With the virus invading the world with its gruesome tireless claws, we travellers had to sadly close down on our checklist scrapbooks, close the doors on us and lock ourselves in. Horrible, we’d say. Helpless, we feel more than ever. But, as travelling teaches us the main idea of optimism, we can’t help but imagine going back to the road – that’s where we belong, after all! But how, when and where, is the question lurking our minds and not letting us sleep. What it would be like to travel in a post-COVID world? When do we get back to where we love it the most – near to the misty cold mountains, dipping our feet in the ocean and letting them sink in the sand, let the clouds tickle our nose-tips with snow-chilling air, and the shells and small fishes play on our feet with the loud buzz of the ocean wind ringing in our ears. We are dreamers by heart and itinerary-specialists by the mind – and looks like, someone just caged us in. Unfair!
To save you with another hit of optimism, here we bring a guide list on how it would be like to travel again, when COVID leaves the world, for good! Here are the answers:
Air travel, Nay – Road trips, Yay!
With social distancing becoming the need of the hour, soon we might let go of our masks and face shields, but it would be long before we would like to get back in the crowd and rub our shoulders with other people and not maintain the six-inch-distance game. Air travel, though, all over the world are struggling to come up with the idea of social distancing and still carry you from one place to another, it might be a little while before you’d volunteer to lose the safety game and get back to the window or the aisle seat, and worst, the middle seat.
So, road trips! The age-old practice of reuniting to the road, with the handpicked people you love to travel with, the numerous Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’sof the world putting the fantasies back in our mind, might be the best practice to get to the traveller’s game back, in the post-COVID world. Imagine, forgetting about the aisle and the bend-your-leg-to-let-the-other-person-out-to-their-lavatory-cravings, and getting to the hood-less cars, with Country Roads playing on a loop, and of course, in full volume. The inside jokes and nearby destinations – the newest wanderlust!
Boutique hotels before Dormitories
Even if we make it out of this pandemic alive, it will be long before we will be able to shed our traumas behind. Sanitation, hygiene will become the new cool while cheap stays, dorms and hostels will have to take a backseat. We will be choosing places, maybe boutique hotels, and not just for the lavish experience, but also for their safety measures and proper sanitation hygiene. A drill in the pocket is any day better than a day in the hospital, ain’t it? So, here we will be looking out, with a little more budget for a more expensive stay, and our outlooks are about to change.
Nature will have more to offer
With the world getting to rest awhile in between all the hustle, it will be more soothing than ever. So, really it wouldn’t matter where you go, it will all be more beautiful. The hills will be cleaner, with man-made garbage decomposed on its own, the oceans will be clearer and the sky wouldn’t be invaded by the industrial smoke and higher AQIs. Breathe in!
Offbeat places will become a favourite
To avoid the crowd and be in a silent serene place, it would be best to choose an offbeat place as your next destination – where selected vehicles take you, where the roads and the souvenir shops are not swarming with tourists. You will feel the need to disconnect from the world and with a place where only handpicked people go, it might just give you the proper detox you are craving for all this while. The lockdown bogging on us with only screens to look at and it being the only possible way of connecting to the world, it might be a necessary detox you’d need. So, good luck!
Home destinations will be the new foreign
As airlines still figure out to keep the ticket prices affordable for us travellers while letting us travel safe, we might look inward to our country destinations. With trains and buses being our saviour, we will be taking trips to safer, closer to home destinations and get to know our country better, After all, every country is their countrymen’s travelling paradise. And getting to know it better, will also be a cheaper way to travel, a safer one and who knows, you might just fall in love with the contours of your country more than ever?
The Dora The explorer in us will be a little scared
They say that there’s only one way to fall in love with a new place – let it seep into your heart through your stomach. We like to stroll to the old lanes of the destinations, speak to people and explore their cuisine. While exploring the roads and the lanes and the language will still be a safer format to know the place, you might just be little apprehensive about the food. But, that will never stop us from exploring and falling in love with places, anyway!
COVID-19 has grappled the world into a fear of the unknown. We, looking out of our windows and dreaming of our trips, can’t wait for the world to restart again. Holding our travel scrapbooks close, we can’t wait to run, fall, and never ever stop! But, this time, we will need to plan a little better, jot a few more lines into our itineraries, dig up a little more research, have a little more budget and bam, we will be back to the roads again. And although it still feels like a distant dream, dreams do turn true. Cheers!
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I am a freelance author – mostly writing on art, culture and fiction. I have had my short stints as a journalist for NDTV’s entertainment page and as a photographer for People’s Archive Of Rural India. I contribute to Maktoob Media, mainly as a film critic. I also have been running a blog called ‘Pen In Loose Grip.’ for the last six years. When not working, I can be found in a corner, curled up with a book, dreaming of hills and seas and everything fiercely peaceful.