Love in the Time of Covid-19

Chicken soup for your wanderlusting soul

Pardon me for the hackneyed title, but this is of utmost urgency: the coronavirus pandemic is disrupting the way of life of many countries — including ours — and, to a great extent, your travel plans.

With all the travel bans and restrictions, one can imagine the kind of damage the pandemic has wreaked on the global travel industry. From hotels to street food strips that cater to tourists, their losses must be staggering.

IG: @thetravelingvs

But you’d say travel, like love, is in the air. And you need to breathe it in to feel alive. True. But you know what else is in the air? The dreaded virus, although that depends on which medical view you subscribe to, you know aerosols and microns and stuff. But would you dare breathe all that deathly invisible stuff in? So suck it up, stay put, and wait for the air to clear.

So now what?

Well, while you wait — which can be from weeks to years — you ponder. Yes, ponder. And wonder at the true meaning of your love for travel. Let’s help get you started:

Love for travel is patient. You’ve been there. That split moment after you confirm your booking, this most noble of virtues becomes you, and you wait — days, weeks, months, a year even — for that beautiful day of departure when you consummate your love and you become one with your wanderlust. So, yes, waiting for the pandemic to pass so you can move on with your travel plans demands the same virtue of patience every serious traveler must possess.

Love for travel is kind. Perhaps the Covid-19 pandemic is a blessing so that insufferable travelers like you are reminded of the virtue of kindness. By kindness we mean being kind to you bank account, which, for all we know, you must have ignored — or worse — maltreated because all this time you’ve had eyes somewhere else (i.e. your next destination, ka-ching!). This lull will allow you to truly review your finances and whether you are still living within your means. Travel is self-love after all, but so is self-preservation.

Love for travel is blind. Don’t look now, but you need to avert your eyes from that which seduces you. That means stop looking at travel sale posts on social media. Why? Uncertainty, that’s because. No one really knows where this pandemic will go next, whether it will get worse or when it will end. Is it really worth the (financial) risk? But you need not turn a blind eye on the beauty of travel itself. Read those travel posts, admire those travel photos, and stay inspired.

Love for travel does not envy. Sure your social media contact just arrived from his four-week, ten-city DIY Asian tour. But trust us, you won’t envy those who end up in quarantine, or god forbid, catch the virus. So be glad you’re safe because you haven’t gone anywhere yet. Home might feel like prison but it still is home.

Love for travel perseveres. If you’re one of those left dejected that your travel plans got cancelled or postponed indefinitely, or you’re left without a plan (because coronavirus), don’t feel too bad. Know that you love travel, and travel still loves you, and the distance that this virulence has created between you and travel, your beloved other, is all but temporary. At the end of these tribulations, travel will be waiting for you with the warmest welcoming embrace. And on that moment, you would scream at the top of your clear, healthy lungs, to all the corners of the earth: “I love travel!”