Travel Through COVID Times (May 11th) by Gillian
So the original idea was to unroll the map of the world that had been waiting for me, patiently, in its cardboard tube.
On doing so, I would carefully highlight the countries that I have already visited. With the aid of pencil and ruler, I would then endeavour to map out a travel plan of countries that I wish to discover. I would plan an extended trip, maybe three months or longer, some time in the future, maybe for a special birthday, in three years time.
My plan however has changed. A sense of confusion has set in. The world spins in my head like a globe in motion; The Covid -19 pandemic has forced me to face my vulnerability, my mortality. I am afflicted with a sense of unwanted urgency. A voice in my head says ‘go now or else it maybe too late’. ‘Go whilst you’re still healthy, fit and able’;
Like the world, my head goes into lockdown. The truth is, I am going nowhere. Borders are closed, tourism cancelled; flights restricted; trains reduced.
What if I leave this world having never experienced the colours, culture, history, beauty of so much of it? What a fool I would have been.
I get a grip, and make a compromise. This is the seventh week in lockdown and we are seeing the first, early signs of easing our way out and creating a ‘new normal’.
I will track the transport and the hospitality industry as it slowly becomes reinstated, which will hopefully, eventually, offer the luxury of global travel once more.
So the goal posts have changed: first a plan for three years time; second, an urgent desire to travel now. Third, a sensible, realistic plan to travel in eighteen months time.
I’m comfortable with that.
All I need to do now is to pick up the pencil and ruler.