importance of travel

How staying indoors helped me see travelling in a new light

The pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns changed my views on travelling. I’d learn to value it more.
By

After months of being cooped up inside the four walls of my home due to the pandemic, I was desperate to travel again. Somewhere, anywhere. When I read governments are opening their borders and lifting restrictions, I was thrilled. Finally, I could spend time outdoors. I wanted to walk in nature, listen to the sounds of crashing waves, or see snow-clad hills.

I still remember vividly how travelling to other parts of the country would help me see my worldviews in a new light. Meeting new people and understanding different cultures used to be the highlight of my trips. Stuck at home, I could only look at the pictures of the past and think about the good old days. But as I was thinking about the past, my excitement turned into introspection. I realised I can no longer continue my old, irresponsible ways of travelling. The pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns have changed my views on travelling. Here is what I have learned about the importance of travelling while staying indoors.

Create as many memories as you can

As bad as the pandemic has been, it has also been a wake-up call for us. Before the pandemic, I seldom thought that life doesn’t mean forever. Time is fleeting and life is meant to be lived. Earlier, I would often postpone or cancel my trips, and watch Netflix instead of going out. I used to make excuses just so I can binge-watch my favourite shows. After several lockdowns, I realised what I’d missed. Now, I am determined to make up for the lost time. Life is short and we can’t take it for granted. Whether it is the people in my life, places I’ve been to, or memories I have created, I have learned to cherish everything.

You cannot take the planet for granted

The Covid-19 pandemic brought the travel industry to a standstill. No one could venture outside and feed their wanderlust. But as we stayed home, the environment began to heal. A study says that Gujarat observed a significant reduction in major air pollutants during the lockdown. Likewise, several other cities experienced similar environmental changes. Now that the restrictions are being lifted, the onus is on us to make sure we don’t repeat past mistakes, especially when it comes to travelling. I for one have decided to take a sustainable approach to travel. Activities such as packing light, not using plastics, and not littering can be really helpful in reducing the waste we generate. We don’t have second earth and we cannot it for granted anymore.

A little spontaneity can bring joy into your life

How many times have you said ‘no’ to travel plans just because it was made at the last minute? Chances are quite a few times. Sticking to a schedule is fine as it brings order into your life. However, it can also make life mundane. This is why being open to spontaneous events is a good idea. At least, that’s what I have learned as it can help you experience the richness of life. Moreover, spontaneity makes travel much more fun as one has no idea what will happen next. You can just hop into your car and let your sense of adventure and curiosity lead the way.

Nothing is as important as your health

More than anything, the pandemic has made me realise that nothing is as important as my health. I have taken both doses of vaccines, and follow all the safety rules before stepping out. I know that small actions such as wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, and eating healthy meals can be the difference between life and death. More so when you’re travelling to a new city. We shouldn’t think the pandemic is gone just because we can travel now.

Build relationships with people from different cultures

When I was stuck at home living all by myself, staying in touch with friends and family members helped me endure the lockdowns. These were the same friends who I had met when I travelled to their places before the pandemic. Talking to them helped me gain valuable knowledge about their cultures. The conversations were more interesting as we knew very little about each other. This was a reminder of why we should build relationships with people from different cultures.

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