It’s no secret — the travel industry is struggling. Cities, even countries, are locking down. Airlines are holding flights. Agencies are cancelling tours. As soon as the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) predicted that the international travel and tourism industry will have to cut 50 million jobs. And yet here we are, declaring that we still believe in travel.
Hope keeps us alive
We can’t deny that the growing number of COVID-19 victims overwhelms us. We can’t hide the fact that we, too, get frustrated over our helplessness. While we’re blessed enough to maintain our jobs by staying at home, we often feel restless because of our lack of control over our situation right now.
But we soldier on. We remind ourselves that we are in a very special position to keep inspiring others. And while we can’t make travel happen today, we are absolutely certain that we will make travel happen someday. Whenever that day may come, we will be ready for it.
Also read: A Love Letter to My Dream Destinations: BRB, I’ll See You Soon
Doing our part
Compared to everything the world is going through right now, lusting for travel is a luxurious problem. Yet even when we look at it that way, our hearts can’t help but long for adventure.
Obviously, the community quarantine limits our travel goals. But if staying at home is what we can do to help flatten the curve of this COVID-19 pandemic, we can’t complain. After all, each one of us wants to heal this world — in any and every way that we can. It just so happens that staying at home is one of the best things we can do in our power. So we do it, even when it hurts.
But, we still believe in travel. We still believe that travel cures wounds, which is why we are also aching for trips right now. We still believe that travel has countless benefits; it’s a form of self-care, too. Most of all, we still believe that, sometimes, travel is a need more than it is a want.
Having a radical mindset shift
Amid COVID-19, we still believe in travel. However, it goes without saying that the pandemic has changed the travel scene drastically. Undoubtedly, it has changed us, too. Hopefully in a good way.
People who are born to travel don’t let limitations hinder them from exploring. Since the community quarantine was imposed, we’ve only been challenged to explore the world differently. From virtual museum tours to travel-inspired Netflix parties, we’re only learning about more and more ways to explore the world from our homes.
Also read: 10 Signs You Were Meant To Be A Traveller
Weeks of circling our houses have brought us to an epiphany — travel is more than just picturesque sights or exciting destinations. We shouldn’t restrict the idea of it to booking flights or going on tours. Travel is more than just the stamps on our passports, or our approved visa applications, or the many keychains and refrigerator magnets we’ve collected through the years. “Travel is,” as Paul Theroux wrote in Fresh Air Fiend: Travel Writings, “a state of mind.”
Not being able to circle the world does not make us lesser travellers. When we are travellers by heart, we can find new things to be excited about every day. We’ve learned that travel is also about the new foreign recipe we’re about to cook. It’s about the new war memoir we’re about to read. It’s about the new lessons we’re bound to learn for the day.
Life’s a trip
To go on — this is how the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word “travel.” Always moving forward; always looking ahead.
With the COVID-19 pandemic only seeming to worsen, we find ourselves in a gruelling situation. But as travellers, we know that we, indisputably, can go on. And we can help others go on as well.
We’re now embracing our new role as travellers. From here on out, we’ll want to make travel happen in all its definitions. Particularly, making this journey called life purposeful and thrilling — wherever we may be.
After all, life’s a trip. So for as long as we live, we will continue to believe in travel.