With everyone’s travel plans disrupted, we asked people to tell us what their adventurous ambitions as travel starts to open up again
“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”; at least so wrote Robert Burns in 1786. Of course, that remains as true today as it was back then, but I doubt Burns planned to cross oceans in mere hours, pop over for a weekend in a foreign capital just because he could, see a world-class sporting event, or uproot his entire life to move somewhere completely new. Although who can say? He might have been getting thoroughly sick of all that haggis.
Everyone had to put their travel plans and dreams on hold
All of that was basically a very wordy way of telling you something that you’re already more than aware of: travel is nigh on impossible at the moment, and virtually everyone has been affected. Your author, for example, had planned to spend a week or so in Armenia, was looking to visit a friend in California, and had tickets for the Formula One race in Hungary. Doesn’t look like any of that’s happening in the near future!
However it does mean people are realizing that practically unlimited travel is a very modern phenomenon that we all take pretty much for granted. That’s why I took to social media to ask people how travel restrictions had affected their plans and, more importantly, what they’re planning to do when all this is over.
“I’ve realized I’ve waited entirely too long to see my friends in Europe again, and I’m intending to visit Austria and the Czech Republic as soon as I can”
Sarah, a technical program manager, lives in Seattle. “I’ve realized that I’ve waited entirely too long to see my friends in Europe again, and I’m intending to visit Austria and the Czech Republic as soon as I can. I didn’t really have any of those travel plans before this, but I’m sure as hell going to make some as soon as I can.”
That attitude is one that was a common theme; basically a wake-up call to do some of the things you’ve always umm-ed and aah-ed about but never really got round to, or to simply treat yourself to a trip.
“For me,” says Mike, a researcher and lecturer from the West Country in England, “I want to go somewhere in Europe for a few days where I can spend my time eating things I can’t currently get, and walking around museums.”
“We’d already booked flights for our belated honeymoon. It’s going to be even more belated now!”
Similarly simple pleasures are what Carolina, a teacher, is looking forward to. “I’m desperately hoping to be able to travel to Barcelona at some point in the summer or the autumn to see my family and taste the sweet air of freedom (and churros). It’s basically my second home, so going there each summer is pretty much the highlight of my year; it’s me, my husband and our kids, my mum, my sister, her family…”
One family member might also not make it to Barcelona, although as Carolina explains, that doesn’t sound like a bad thing:
“My mum is currently stuck in Colombia (she was meant to fly back in March but Colombia shut borders and stopped flights) and she’s having some sort of spiritual experience being stuck in a remote subtropical village, but also surrounded by the most incredible flora and fauna. I’m not sure she’ll ever leave!”
More energetic plans for post-lockdown travel come from Matt, an English resident of Brno, Czech Republic, who tells me that “I’m supposed to be cycling to Trieste, Italy at the end of July so that I can say I got all the way to the seaside from Brno under my own steam.”
For some people, travel disruption means that you not only have to put holidays on hold but — essentially — your life as well. That’s what’s happened to Filip, a translator, and Monika, an art historian, who live in the Netherlands.
“Well we’d planned a trip for April, booked the hotel and everything, but more than that we’d also already booked flights for our belated honeymoon in July in Naples. It’s going to be even more belated now! The big one though, (and something we’re really hoping will be unaffected) is that we’re planning to move to Edinburgh in September. That’s the really important one.”
Most people are looking forward to life becoming as close to normal as possible
Zuzana, a surgeon, is someone else for whom the lack of travel has brought things into focus.
“I had plans, but only kind of undefined plans. A hiking trip to Madeira, a couple of weeks in Iceland during summer and a week in Budapest during early autumn. Nothing was booked, they were just ideas. However when all this is over, I’m definitely doing all of them!”
Essentially though, a lot of people are just looking forward to life becoming as close to normal as possible. As lockdowns start to very slowly ease, my friend Sean tells me that he’s just “hoping to get to the pub sometime this summer. Just a beer garden and a pint would be great.”
Amen to that.
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