If you are anything like me, a travel junkie, then you might also be suffering from a severe case of wanderlust in the time of COVID-19.
As an empath, I can’t help but feel for the people that might have finally built up the courage to book their first solo trip this summer. Or the seasoned traveler that at last quit their job to travel around the world this year.
So, in efforts to help ease and cure wanderlust in this time of isolation, I wanted to share with you a few meditative thoughts and tips.
Sometimes to rise, we have to stand still.
And I will not be talking about virtual tours or printing your travel photos and hanging them up around your house. However, if you are interested in virtual travel tours, you can check out the Lonely Planet’s list of countries that are offering virtual tours right now.
1. Togetherness and Interconnectedness
If this global pandemic teaches us one thing, it is that nothing exists separately in this world we live in. Everything is intricately interconnected.
Seeing how fast a disease can spread across the globe from a remote village in China, really puts into perspective the effect we can have on the whole planet. It wasn’t one person that spread it, it was a collective act.
Imagine what we can collectively do to protect our planet in the future??
Anyways, I’m finding comfort in knowing that we are all going through this together. It feels a little tribal and it’s bringing out the empath in a lot of us.
This video by Visit Portugal is a beautiful message for all of us travelers right now:
You are not suffering solo. A lot of us are experiencing wanderlust right now. A lot of us are flipping through pictures from past trips feeling extremely nostalgic.
But, staying at home now is all we can do to start traveling sooner rather than later!
2. Travel is a Privilege
Feeling like the world is off-limits at the moment, got me thinking about how much of a privilege it is to be able to travel the world freely whenever we desire.
Thinking about all the people who have been living in a state of political unrest, war, and poverty for many years now. I just can not imagine living a life without the freedom to travel. Ever.
Travel for many of us has brought about lots of value, flavor, culture, and love into our lives. So, together we can practice gratitude for all those things that travel has brought to us.
And next time we are able to hop on a plane, we will be extremely thankful for that privilege we have.
3. Re-exploring the Known
As travelers, we are always on the go. We are constantly working hard to save up for the next adventure that we sometimes forget about the beauty that surrounds us and that’s within us.
Now that we are at home saving lives by not socially gathering or traveling, it is a great opportunity to travel within the known—our neighborhood and our Imagination.
Through this exploration, we will develop a new appreciation for the simple things.
The sunlight that comes through our windows, the blossoming trees that line our streets, the trail close by, the old bike in our garage, the birds and insects that seem happier than ever before.
We will fall in love with the little things and that will make us even better travelers.
Next time we are facing a majestic mountain or a breathtaking sunset on a beach, we will intentionally take in every single moment of that beauty in front of our eyes.
4. Responsible Travel
Now that we can clearly see the interconnectedness of things, we know better. We understand the impact we can have on mother Earth.
When we travel again, we will care for this Earth and the wellbeing of the people and animals around us. We will do our best to travel responsibly. We will reduce our waste and footprint wherever we go. Maybe even some of us will develop a new passion for volunteer travel!
There are studies out there that prove the planet is showing signs of healing due to less traffic and carbon emissions. Maybe a lot more people will adopt this car-less lifestyle even after the COVID-19 passes?
Also, since more people are working remotely, this might mean less pollution and paper waste from offices and more freedom and travel in the future? Now that’s work-life balance!
5. The Wonders Still Remain
Fact: The world’s wonders will still be here when this virus passes.
Stay home now so that we can travel later.
The Andes, the Pyramids, the Mayan Ruins, the Machu Picchu, and all the other wonders and beauties will be there.
We will have another chance to marvel at their greatness and wonder how the heck did people of ancient civilizations build this??
Watch this video for some inspiration from South Africa:
I take comfort in knowing that there will be another chance to travel soon and it will be even better than before.
6. Plan for the Future
I know that a lot of us might not be in the mood to even think about travel for a while. Some may even be feeling their wanderlust diminish day by day during the quarantine.
I’m feeling it too and I never thought I could feel that way as an avid solo traveler.
However, what if we took the time to imagine where we want to go as soon as we can travel again?
Where will we go??
Here is what I recommend right now to help revive our wanderlust
- Re-write that old bucket list
- Grab a world map and look up countries that you never considered traveling to
- Create a mood board for a few new destinations
- Create connections with people who are also travelers on social media and discuss travel plans, old and new
- Only if you can, save a little bit of money for a future trip
7. Our Biggest Lesson
Our biggest lesson, in my opinion, is that things can change very very quickly.
Nothing is permanent. Not our jobs, not our homes, not our loved ones, not our health, and not even our planet. So what can we do about it?
Well, we can learn to take more chances on us and more risks in life.
This pandemic has made it clear to us that experiences and humans matter more than anything else.
That we need to go on that trip before its too late. That we should say “I love you” when we feel it. That we need to forgive others and let go of the fear or the baggage that is holding us back from living more vivaciously.
What is your biggest take away so far? I’d love to hear it in the comments below.