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Κυριακή, 26 Μαΐου, 2024
ΑρχικήEnglish EditionTravelling abroad in the COVID-19 era

Travelling abroad in the COVID-19 era


By Anna Nguyen,

The pandemic has altered everybody’s lives in a way that probably no one would imagine. There were so many things that we took for granted, that we put up for the next day because we thought that we will always have the opportunity to do it later. In this article, I am not going to list such kinds of things generally, but I am going to present traveling specifically.

Living in the 21st century, we must all admit that traveling and communications have become easier, whilst scientists and engineers are working to make them even easier. One thing that no one could predict was COVID-19. Undoubtedly, it has affected a lot more crucial factors in our lives than traveling for leisure. It is true though that -almost- nothing is truly appreciated until it is lost. In my opinion, traveling belongs to the latter category.

People who love traveling might agree with me that all the time periods that the world was in lockdown, missed the ability to visit other cultures, to meet local people, to taste different cuisines, to live an adventure. The benefits of traveling are quite a few and probably we are all aware of them. For almost two years, each of us had to stay in one place to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. It was duty. It was difficult and tiring but it remained an obligation that one had to do.

Summer is almost ending, and everyone is preparing for the new season to come. Despite being the 9th month in the calendar, September is considered to be the start of the year. It is a period of starting over when all the batteries are charged and we are all powered to get back to work. But before doing that, I remember the trip I took abroad and realized what I thought was easy is now a bit more complicated. Of course, that did not stand in the way of me enjoying my trip.

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So, what was that complicated? Traveling now has become more difficult as it requires more steps to be down that are necessary for one to leave a country or enter it. Precisely, someone that wishes to travel, after booking their tickets, has to check the entry requirements of each country and to be honest some countries were more demanding than others. And sometimes when the requirements are not stated clearly it makes you feel like it is never-ending. For example, you have to check whether you need to be tested or not, you have to check if your last vaccination dose was completed a specific number of days before your departure date, etc. Furthermore, one has to check if they need to complete some extra paperwork regarding their location or their previous trips. It is also mandatory that one has to check what color zone the country, they were or going to, is in, because there are other prerequisites for different zones. No mistakes must be made as they risk not be allowed to enter the country. To my thinking, this process is quite stressful and sometimes made me think to cancel my trip, but thankfully I did not.

To be honest, I am a stressful person and I was anxious until I arrived at my destination. After checking all the required documents needed the hundredth time, my anxiety about something going wrong did not leave me. However, this negative feeling took a rest while the plane was flying. This feeling is unique – take that one is not afraid of airplanes. The excitement of going to a new place was taking the place of anxiety whilst the view of the clouds is dreamy. Of course, one’s searching for COVID-19 measures should also continue regarding the national measures. Each country functions differently towards the SARS-CoV-2 detainment. After the first two days of being in a foreign place, one gets used to it and can enjoy their adventure.

Overall, though these are a few things that one must take into consideration when deciding to travel, they are insignificant towards the positive outcome of a trip. And of course, this is one step back to what we used to call “normal”. An advice from me: Travel as much as you can and stay safe!


 

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Anna Nguyen
Anna Nguyen
She is currently a MSc Student in International Politics in KU Leuven, after graduating from the Department of International and European Studies in the University of Piraeus. Her main academic interests are international and economic affairs between states. She is Vietnamese but born and raised in Athens, Greece. She has also participated in numerous simulations of the UN, european and regional institutions. Lastly she speaks greek, vietnamese and english, whilst she is learning french and chinese and enjoys travelling and sports.