By Vasiliki Theodosiou,
If one were to go a few hundred years back and interview people on their hopes and dreams of the future, it could be highly likely that amongst others, they would receive and answer about the hope of the future enabling people to travel anywhere and everywhere in no time. The 21st century, its beginning, at least, came to prove that humanity was not far from achieving this target, with flights launched all over the world, from anywhere to everywhere, and with people making world trips, tours and rendering traveling easily accessible and often affordable to a significant amount of the world’s population.
2020 and 2021, however, ‘’entered the chat’’ only to change the picture and make it look a bit worse, and even in some ways similar to some decades ago. With lockdowns being imposed all over the world and airways being forced to close down or cut down on wages and personnel, the movement of people and goods not only did not evolve to become easier but also faced periods of complete termination and returned, only to fall under extreme restrictions and rendering traveling as a prospect open to a limited number of people with the necessary resources or the necessary amount of time to quarantine or get tested and keeping everyone safe.
Apart from the long trips, there were also the short trips, whose existence we came to realize and appreciate during the COVIS-19 restrictions that advised us to stay within our region, leading people to discover places close to home they did not even know of. And although staying close to home and making mini discoveries is a pleasant note to a rather unpleasant and challenging situation, the question of what the future holds lies ahead and remains unanswered, as the uncertainty of the future of the pandemic is still present is a sense. Actually, in many senses.
Will we ever be able again to choose ‘’anywhere’’, as our destination when looking for flights? Will we ever be able to plan a trip, without having to check, amber lists, green lists, national rules, and restrictions? Will we ever be able to travel again, without having to think of booking tests and isolating, words that did not even occur with this frequency in our vocabulary a year and a half ago? Will we ever be able to go around airports, socialize with, meet, and hug people?
Or is it just a matter of adaptions? We got used to the idea of wearing a mask to protect ourselves and others. We got used to the idea of isolating and staying at home to prevent the spread of what has proven to be a lethal virus. We might as well get used to the idea of traveling while having been tested, isolating, and needing to quarantine on arrival. It does not sound easy. But neither of the previous concepts did. And yet, they became an inseparable part of ourselves the past couple of years, to the point where it is quite hard to picture our lives without them.
Besides, traveling as an option remains open. And so does the question of the way via which one will be able to experience it from now onwards.
- National Geographic. Here are 8 ways travel will change after the pandemic. Available here.
- CNBC. Travel changed after 9/11; Here’s how it will look after the Covid-19 pandemic finally recedes. Available here.