Post 33: #Coronavirus and a global perspective on…#Travel

We’re friends and family from around the world, sharing our experiences and thoughts during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 33. WE DON’T ALWAYS AGREE – nor do we have to! We post our opinions, and those of our guest bloggers, with no censorship.

Dreams. Senses.

RJD, #Beirut, #Lebanon

I woke up to the smell of freshly brewed espresso, the sound of someone walking their dog, a delivery truck driving on cobblestone streets. I opened the curtains and went outside to the terrace and saw the sun rising over the hills of Tuscany and sat, basking in the sun.

Oh, Italia, how I miss you! Home to us, every summer. Today I woke up dreaming of our next excursion in Italy. I get this nagging feeling every spring. But then I really woke up. No vacation this summer in Italy. No vacation anywhere. I realized I was dreaming of the smells, the sounds, the tastes of being on holiday. 

What will the future be like for vacationers? We were planning a trip to the Far East, as well as one to South America, with our normal pit stop in Italy on both trips. Now that is all but not happening. 

I opened my digital photo albums and started reliving all the different places we have visited and sites we’ve seen…Kenyan safari, Tanzanian wildlife parks, Italian beaches, walking through the streets of Dublin, Edinburgh, Paris, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Santorini…and started crying. I still have a lot to see. How will that happen now? 

But what I miss the most is being home with my family, girlfriends in Virginia, sipping Prosecco with Elderflower syrup by the pool. I can hear the sound of laughter and teasing as the younger generation splashes in the pool. The smell of the BBQ grill, the birds chirping, and the tree leaves hissing. I can feel the moment. Are all those good old days gone forever? 

I pray not. 

Where to next?

Tina F., Fairfax, Virginia

It feels like so long ago that travel was taken for granted. I’m sure soon we will return to our travels. We will go to the beach and sit at cafes. We will stroll along the Seine, walk along the Great Wall of China, and climb Mount Everest. Personally, I have dreamt of visiting New Zealand for many years and I look forward to doing that more than ever.

But how will this all take place? Since the onset of the #Coronavirus, we have spent so much time and effort living in fear of this virus. We arm ourselves with masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers before we go out in public. How will we transition to the way it was before?

Will it just start off as a Coronavirus survivors club? Assuming they are all now immune from reinfecting us and themselves, they can essentially return to their pre-corona “normal” life. They can hug and kiss each other. They can go to the beaches. Heck, they can even travel to other countries!

Will they be forming a #COVID-19 survivors club? Maybe they will have “survivors only” buses/planes to transport them to various destinations. I can see the government issuing a permit of “Freedom to Roam” that survivors must carry when out and about. It reminds me of the Dr. Seuss book about the star-bellied Sneeches as they gather on the beaches and don’t let the sneeches without stars take part in their festivities.

I know, I know! Whenever I try to think of life post-corona, my imagination always takes me to a weird hierarchical society. Probably because I fear the unknown or maybe because I have experienced it. But I will hold on to my dream of visiting New Zealand. I have fallen in love with pictures and I hope to physically go there very soon…. so long as they are accepting foreigners….

Have passport, will go home

RafifJ, #Malaga, #Spain

Milan. Paris. Maybe Prague. How about Amsterdam? I love to travel!

When I moved to Spain last year, I was excited at the thought of occasionally catching quick flights to other parts of Europe. The proximity to other places and the cheap airfare were great advantages of being in Malaga, and near an international airport. Sure enough, Adam and I were able to travel a bit in Spain; we also made it to #Rome just ahead of the #Coronavirus.

Since the outbreak, all our planned trips have all been canceled. The long weekend in Milan was the first to go. Then the trip to Paris got canceled. Then the the trip back to the States, when we were planning get-togethers with friends. Now our biggest travel adventure is going to the fresh market down the street.

We are eager to get back to exploring. There are so many places to discover! East, West, North, and South – I want to experience the world, especially now that I realize that our time on this planet is so fleeting.

So I start making a list of places to go. I want to go on an African safari, and I’ve been promising to take that drive across Morocco. I’m eager to sunbathe on new beaches and ready to taste different foods. I can’t wait to experience new cultures, learn a few words of another language, and make new friends. I can be packed and ready to go in 10 minutes!

And then it dawns on me: the reality that, as soon as it’s safe to do so, I will be on the first plane I can find to go to…not the Taj Mahal. Not Victoria Falls. Not the ancient city of Baku, but…McLean, Virginia.

Back to my family (side trip to Montreal) and friends. Because as much as I’d like to taste new foods and meet new people, everything about this lockdown is making me want to run back to what’s familiar. My need to hug Ramsey, my other son, the one who’s back in the US, is far greater than any desire to drive across the desert or ride an elephant. Maybe he’ll come with me on the next trip.

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