How much will change in the world of travel? Have you changed? I have noticed a mixed vibe here. Our borders are open in Europe and we have the freedom to travel if we choose. There are colour codes placed on countries and our government has advised they won’t be repatriating citizens if they get stuck. As with our lockdown our government has an expectation that we are intelligent humans who will do the right thing. I guess for me I just don’t feel that I have to travel, also let’s be honest I don’t fall short. Gran Canaria in Feb and Denmark for New Year’s. Travel for me is about getting lost in the experience of all the senses and there’s just no ‘real’ escaping the corona now. Unless you go wild.
Over the weekend I donned the mask for the first time. I was at the airport! The airport here is on the train line and functions as more than an airport. I had to get a birthday watch resized. We also had a beer and a pizza while we waited. We were armchair traveller watchers. (Obviously a birthday is an exception for dry July, and maybe a friend’s 50th tonight.) The travellers were mostly business, the push a trolley bag and walk at speed types. There were young people, youngish singles and couples and the odd family, mostly with young kids.
As you know, so far we’ve decided to remain home for summer. We did take a weekend away in the Ardennes the week before school officially ended. It was an easy and safe trip. It felt right for us. We self catered, stayed in a cabin, played tennis alone, hiked, cycled and basically chilled. My conflict with staying home and the thing that pulls me to look for somewhere is this kind of break for the kids. I love getting the kids away and in nature. All of us together. If we had a camper for sure we’d be hiding out somewhere, we’d go wild.
Our friends from Mediterranean countries have all gone home. There are the diehards we need, we must travel types and the let’s take a safe close to home short break types who have left for the summer. I’ve heard of Iceland but mostly it’s Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Greece and Spain. Many are driving where possible. Going home was not an option for us. Our Island home is somewhat closed. Technically we could have gone if we’d been prepared to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks. Turns out that wasn’t really safe. Basically it all seemed too hard. And yet it is a paradox because for me the really hard thing is being away from my family for so long. So hard or harder. We went with what felt right which was not to travel. It was never a really hard choice, just the reality is hard.
I think about a post pandemic travel world. I must admit my desire to fly less in response to global warming is real. But now I wonder if what always felt safe will also have changed. I love Asia and would love to travel Vietnam. I’m not sure I will in a hurry. Even though they have managed the Corona well, I wonder about being so far from home in this new normal. And new it is. There is no return to ‘normal’. Will I feel as carefree as I once did about going anywhere. I went to Thailand 8 weeks pregnant with my fourth child. I’d had a miscarriage before so I knew that could happen but I just didn’t have any fear of things not working out. Perhaps it was an age thing. Or perhaps this massive life event really takes us into our fragility.
The travellers at the airport appeared carefree. Most wearing a mask, some removing as soon as they were allowed. This was the same as the train. It’s only mandatory on the train. I wondered if travel is one of those things that is simply about getting back on the horse? The supermarket was like that for me. I didn’t go for 7 odd weeks. Not for fear of getting the virus but the vibe was weird. In the week before quarantine was coming I just couldn’t stand the fear driven anger and rush. So I stayed away.
As long as we move safely I see the importance of creating income for small businesses. Most people here are going close to home. International travel here is like interstate travel in Australia and often even closer. I see the real need for some people to take a break to be nearer (at a distance) to people. I understand people returning home when you are isolated in a country that is not your own. I’m just not ready to join yet.
I’m definitely getting intentional about how travel will look for us in the future. We will travel again and embrace the wild travel we love. And I will save my carbon points to fly home – I need and my kids need to stay connected with our Island home. My confidence and desire for world travel may be changed though. I’ve never subscribed to a bucket list as I don’t want to HAVE to do something at any cost. Of course though there are many places I would have liked to visit that I now may never. And that seems blissfully ok.
4 thoughts on “How Much Will Change In The World Of Travel? Have you?”
Hi Fran, love this post … Travel – I think it is time for all us to stay home and enjoy the land that we are on … I thought about this a lot in 2018 Spain – when I was walking the Camino – it is time for us to stay put and travel in our own country … we are so subliminally programmed to want to travel and escape and think that is what life is about – but I think “life” is not about travel … travel gives us an escape from life … some people live their whole lives saving up to travel and then when they do – they realise that there is no place like home … In 2010 in Spain on Camino when they knew I was from Australia – they thought I was from like heaven – the place they all wanted to visit – and here I was wandering Spain escaping – wanting to live the dream of travel … PRESENT DAY PAULA – I learnt that a wander down the street is travel … you make it what you want … Italy – what do we love – the “family” – “food” – “pasta” – lushness of all fruits and veges … France – what do we love – the “chic(ness)” – the “morsels” that make us want more – the “cheeses” – the vino of the French – the style – the language sounds so sexy … MY RESPONSE SOUNDS CONVOLUTED on reading it back to myself – but I think it is time for us to look at travel – not as escape but to look at where we are and appreciate the beauty of the country – the originality of the country and embrace it – we are lucky to be living where we are … Hope I make sense … just sharing … I am loving your writings … you have a soulful way of writing …
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Hey friend! I love reading this not convoluted at all. I guess sometimes we need the escape. I loved taking time out and away to work out where and what next. And at various times in my life travel has been the right answer for me. I like the anonymity and immersion of just being elsewhere. But the escape isn’t the answer in itself, it just created some beautiful space and more questions! I agree we travel every day. It’s one long camino this life. And getting settled, at peace, happy, embracing those things we love in other cultures while accepting life in all its forms in our everyday lives should be the escape, the reality we create for ourselves. Senses open, gratitude on. I still love moving about this land, it feels more like where I’m connected. Another off track thought … perhaps I’m programmed to be here on a genetically cellular level. These are my ancestral lands. But I know it’s a privilege to be able to explore this. Travel to me has become the icing, I don’t ever want to go simply to not be here. I want to travel to continue to ‘be’. Ha now I’m sounding convoluted. Another though, it’s nice to take a break for the planet and also to leave the space for those who have yet to travel. For the young people who want to see, feel the world. F x
Discovered your blog by chance and I love your posts.
We’ve usually travelled a lot, once or twice long travel (halfway across the world) per year and a lot of extended weekend or weekly travel within Europe. This year, we stay in Denmark and hoping that we could travel to another European country by late this year.
I don’t know if the pandemic would change our way of travel, I assume once vaccines are discovered and distributed, the world would goes back to normal, at least that’s what we’re hoping for.
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Hi! Nice of you to pop in. I look forward to catching up on your posts as we head south on a long drive tomorrow. I enjoy your kind of blog too musings of travel and daily life. It’s interesting isn’t it. I guess I hope for a little change. I think the world probably flew way too much. I hope travel will still happen of course (my island home is not a boat ride away!) but maybe there will be a shift to more sustainable travel … less mass tourism. Less impact on the environment. But I guess the reduction in business travel which will no doubt occur will play a large role in this.
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