When will we travel again?

Photo borrowed from a travel insurance ad.

Lock down and social isolating gives us itchy feet. We yearn for the forbidden fruit. After months of mainly staying indoors, we all want to break out. Kids who have never enjoyed school are breaking their necks to get back to friends, teachers and the old routines. Parents who have cooked at home for weeks and months are keen to take the family to a restaurant. And those who live near the beach are eager to feel the warm sand squeeze between their toes once again.

In Bali, from mid-March everything started to close – Yoga studios, gyms, spas, restaurants, malls, coffee shops. Traffic stopped. The government told us to socially isolate and stay at home unless we needed to shop for groceries or go to an essential service like the chemist or doctor. And if we ventured out for any reason, we had to wear a mask. Hand washing became an obsession. We complied with government directives, knowing the coronavirus was lurking outside our doors, ready to take us out if we weren’t careful.

It was novel to begin with and our fingers got a heap of exercise on our keyboards. We Skyped, WhatsApped and Zoomed to maintain contact with family and friends. I rang home daily, connecting with my sister Janet and my mother. They’re on the Gold Coast and were in lock down as too. We’d compare notes on how we were travelling with this changed situation. All of us were tracking well, achieving goals and not letting the isolation get to us too much, but we were also looking forward to a loosening of the rules.

Mid-May, the rules eased in Bali. Some restaurants and coffee shops opened and so did spas and yoga studios. We still had to follow social distancing etiquette and wear masks..

“Let’s go to lunch,” I suggested.

“Oh, yes,” Bayu answered.

And every couple of days, wearing our masks, we’d go to lunch or dinner. I couldn’t wait to tell Janet of our new freedom. She was still dreaming of coffee shops opening.

But it’s human nature to always want more. We could now dine out and we did, but this was not enough. We started talking about having a weekend away at the coast and dreaming about an overseas holiday. I rang Janet and before I could confess our latest dreams; she told me about her hoped for travel plans. There was the trip to Italy and Vietnam and even the thought of buying an around-the-world ticket and seeing where the adventure took her for six months to a year.

We don’t know when we will travel again, but we know we will. Bayu and I are planning a trip to Vietnam, or maybe Japan, or maybe Paris again. It doesn’t matter which. In lock down, we have plenty of time to plan all of them. And when the coronavirus is finally a thing of the past and we move to the new normal, we’ll be ready to travel and will book our tickets. I wonder where we’ll go.

Are you planning your next travel adventure now?

You probably have the time and it sure doesn’t hurt to dream.

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