It’s been almost a full year since I last traveled, which is quite the culture shock to someone who was traveling out of country at least twice a year and supplementing that often with domestic travel.
I used travel to escape. Escape the mundane 9-5. Escape the real world just for a little. It was really my only way of coping with the life I live. I never wanted to be someone who lived to work, but it’s something that is hard to escape in America.
Speaking of America, I enjoyed learning about new cultures and being able to escape from the country for a bit. I attribute a lot of my political views to just being able to see how other people see the United States and how other countries function. I have established a lot of opinions and new perspectives from traveling. I mean, when I went to Egypt a few years ago, someone actually chuckled when I told him we were American and he asked us “how are things going over there?” Meanwhile, many people from the U.S. have probably never stopped to think that other countries look at us like a train wreck you can’t help but watch.
Not traveling has been a hard pill to swallow, but in a good way it forced me into enjoying my time at home. Trying to escape your real life all the time is not really a healthy way to live. I’ve taken up more hobbies, seen more of my own backyard, and have felt more settled.
I also feel lucky because there’s no way to experience FOMO when almost no one is traveling. Not being the only one is very comforting to me. Especially in such a time of unrest despite the pandemic. We just moved, which was a big cost, and I just got a new job so I don’t have any time off. If these were the circumstances and there wasn’t a pandemic, I would feel extremely left out not being able to go on my usual trips.
I am still itchy to travel, especially now that I’m back at work. Hopefully I can fend off the itch a little longer and hopefully with a vaccine down the line, travel is in our future.