During this pandemic, it is hard not to try and predict what comes next and wonder what will be the new normal. What is easy to draw a conclusion to, is travel will not be the same, at least for 'awhile'. From closed boarders to new protocols, maybe even raised expenses, I think travel will come at a greater price as life gets back to 'normal'.
My goal in life, since a little girl, was to travel the world. I always watched people around me going here and there, places I'd never heard of. It frustrated me knowing my family could not afford a road trip to P.E.I, let alone some warm island down South. So, stemming from my curiosity and -although I hate to admit it- envy, my goal from day one has been to travel. I've been able to get over the the jealousy part and today, travel has been my motivation to work hard, and play harder. Vacation has been the light at the end of the tunnel for me. However, now, I am aware I must seek out a new light for the time being.
With this pandemic, you can feel a change in the air. With all the grief has come some perspective and to be honest, I do not know if I want to go back to 'normal'. Of course, I want to see my family again without wondering if I will get them sick. I want to go out for patio beers on a hot summer day with friends with no regulations. But, this precarious time has shown us that dramatic change is possible. There is a way for us to live without overindulging and there are ways for us to give the Earth a chance to rest.
We are seeing fewer cars on the road, this is what necessity driving looks like.
We are buying exactly what we need when we go to the grocery store.
We are all aware the economy is rocky, therefore spending for essentials only.
We are seeing the importance of local distribution, and how community sustainability is so important.
And of course, the one that hurts me to admit the most, we are seeing fewer airplanes in the sky, this is what essential flying looks like. When I think about my personal carbon footprint, traveling has been my biggest trample. Although, I live a fairly environmentally sensitive life, I feel my wanderlust cancels out my intentions sometimes because there are no eco-alternatives to international travel, yet. But, I have faith.
When companies and governments have told us productions could not be shut down to find alternative means, turns out, we are, and we are surviving.
I am really interested to see what research comes out of this time from an ecologist's perspective. I hope it gives scientists and environmental advocates the ammunition needed to show dramatic and beneficial changes in our environments. Facts so mind blowing, leaders and citizens cannot ignore their significance.
When I say I hope things do not go back to 'normal', I am referring to keeping the dramatic environmental benefits. More local initiatives, more alternative travel measures. I am hoping leaders and deniers will finally realize Mother Nature will always win. So, why not work with her instead of against her?
My mourning for travel comes from the realization: whether it is because of a pandemic or if it is because of ecological shifts, if we do not change our methods, travel will continue to be restricted.
To finish, I was feeling nostalgic today and decided to curate photos from past travels. I hope you enjoy some of my favorite memories and some of my experiences visually resonate with you.