The pandemic started when I was abroad, travelling freely, exploring more places and loving every second of all of this. Since then, travel has been extremely limited. Despite my love of travel, though, I was somewhat grateful for these restrictions, since they gave me an excuse not to travel. But in reality, I wasn’t going to travel anyway. I have been way too anxious, sometimes too anxious to leave the house, to even contemplate leaving the country. I think it is definitely going to take a long time before I actually start making plans to go abroad. I won’t be going aboard this summer.
There’s so many factors involved in travelling abroad. The airport, the flights, the accommodation, the activities, the food. But after a global pandemic, you question how safe any of these will be. The lack of social distancing on planes or in airports, staying in the vicinity of others when we’ve been told it’s safest in our own homes and the concept of a hotel breakfast buffet right now makes me anxious. Plus, there have been even more processes added to an already busy holiday schedule: testing before, during and after; extra forms; green, amber or red lists; isolation… It seems like a lot of effort, stress, and even risk just to get some sun, sea and sand. We can get all of those things in the UK.
The pandemic is nearer an end for us than other countries, thanks to the vaccine rollout here, but that by no means guarantees how the situation is elsewhere in the world. We can clearly see this since only certain countries have made it on to the green list, and even that is precarious. For me, it makes much more sense to stay in the UK and explore parts that you haven’t seen before; that way, it is still a new experience but feels safer.
This is what I will be doing this summer, if I get the chance to get away. I’ve been saying for a little while now that I want to take myself off on a city break and explore the area. At the moment, I’m thinking Cambridge, as I’ve never been there before but it seems beautiful and full of amazing things to see and do. This will fulfil my wanderlust and limit my anxiety simultaneously, whilst having a great time!
I’m not saying I will never travel abroad again. I don’t think I could live without seeing the countries and places on my bucket list. However, for now, I am putting these plans firmly on hold. Instead, I will look for somewhere to go in the UK, which I don’t see as a compromise. Millions of people come to the UK every year on holiday, so we should act like tourists in our own country and experience what it has to offer. Not only is it safer for us, but it is better for the climate and the local economy. I for one am excited about this summer and the prospect of UK holidaying. The world will still be there in a year or two, or whenever I decide to travel abroad again, so there’s no need to rush or take the risk.
Image courtesy of Ricardo Gomez Angel.