Coronavirus travel restrictions are sending us all to the madhouse, a trivial matter in the whole scheme of things, but one that needs to be considered for those who live to roam the world.
This virulent virus has turned our pre-covid travel lives into distant memories. Airlines have gone bankrupt, and hotels are used more for quarantine purposes than happy holiday-makers. While travel insurance companies are scrambling to rewrite policies considering a world in the clutches of a pandemic. International borders open and shut like the banging of a toilet door in a house of six kids. Face masks have become the new apparel for fashionistas to accessorize their designer outfits. And, everyone with a touch of wanderlust fever has become a backyard camping expert. Lockdown nightmares torture our sleep, and 'don't kiss granny' is every parents' mantra.
Instead of crying copious tears into our soup at night, let's find some positives to survive this chaotic world of non-travel.
Airports and flights—there's no stress about missing your flight or a connecting flight in a country where you have no desire to be. If you really miss this activity, jog around the block a few times while pulling your wheelie suitcase. Having to sleep in an airport because your flight has been delayed or canceled is now a non-issue. To keep in practice, put 2 hard plastic chairs together and sleep on them for a night. Drinking and eating at home won't send your credit card into overdrive as indulging in this activity in an airport. If you really crave airplane food, dish up your dinner in a compartmentalized plastic tray using plastic cutlery to eat it with. Unfortunately, nothing much can be done about lusting after the sight of flight attendants' aerobatic displays of safety procedures. You will have to contain your excitement about seeing these theatrics again sometime in the future.
Social distancing—the benefits of social distancing are huge. Stinky breath, the kind that you know what someone has eaten for the last 24 hours, is smothered behind the offender's face mask. While nasty body odor is kept at bay by your own face mask. If you want to disguise every unsavory whiff invading your space, douse your face mask with deodorizer or dab on it some essential oil (lavender for relaxation, marjoram for calm and the list goes on).
Passport—we all put our passports somewhere safe—do you remember where it is? If so, then maybe it's time to check on its expiry date and organize a new one if it's going to expire within the next 2 years. You probably won't need it before that.
Language barriers—unless you are chatting to a 12-month old, language is no longer a barrier to navigate with your hands flying everywhere in a sad attempt at being understood. Plus, you have plenty of time to master a new language at home.
Travel wardrobe—while the moths are eating your stunning resort wear, there are 2 positives to this. You are feeding the local wildlife, and you can shop ad nauseam online for the latest offerings. You can even pretend to buy them by putting those stunning items in your shopping trolley. The checkout phase is optional. Another upside to not traveling is that you have a wardrobe of clothes at your fingertips, rather than the squashed limited offerings in a suitcase. And, you don't have to ponder the dilemma of how many days you can wear the same undies before washing them.
Holiday cocktails anywhere-anytime is the new rule—it's no longer a requirement to be sitting on an exotic beach to indulge in a caipirinha with candy floss or a lychee martini. Time is of no consequence where this pursuit is concerned, as it's always sundowner time somewhere in the world.
Food—you don't need to navigate words on a menu that you can't understand. Or, rely on a google translation that doesn't sound right - food is usually culture-specific. There's a lot of room for mistranslation, especially between alphabet-based languages and ideograph languages. It may be that there's no word in the English language explaining what the food is. Contemplate the Cuban shredded beef dish 'ropa vieja,' which, when translated, will have you eating 'old clothes.'
Driving—there's no need to master driving on the wrong side of the road according to your home country.
Animal voyeurism—watching exotic animals is as simple as turning on Richard Attenborough on your smart TV. No expensive binoculars are required. The dodging of animal poo when trekking to a viewpoint is not an issue.
Jetlag—is now considered a once common affliction amongst globe-trotters that has been wiped out by the pandemic.
Planning—some experts believe that people are happier in the planning stages of a holiday than when they are actually on holiday. Hence, now is the time to plan that trip on the bucket list. If you get really busy and plan more than one trip, the adrenalin rush of anticipation and happiness could last for quite some time—even until international borders reopen.