In 2020, during the Covid Pandemic, casual travel, travel purely for pleasure, ended abruptly. The Trip Not Taken is a well-pictured story of a vacation that existed only in the traveler's imagination. Touring in a world without Covid, the author explores the culture and history of the Baltics.
Beginning in medias res, the story opens in Riga, Latvia, after breakfast, on a cloudy day. The tour group follows the day's itinerary of visiting museums, churches and restaurants. Through pictures and words, the narrator shares her experiences. For the most part, the tour group interactions remain in the background.
From Riga, the tour continues to Tallinn, Estonia and St. Petersburg, Russia where the story takes an unexpected turn. The tour is ending and the author considers whether she is ready to go home.
With increasing independence, the narrator extends her trip in the Baltics, forgoing the safety of the tour group. She chooses her own path out of Russia and back to the European Union, and experiences the Baltics on a more personal level, making friends and learning how to live like a local not a tourist.
As Covid restrictions ease and the vaccine is widely available, this book will be followed by The Trip Taken in which the narrator experiences the journey she only imagined.