What is the point of travel?
I read this half asleep the other day. What a loaded question. It managed to slap the brain back to an alert state. Unable to sleep, I counted how many months its been since I have not been traveling.
I remember landing in Bali at the beginning of the Covid nightmare. Greeted by multiple messages from my loved ones once I disabled the flight mode. How did so much Covid (back then it was referred to as the Coronavirus) related dramas happen in the span of the 6 hours flight from Melbourne?
A few days later, we left Bali. Passing the heat temperature machine set up in the airport to make sure we were symptoms free.
That was six months ago. Half-year.
Sure, in the grand scheme of things, 6 months is nothing. But, it has been 7 months since I hung up the phone, frustrated because the budget airline refused to refund my Sydney ticket which I couldn’t use because the border had been closed. 11 months since I shared a meal with my parents. 13 months since I hugged my best friend goodbye in Copenhagen.
B.C (Before Covid), I always tell Amma that “I am just one flight away from you, I will come whenever you want”. I am still one flight away, but there is no flight that will take me to her.
This was the first time I realized that I might have taken travel for granted.
Yes, I am aware that it is a privilege. But for me, as with writing, travel has been an anchor, parts of my identity, source of my long-term happiness. And not having any travel plan in the future has been giving me constant mini anxiety for the most part of the year.
I know that I need to at least make some travel plans.
In the beginning of Covid, Jik had kept me sane by making pretend travel plans to Fiji (somewhere we planned to go for real last June) but we dropped it rather quickly when the lockdown in Melbourne got stricter, and the world state grimmer, as it made me feel more depressed.
But now, almost a year later, when things seem like it’s getting better, at least here in Australia, maybe it’s time to dip into the travel pool again — as an act of self-care. Even if it means regional travel. Or even day-trips.