Rethinking Travel – what does the future hold?

No Trip Phobia Meme - the fear of not having any trips booked.

Well, who would have thought it? Here we are ten months down the Covid19 track and the World is still in a holding pattern.

I put my hand up and admit to being one of those ‘Pollyanna’-types, at the start I was thinking that it would all be over in a couple of months and we would be back traveling and adventuring in no time. But, No.

It has been a year of travel sadness, disappointment and frustration. As much as I tried to rationalise this in my little brain that it:

  • is ‘just’ travel
  • is a first-World problem, and
  • is really an optional extra in life’s landscape,

I still couldn’t help but grieve for what could have been.

So, what did travel in 2020 look like? And will we ever be able to travel internationally again?

Stupa at Kathmandu
Dreaming of Kathmandu

Nepal: We started 2020 very excited with a trek to Everest Base Camp scheduled for mid-March. Our timing could not have been worse. One week before departure we got the fatal email. CANCELLED.

Being Eternal Optimists, we rescheduled the trip to 20 November 2020. Surely Covid19 would be a dim, dark memory by then? What planet was I on? CANCELLED.

Reality has finally dawned and now we are not game to plan any international travel for 2021. Instead, we will use our travel credits for an Aussie walking adventure and chalk up our losses (about $800) to experience.

Spain: I was beside myself with excitement to walk a combo camino – combining the Camino Madrid, Camino San Salvador and Camino Primitivo – setting out from Madrid in early May. CANCELLED of course.

Camino shell tile
Dreaming of Spain

Qatar Airways have given me a long lead-time to rebook, so the dream is not dead…just in hibernation for a while. I am not looking forward to the hoards of pilgrims, just like me, stampeding back to Spain in 2022.

Exploring My Own Backyard:  The upside of Covid19 (if there is one) is that it has encouraged us to explore our own backyards. While it is not the same as jetting off overseas to an exotic destination, it has been just as enjoyable and has opened my eyes to the many wonderful places we have in our own state of New South Wales. I can’t include ‘Australia’ in this description as most of our country’s internal borders have been stubbornly and strictly closed all year.

Highlights of the year include:

Martin Luther King Monument, Washington DC
Dreaming of Washington, DC
  • a reunion of fabulous friends in fabulous Hobart, Tasmania (squeezed in before Covid19 became a thing)
  • a mini culture-break in Canberra, ACT
  • two days of sublime walking in the sea air along the Kiama coastline
  • some interesting day trips to places around my home town.

Not a bad list when you think it has been a time of lockdown, social distancing and general uncertainty.

Blogging Challenges: From a blogging perspective, I have struggled with the fact that I write a travel blog and yet I can’t travel. How interested will my readers be in a blog that doesn’t have lift off to far flung destinations? Is plain, old Australia exotic enough?  

I have done my best and have kept plugging away with a renewed focus on domestic travel posts, and refuse to revert to the almost daily sharing of flower photos like some of the travel blogs I follow. Yes, they are pretty flowers, but they do not feed my wanderlust.

Walking through the streets of Siena, Italy
Dreaming of Siena, Italy

So, how will I travel in the future?

Gratitude:  I will travel with even more gratitude that I have in the past and treasure each, and every, opportunity to travel as a true privilege.

Quality vs Quantity:  I think I will travel more consciously and attempt to connect more deeply with the destination rather than skimming across the surface in pursuit of colourful stamps in my passport.

Safety:  No longer will I take for granted my ability to step onto a plane in one country and leap off into another. The focus will now be on the safest way to travel with an eye on health and hygiene driving the ultimate destination choice. Travel insurance will not cover us for any Covid-related illness, so we will need to choose carefully. I wonder if that will create a whole new classification of tourism destination winners and losers? And how will that impact their people and their economy?

Packing: Hiking boots, shorts, hat, walking poles, hand sanitiser, wipes, mask, vaccine. I am not sure what I will need to leave at home to make space for all the new hygiene gear in my backpack, but it will be a small price to pay to get on the road again.

Petronas Towers at night, Kuala Lumpur Malyasia
Dreaming of South East Asia

Travel Planning:  Being in the +50 (cough, cough) age group, Covid19 has made me highly conscious that we need to prioritise adventures and the kind of active travel that we want to do while we are fit and healthy. I have no intentions of shuffling off this mortal coil anytime soon, but who knows when ‘normal’ travel will resume?

2020 has been a real learning year. All that non-travel has provided plenty of spare time to reflect on:

  • Why do I write a travel blog? And should I keep going with it even when international travel is off the agenda?
  • Why is travel so important to me? Why does it make me feel so complete? And bring me so much joy?

I am not sure I have the answers to these questions yet, but I will keep working on it.

Happy travels to you all.

What will your 2021 travel year look like?

Walking into St Peter's Square, Rome at the end of the Via Francigena
Dreaming of another 1000km through Italy

#dreamingoftravel #exploringyourbackyard #travelinspo #travelplanning #bucketlisttravel

39 thoughts on “Rethinking Travel – what does the future hold?

  1. 100 Country Trek December 16, 2020 / 1:02 pm

    Yes..this has been a disaster..all our flights cancelled…hoping we can get back to reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure December 20, 2020 / 5:55 pm

      I think it will be a new kind of reality and each of us will have a completely different one. Happy planning and dreaming of travel.

      Like

  2. I’ve Bean Travelling December 16, 2020 / 1:22 pm

    Great thoughts and I totally agree with you on looking at future travel with more gratitude. Also, prioritizing active/adventure travel while we are young, healthy, and able!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure December 20, 2020 / 5:54 pm

      Our adventures will wait for us and in the meantime, we need to make the most of every day! I think I am starting to sound like a greeting card! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. suburban tracker December 16, 2020 / 4:21 pm

    I do not expect normal travelling to resume in 2021. Another shutdown just started with us in Germany (after 6 weeks of a softer lockdown), quite disturbing. Vaccination of population said to last until Autumn 2021, and who knows for sure what will happen in 2 or 3 months?! More backyard travelling guaranteed in 2021, however I was really not disappointed by it this year (also much cheaper and highly more relaxed definitely!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure December 20, 2020 / 5:53 pm

      We have been watching Germany’s progress on our TV and feel the sadness that all your ‘normal’ Christmas rituals such as your beautiful Christmas markets are not happening this year. Much more important to take care and stay safe so that we can all enjoy travel again in the future. All the best for Christmas.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. restlessjo December 16, 2020 / 6:54 pm

    I often ask myself why i feel the need to travel, Mel. My husband is perfectly content to stay home and enjoy what we have. It’s pure self indulgence, isn’t it? We didn’t have any big plans for this year other than to travel a little in Portugal and see our youngster at Christmas. I’ve got my tiny tree up but I have to admit my heart is not bursting with joy at the moment. Still, I try to remain grateful for what we have. What will you be doing this festive season? 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure December 20, 2020 / 5:51 pm

      I keep thinking about all the Christmas dinners around tables around the World that will be missing loved family members due to Covid19. There will be much sadness for many people who are mourning the death of loved ones or the many international borders that are closed. I will raise a glass to all those people on the day and be super thankful for my own small gathering on our front verandah. I am thinking prawns on the BBQ for lunch! Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. margaret21 December 16, 2020 / 7:27 pm

    Well of course your local travels are interesting. For a Brit who’s never visited Australasia, your outings are exotic and tantalising. Keep posting. Much as I regret travelling for holidays being restricted, I’m one of the huge band that’s prevented from seeing family members who live abroad, and I find that even tougher. So that’s my wish for 2021 – to see family again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Life...One Big Adventure December 20, 2020 / 5:33 pm

      Thanks so much for the feedback. It is easy for us to take our own country for granted and not see it as exotic. I am loving all the snowy photos you Northern Hemispherers are sharing. A true Christmas wonderland. I am sorry your Festive Season is not turning out like you had hoped. Hopefully it is a small price to pay for everyone to stay safe and healthy.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. pam@ichoosethis December 17, 2020 / 2:21 am

    I know exactly how you feel!! I for one, want to see your stories about Australia and what the local peeps do for fun. Exploring our backyard has been really fun, but I can’t lie, I am DYING to go some place internationally. We have a trip to Africa booked for next summer (cancelled from this year), but honestly, not sure I will feel comfortable just yet. And I agree, we need to be doing the more difficult travel while we still have good health. Cheers to being in the 50 crowd friend! Next year will fly by and before you know it, you’ll be on the Camino 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. rkrontheroad December 17, 2020 / 4:48 am

    As with you, I had a couple of great trips planned this year. They were both with NGO projects – Habitat in Myanmar and Earthwatch in Brazil. They were both put on hold, and hoping those possibilities will come through again sometime but I’m thinking 2022-ish, to be realistic. In the meantime, remembering older journeys!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure December 20, 2020 / 5:29 pm

      Perhaps this year has been all about appreciation for what we have done and seen in the past, rather than a constant focus on future adventures? We just need to stay positive and stay healthy to enjoy it all again when the borders open again.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The Travel Architect December 21, 2020 / 2:21 pm

    I can’t really explain why I need to travel. Why are people into whatever they’re into, be it bird-watching, motorcycle racing, or stamp collecting? I don’t know… probably a hundred different reasons. I just know that it’s a need. It’s not necessary for survival, but it is for my happiness. I just booked our spring break trip to Palm Springs, California, and boy did my spirits soar when I hit “buy” on those airline tickets. It’s something of a risk, but we’ve got ourselves mostly covered with the ability to reschedule free of charge, etc.
    As for international travel, there were a few weeks there when I thought, “Hey, maybe we CAN reschedule the Spain/Andorra/France trip this summer,” but with the latest news on the virus mutations in the UK, I’m beginning to have my doubts again. Time will tell, I guess…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure December 26, 2020 / 4:19 pm

      Yes, it is interesting to consider where this wanderlust comes from and why some people suffer from it more than others? For me it is actually a physical longing or gap in my life. When I step onto that plane and off again in a strange country it is like I am laying down a challenge to myself to make the most of this fish-out-of-water experience. Equally, I love getting back on the plane to come home, recharge the batteries and then get ready to do it all over again. Wishing that all your travel dreams come true in 2021 and that you stay happy and healthy to enjoy it all! Take care, Mel

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Monkey's Tale December 23, 2020 / 7:40 am

    I hear you! Mel we nominated you today for the Travel Challenge. 10 pics, 10 days no explanation, nominate 10 people. If you’re not interested it’s fine, or it you just want to do a couple of days not 10, that’s fine too. Otherwise hope you gave a great holiday season! 🎄🎅

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure December 26, 2020 / 4:21 pm

      Thanks for the nomination for the Travel Challenge. Life has been a bit frantic of late and I haven’t had time to dig around and share my photos. I have loved all of yours, of course. One post a week is all I can manage at the moment! 😉 Take care and Merry Christmas, Melx

      Like

  10. francesantonia December 31, 2020 / 4:18 am

    Aw there you are! What a lovely photo. And what a flipping crazy year. Contemplating an end of year newsy post so popped in to catch up. Always love catching up on where you’re at! I think you’ve done a fab job of blogging through the year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure December 31, 2020 / 7:51 am

      Thanks for your kind words. Yes, it has been a weird year (and I suspect that 2021 may be equally wobbly), but we just need to be flexible, like one of those blow-up bopping clowns that you knock down and it springs back up! Perhaps that is something we have learned on the few long strolls we have done?? Take care and bring on 2021! Melx

      Liked by 1 person

      • francesantonia December 31, 2020 / 7:51 pm

        There’s no doubt 2021 will be much of the same! Enjoy the summer reprieve. Ha and yes … we will walk through it and along the world trails again! And won’t breathing in that air be something. Have a lovely New Year down under lady! F x

        Liked by 1 person

        • Life...One Big Adventure January 1, 2021 / 9:19 am

          And a Happy New Year to you too. Somehow I think it is going to be up to us to make it happy! More power to us! Take care, Melx

          Liked by 1 person

          • francesantonia January 1, 2021 / 5:26 pm

            Truth. Just reading the morning papers across the globe … maybe I should give that up!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Life...One Big Adventure January 2, 2021 / 8:25 am

            No, don’t give that up as it is important to stay informed. Maybe just be selective, read with a measured eye and don’t let it dampen your dreams and plans.

            Like

  11. AroundtheworldAmie January 2, 2021 / 8:50 pm

    I feel very privileged to have still managed to get in quite a few trips this year (in between chopping and changing regulations- I’m from the UK). I know Australia has been much stricter with locking down of boarders, is international travel still off the cards? As other have mentioned above, Australia couldn’t seem more far-flung and exotic for a Brit in the midst of winter! Keep posting ❤️

    Like

    • Life...One Big Adventure January 3, 2021 / 12:24 pm

      Thanks for the lovely feedback. Yes, our international borders are still closed for most of trying to leave. You can apply for a permit to leave, but I understand they are very difficult to obtain. In the meantime a few thousand people are allowed to fly into Aus each week and you must go into 14 day hotel quarantine (at your expense) before you are permitted to roam freely. How times have changed?? Interestingly, it seems that most of our cases on Covid19 are appearing in people in hotel quarantine, so I guess having our wings severely clipped does have some merit. Take care over there. Our nightly news is telling us you are copping a caning!

      Liked by 1 person

      • AroundtheworldAmie January 6, 2021 / 3:17 am

        Yes, the situation is pretty dire over here, unfortunately! We’ve got all our hopes pinned on a successful vaccine roll-out in the coming months. Hope you’re able to travel again before too long but in the mean time I will look forward to reeding about all your Aussie adventures! Stay Safe.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. Caroline Cormier January 6, 2021 / 7:55 am

    Yes to gratitude and swapping quality for quantity. This year has definitely been a year we’ve had to re-evaluate everything we’ve taken for granted! Hope you can get back on the proverbial road soon 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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