a statue of liberty with a torch on top of it
Image by AnnaBellaCaramella from Pixabay

It’s no secret that I drop Love Actually references wherever possible. I’ve littered the pages of many magazines with them over the years. And it’s a few specific scenes in Love Actually, which make me actually love the movie.

Lucky for Britain’s most frustrating airport, they happen at Heathrow. The emotional reconnections of people has always been a joy to watch in times of normal travel, but we’ve lived in anything but for nearly two years. They’re even more precious now.

Travel bans made life awful for people on both sides of the pond and beyond for the last two years, with people in committed relationships and full fledged families unable to physically spend time together, due to paperwork technicalities. Sometimes, even missing things like funerals, or the birth of children.

If you’ve been able to keep up with family, friends and relatives over the course of the pandemic, consider yourself lucky.

After all the hardship, a golden time is finally on its way, and November 8th will mark the first flights back to the USA since sweeping travel bans began. I’ll be on one of the very first flights, and can’t wait to share it. It’s actually why I’m writing today!

a tall monument and a building

How Should I Document This Trip?

On the morning of November 8th, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways will operate the first flights back to the US, officially marking the reopening of US borders to all visitors from the UK, Europe and beyond.

I’ll be aboard one of those first flights, and I can’t quite express my excitement. I want to soak in all the stories and hear from the (soon to be) happy people. Overwhelming seems like the right word.

I mention this, because this doesn’t seem like something fair to keep bottled up for myself. I’d love to share some of the scenes and stories with you all and I’m hoping for some creative ideas on how best to do this.

Obviously, there’s the standard choices like…

  • Instagram stories
  • Blog posts
  • Youtube videos

Any or all of these are good choices, but with so many emerging platforms and creative opportunities these days, I figured someone out there might have an idea of what they would really like to see, and how I might best capture it.

If you think of any ideas, please let me know in the comments section!

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Not to be pedantic but these are not the first flights to the US for Virgin and BA on 8 November. How do I know this, I have flown to the US in June and October on Virgin.

    It is fabulous that people can reconnect for sure am not undermining that.

    1. We are in the camp of being separated for 2 years. Non-immigrant visa holders in the US, like us, have had it pretty tough. We couldn’t leave because we couldn’t get back in easily and we couldn’t have visitors. The huge low was seeing American co-workers all jet off to Europe this summer without a care in the world and yet we were still unable to visit our own families easily or have visitors.

      I will admit to a tiny bit of jealously when reading your posts about your trips to the US with your family in tow (I think it was the LA one). I was so pleased that you could personally enter the US with your young child but it was super tough knowing my children of a similar age couldn’t see their relatives.

      Thank god this ban is ending. Looking forward to your report of the first flights to arrive in the US post the ban.

    2. I too know that, because I’ve flown back and forth between the US and UK every two months, since the start of the pandemic. Usually on Virgin, or BA. I think most people recognize that by first flight back, we’re talking about the people on board.

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