It is clear that 2020 has been the year of disruption. Our lives have all been thrown upside down and day-to-day life has changed dramatically. From working from home to not being able to see friends and family or making any kind of carefree plans. This disruption cannot be more true when we think of travel; planes and trains have been halted, borders have closed and quarantines have been put in place, making leisure travel a rare commodity.
“I miss exploring new places, planning and researching the trip, getting excited, the anticipation. I miss the excitement of getting off the plane where the language, culture, smells, and tastes are different from home.” (Chloe Deuble, globe-trotting mum of two)
The tourism and travel industries have been hit hard by the pandemic and it will be a long time before we can go back to planning holidays with only having to think about budget, destination, and time of year. No more last-minute getaways, searching for the latest deals just to take a little break from work. No more surprise birthday holidays, romantic weekends away, impromptu family trips, or any other form of spontaneous travel. It’s like we have all hit the pause button and, at least for now, although our curiosity about exploring the world is still growing, our window to do so has shrunk considerably.
Sure, the ease of travel came with its own problems. It was only a few months ago that we were all talking about over-tourism and finding more sustainable ways to travel. But one thing is certain: many of us have been taking travel for granted. Instead of relishing in the experience and living in the moment, we were constantly looking for the next must-see destination, bucket-list adventure, or Instagram-worthy shots to share with our friends and then move on.
“I would like everyone to slow down. Take that trip but not cram so much in, maybe go away for longer to make the plane journey ‘worth it’, just like our parents did as it was more expensive back then. To appreciate every little bit and not just jump on a plane for a quick weekend! Explore our local areas.” (Rebecca Redfern, Bébé Voyage Community Manager)
So maybe this is what the pandemic can teach us: to savor our time away, to relish the planning and preparation for our next big trip, to travel more slowly and wisely. To not look at travel as something easily accessible, but instead something to be treasured and not to be taken for granted.
“Traveling after the pandemic, it comes with a new sense of gratitude and determination. Gratitude for the simple things that travel allows – seeing friends and family for the first time in what will feel like forever, meeting new people, finding new places that makes us realize how small the world is (yet how much we have left to explore), and that we have more in common with others than we realize. Determination to get our small family out into the world again and adjust where we need to, probably change our plans on the fly (but isn’t that what travel at any age is about?), and connect with our family, friends, and soon to be friends all over the globe.” (Liz McEachern Hall – Photo Editor Bébé Voyage Photo Editor)
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I love this – definitely re-thinking travel and the meaning of it. Less about “checking off the list” and more about slowing down, immersing into the local culture and enjoying the non-IG worthy moments.