(CNN) — In a year of lockdowns, flight bans and general coronavirus chaos, there are still some options for people seeking overseas adventures.
But what happens if you are the only one in your friend group willing to travel during these strange times?
That’s exactly what happened to both Josiah Burton and Therese Rocca. No one wanted to travel with them.
And so, even though they were total strangers, they decided to go on vacation together.
“I was supposed to be going to Japan with a friend, but Japan is now closed,” Burton, a 32-year-old from Iowa, tells CNN Travel. “So, I was looking for a country open to Americans.
“My friend decided he didn’t want to travel during the coronavirus, but I still wanted to go. I was originally looking at Croatia, but you needed a negative Covid test within 72 hours. Turkey didn’t have any such requirement, so I chose there.”
With no one to go with, he turned to 10XTravel, a Facebook group followed by 40,000 people that offers advice on ways to save money on the road.
“I didn’t really want to travel alone, so I posted a message in the Facebook group that if anyone’s interested in coming or meeting up, or who will be in Turkey at the same time, to let me know.”
Rocca, 36, from Denver, saw the message and responded almost immediately.
The pair took a hot air balloon ride in central Turkey.
Courtesy Josiah Burton
“I was looking for somebody to go on vacation with,” she tells CNN. “And I couldn’t get any of my friends or family members to go because of their worries about the coronavirus.
“So, I saw Josiah’s post and commented on it. He gave me his itinerary and said, feel free to message me to discuss. So, I did.”
“We talked about our travel styles, what we like to do. You know, how mellow we are, how adventurous we are. And then it coincidentally fell on dates that I had already taken off at work because I was supposed to be in South Africa. It’s closed to US citizens right now, so I had to cancel,” she says.
After the pair had a brief conversation online, Rocca decided to book the same trip to Turkey.
“She told me she was going to sleep on it,” says Burton. “But just one hour later she messaged me and said she had booked her trip with the same itinerary. That was that. From that point on we were travel buddies.”
Rocca and Burton continued to chat online in the following days to book tours, transportation and insurance.
“Then it dawned on me that I was going away with a total stranger,” says Rocca. “So, I said to him, are you sure you’re okay with some random girl you’ve never met coming along with you? And he was like: Yeah, totally fine.
“There were moments of like, God, I hope we get along because we just committed