During this time of the pandemic, traveling has been challenging. There are travel bans, lockdowns, and strict testing. So what if you want to visit a different country but no one wants to join you? Josiah Burton, a 32-year-old man from Iowa, United States, pushed through his travel plan, with a complete stranger he met online. “I didn’t really want to travel alone,” Burton said, “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.”

His original plan was to travel to Japan, but the country banned flights from the U.S., so Burton had to look for another. After searching for countries that don’t require any test (and where Americans can still enter), Burton changed his travel destination from Japan to Turkey. Then, he posted a message on a Facebook group for travelers about his plans and asked who wanted to join. Rocca, 36, from Denver, contacted Burton out of interest in joining him since she had been looking for a travel buddy, too.

From September 5 to 12, Burton and Rocca enjoyed their adventures together in Istanbul. They visited iconic places in the city such as Taskim Square, Hagia Sophia, and even went on a Bosporus Cruise. Aside from the wonderful friendship they developed, Burton and Rocca talked about setting up a business together to help people like them find travel buddies. Burton said, “We’re going to name it Vacation Pursuit. So, watch this space!”