You want to travel, you ask your friends and the countries to go to, they refuse because of the flight bans, lockdowns, and many more due to the coronavirus pandemic. So what do you do when none of your friends or acquaintances want to travel with you? Josiah Burton and Therese Rocca did the unthinkable; go on vacation together as total strangers.

Burton, 32, from Iowa, United States, was supposed to go to Japan with a friend, but the country has banned travels from the U.S. His friend also decided to back out, so Burton began searching for countries that don’t require a negative test result and where Americans are still free to enter. He came upon Turkey and chose Istanbul as his new travel destination. But he had another problem to deal with; a travel buddy.

Burton turned to a Facebook group dedicated for travelers who want 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,” he said. Rocca, a 36-year-old from Denver, responded to him as soon as possible. Through private messages, they exchanged information about their travel styles and the itinerary and from there, Rocca booked the same flight to Turkey.

From their first meeting at the check-in counter to exploring their planned destinations in the itinerary, the pair hit it off immediately and wasted no time in enjoying the time they had together as new friends. From September 5 to 12, Burton and Rocca visited almost every tourist attraction in Istanbul, such as Taskim Square, Hagia Sophia, and even a Bosporus Cruise. They also flew to Cappadocia in central Turkey renowned for its strange landscape structures.

To say that they enjoyed their trip is an understatement. Rocca described it as something that exceeded her expectation, and formed a great friendship with Burton. Aside from this unique bond, what else did they gain from traveling together as strangers? “In fact, we have even discussed setting up a business together to help others find great deals and travel buddies. We’re going to name it Vacation Pursuit. So, watch this space!”, Burton said.