Let’s face it; we’re all bored of Covid. No one wants to talk about it, and who can blame us? It’s part of our everyday lives, and it’s hard not to let it bring you down. As a person who loves travelling, meeting new people and learning languages, it has been especially challenging to live a normal life with restrictions.
Don’t lose hope, though! With vaccinations, testing and regulations, things are getting a bit more ‘manageable’. And if you love travelling like myself, read this blog. Here are some tips for travelling alongside Covid and how to enjoy life to the fullest despite having fewer options!
When the first lockdown happened, I was travelling around Europe. At this point, I felt invincible! There was nothing I couldn’t do, and I was meeting people every day from all over the world, learning new languages and exploring different cultures. Sadly, life was put on hold. I don’t know about you, but lockdown in Spain was pretty strict—we weren’t allowed to go outside for a walk, and we were all beginning to experience cabin fever. Worst of all, I was renting a cheap room with no windows in an apartment infested with cockroaches.
Yet, during all this chaos, I decided to let go. The pandemic is out of our control, so we might as well try to have fun while we can. And we did—my housemates and I found plenty of things to do and bonded! I remember thinking about the moment when we would all return to some sort of normality, and how I wouldn’t waste any time. And when quarantine did end, I was amazed. It was like seeing the world with a fresh pair of eyes. Although we are all doing a lot less, I found I was having just as much fun, and I was more appreciative than ever. I was even more eager to go outside of my comfort zone and seize the day! One valuable thing I learnt was to try to make the best out of any situation no matter how difficult, and when given the opportunity, say yes (okay, maybe 2 lessons there).
It’s been way over a year since the first lockdown, and although we haven’t quite reached normality, things are getting better. And that means we can begin to travel and explore again (responsibly obviously and following guidelines for the particular country you’re visiting). So if you’re thinking of taking a little trip during Covid times, here are some tips!
First of all, make sure to go in with an open mind
Life’s clearly unpredictable at times. As travellers, we know how important it is to be flexible and this is especially essential now. Anything can change at any moment, and there will always be some inconveniences. The best way to handle potential challenges is to keep an open mind, know that problems are bound to happen and prepare for them (or at least be mentally prepared). One way you can do this is, think of potential problems and solutions to them! Other than that, just go with it!
Get out, explore nature and make the most of your day!
Tourism has changed dramatically since the pandemic. Outdoor tourism is becoming more and more popular, favouring social distancing and being an excellent alternative to clubs/bars. And who can say this isn’t as enjoyable? You can go camping, on road trips, hiking or visit marine destinations! Outdoor tourism is the perfect alternative to classic mass tourism routes. You can discover lesser-known destinations and experience something more authentic and adventurous. Why not explore your surroundings and get to know a location properly? I’d say, get up and get out, do something out of the ordinary.
Benefits of outdoor tourism
Outdoor tourism is inspiring, but it's also incredible for your mental well-being.
The pandemic has affected everyone’s mental health significantly, especially amongst younger generations. 2020 has been likened to a war: traumatizing for most everyone in a variety of ways! That’s why you could say travel helps. Feeling inspired or connected to nature gives you a renewed sense of optimism. Picture this: a warmer climate, swimming in the ocean, smelling the salty sea, or going on mountain hikes, breathing clean air and challenging your body physically. All these things that stimulate your mind are essential to keeping you content, active and engaged. So go on a trip, put yourself first and relax!
Say yes to everything (within reason)
Branch out as much as possible- this is important for personal growth and simply getting the most out of doing it to the max!!!
Leaving your comfort zone opens many doors for you and can even trigger some life-changing events. For instance, meeting people from all over the world will give you incredible memories, insight into other cultures and languages, and rewarding relationships. Maybe you’ll decide to continue travelling, to places you may never have considered before! Saying yes to things will give you more confidence. Trying new things out, testing yourself will become second nature. You will start to depend on it!
Saying yes also means making an effort. Why not try learning the basics of a language or learn more about your location’s history and traditions? Showing a genuine interest in a place gives you a better chance to get on well with locals. Saying “hola” to a Spaniard could help you strike up a conversation, make a new connection. One time, I found myself at the dinner party of someone I met on the street. I was invited because I asked her how to say a word (which I now can’t remember) in Spanish (this would happen to me rather frequently). I’ve met a lot of my friends from random encounters like these! It’s nice to feel a sense of belonging, no matter how long you’re staying.
So what now?
Plan something to look forward to! Whether it's travelling around Europe or taking a mini holiday. What about some workcation? A great way to get some space, break the routine and relax the mind.