming period will be a test for our relationship, but I hope it works. We are both quiet, which makes it easier to live together.
Joe Pools (52): ‘In the United States, amusement parks are big and interesting’
Joe Pools, head of the European Coaster Club’s Penelox department, had to temporarily put his hobbies on the back burner due to an entry ban. He will continue to travel to the United States to visit amusement parks with some friends. “I’m especially interested in roller coasters, you’ll see bigger and more impressive rides than you have here across the ocean, which is why I go to as many amusement parks as possible during my travels.
It was not easy for Poland to miss those experiences for two years, so he booked a new trip as soon as it became clear that the entry ban would be lifted. “I am happy to book my tickets in advance because prices have gone up significantly in the meantime. I think a lot of people now want to make up for the damage done in the last year and a half.
The next trip to Poland lasted three weeks and the program was well filled. Accompanied by three friends, he will visit parks in states such as Illinois, Michigan and Florida. It includes a mix of well-known amusement parks such as Universal Studios and smaller parks such as Indiana Beach. The cost of that trip was about 3,500 euros, but Poland is happy to pay that amount. “It can divide my entertainment and rental car and hotel costs by four. It already makes a big difference.
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