Over the past couple of months, I noticed that I’ve been sharing more #throwback travel photos than usual. With the quarantine situation right now, it’s no secret that I miss travelling. I mean, don’t we all? As a TripZilla reader, travel probably tops your list of pre-quarantine pleasures that you miss, too.
Also read: A Love Letter to My Dream Destinations: BRB, I’ll See You Soon
What we miss about travelling
We miss our favourite destinations and everything that comes with them: Otherworldly sceneries we can’t find anywhere else. The taste of authentic ethnic cuisine. The excitement of getting lost. Our long-distance friends — and for some of us, our long-distance lovers. Oh, how we miss them.
Also read: Amid COVID-19, We Still Believe In Travel
We miss the excitement over approved vacation leaves and tourist visas. We even miss the challenges leading up to the actual trip! Like the struggles of saving up for our travel fund. Or the tediousness of creating itineraries. We also miss our drawing barkadas, even when they used to annoy the heck out of us.
We miss all things travel, but that’s not so surprising. Do you know what is so surprising to me? As the days go by, I find myself missing the most mundane pre-quarantine pleasures. Most of them aren’t even related to travel at all.
Other pre-quarantine pleasures we miss
1. Eating out
Before the quarantine, I was not a huge fan of eating out. As a homebody and a cheapskate, I’d much rather cook my own food and enjoy my meals at home. But these crazy times have led me to crave dishes that I just couldn’t recreate.
More than restaurant dishes, though, I miss getting to eat with my friends. I miss laughing too loud over a dinner reunion. I miss tasting all the different orders of my friends.
Oh, and how can I forget? I miss eating out alone, too! Just two months ago, I could dine at my favourite restaurant by the sea. I’d be sipping cocktails and devouring pizza while watching the sunset. Oh, how things have changed.
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2. Playing sports
Surfing has been such a blessing to my mental health. I miss everything about it. The waves, the sun against the sea. The adrenaline rush. Wahines firing on girl power. I got myself a balance board and I watch surfing documentaries during my spare time, but I really miss the actual sport.
Meanwhile, my brother misses climbing. Weeks before the quarantine, he just got into the sport. Of course, indoor climbing gyms have shut down. He’s sadly resorted to climbing our doorways. (Not fun for anyone in the house, I must say.)
3. Watching movies on the big screen
Sure, there are several interesting films on Netflix. But sometimes, I just want the full theatre-experience. The big screen, along with its magnificent surround sound, has its way of truly pulling the audience in. Whenever I watch a movie in the cinema, I’m always more involved in the visual storytelling process.
It’s also more thrilling to watch a movie with strangers. Somehow, there’s an inexplicable feeling of togetherness whenever the rest of the audience reacts to scenes as you would. The silence during a suspenseful event. Or the laughter during a comedic one. Even the suppressed kilig squeals when a love story unfolds! When these reactions fill the theatre, you suddenly appreciate the beauty of humanity. Plus, it’s cool to feel connected with people you don’t know.
Also read: 10 Streaming Sites for Your Next Binge-Watching Session
4. Grocery shopping (in peace)
This sounds mundane, but grocery shopping is one of the pre-quarantine pleasures that I really miss right now. Remember when it was easy? When we didn’t have to worry about getting infected by a deadly virus? Remember when waiting in line didn’t take hours? Or when there was enough toilet paper for everyone?
Once upon a time, grocery shopping was fun. It was a weekly activity I’d actually look forward to. Online grocery shopping just doesn’t give us the same thrill.
5. Shopping second hand
Since I pledged to be as low-waste as possible, I’ve minimised my brand new purchases. From clothes to books, second hand stores have been my go-to… until, of course, the quarantine happened.
Sure, there are online ukay-ukay stores now. But, I’m still hesitant about buying clothes without fitting them first. I’m running out of books to read, too. What’s worse? I’ve become so, so fragile when it comes to online shopping. (I’m having eco-anxiety just remembering all my online orders from last week.)
Also read: 10 Best Ukay-Ukay Spots Around the Philippines
6. Watching the news regularly
Who else has avoided watching the news since the quarantine started? I know I have. It’s painful to admit, but I’m trying my best to take care of my mental health.
Watching the news and seeing our COVID-19 cases increase is taking a toll on me. So there, I’ve quit watching the news instead. (Disclaimer: I still get my healthy dose of news updates from news sites. But, I miss watching the news as my very own form of entertainment.)
Also read: Social Media Stress: How To Survive It Without Deactivating Your Accounts
7. Going to church
We’re sure blessed with the technology to watch church sermons online — there’s no doubt about that. The church I belong to does a really good job streaming their services! But still, I miss the actual act of going to church. I miss hugging my friends. I miss our spontaneous plans of meeting over coffee to share pains and victories. With video calls, everything has to be scheduled!
I miss meeting some of my favourite people in the world; and I miss praying for and with them. I miss singing praise and worship, engulfed in a crowd of worshippers so on fire with the Lord. I miss shaking the hand of the person next to me, and welcoming them if it’s their first time. It sucks being away from family — even if it’s a family composed of people we’re not related to.
8. Hugging and kissing babies
While we’re on the topic of social interactions, let me say: I miss babies. Never in my pre-quarantine life did I expect to say this, as I’m not really a baby person. But now that I only get to see my inaanaks on Instagram, I realise how much I enjoy playing with them.
With this virus, I would never want to expose them to any risks. So, I will probably have to extend my distancing from them until it’s absolutely safe. I miss them so much!
9. Volunteering for various events
Before the quarantine, I used to pour out all my extra time and energy into volunteering. Beach clean-ups. Speaking engagements. Ministry activities. Teaching kids. Obviously, I can’t do any of those now.
Fortunately, there are now so many ways to help from home. But to be honest, nothing beats volunteering in person. It’s extra empowering when you are surrounded by people who share your advocacies, you know?
Also read: COVID-19 Heroes: These Pinoys Use Their Skills To Fight The COVID-19 Crisis
10. Smiling at friends, acquaintances, and strangers
I guess this wraps up this whole list of pre-quarantine pleasures I absolutely miss right now. Before this pandemic, we had so many chances to smile at one another. We could smile at our office mates, and somehow our haggard days turn around. We could smile at our security guards who tirelessly greet us whenever we pass them.
Even strangers, we could smile at! Someone we’re standing next to in the elevator. Or someone who hands over our pamasahe in the jeepney. We miss the days we could smile at everyone — without the fear of taking off our face masks.
Also read: COVID-19 Lockdown Reflection: 9 Things I Realise I Take For Granted
There are so many pre-quarantine pleasures that I now realise I’ve taken for granted. I miss normal life, and I can’t wait for all of this to be over. But while it’s not, I remember to be extra grateful for every morning I wake up. And I might as well smile for my next Zoom party.