As far as travel is concerned, at its best 2020 was a year of cancellations and disappointments. At its worst, it took our freedom, our mental health, and our loved ones.
What will 2021 be like? Will our travel plans fare any better?
My guess is yes, so long as we’re realistic.
There’s a vaccination – hope – on the horizon. But international travel won’t return to normal overnight; there’s no magic pill for covid-compliant travel insurance or reopening borders. But if 2020 taught us one thing, it’s that there’s much joy to be found close to home, too.
My tentative expectation for travel in 2021 is that it will start small. Domestic travel will get back on track first. And after months and months of staying in the same place, vacationing in another part of your home country will feel as wonderful as visiting the destination at the top of your travel bucket list. Hell, even staying in a B&B down the road will be worth writing home about!
“gutsy Thelma & Louisers will attempt trips all year long – and knowing you lot, you’ll make a success of many of them!”
Towards the end of 2021, we can start to reliably plan overseas trips. Of course, gutsy Thelma & Louisers will attempt trips all year long – and knowing you lot, you’ll make a success of many of them! I applaud you. Please tell us your travel stories and show us your postcards – we need all the travel sustenance we can get! For those of you who prefer certainty, booking trips abroad from, say, September 2021 seems more realistic.
But what sort of trips will we plan? I suspect we’ll fall into two camps here. One, those who feel that life is too short to put off that dream trip any longer. And two, those who just want to spend time with family, friends old and friends new.
I’ve recently moved from the first camp to the second. If you asked me about my travel dreams a month or two ago, I would have said: stand-up paddle boarding and wild swimming in Provence, northern lights and ice igloos in Lapland, and a month exploring Sri Lanka. My answer now is very different. It’s all about the people I want to go with, rather than where.
“My answer now is very different. It’s all about the people I want to go with, rather than where.”
Parents are my first choice of travel buddy. I miss them. Perhaps we can spend a long weekend together somewhere half-way between our homes. Then a laid-back, raucous weekend camping with my siblings, nieces, nephews and extended cousins, aunts and uncles will help to make up for the lack of Christmas contact. I’d also love a retreat (or five) with my girlfriends – lots of reading, wine and walks. Where any of these take place doesn’t matter. It just needs to be somewhere easy for all of us to get to – I won’t want anyone to drop out unless they have a very good reason indeed!
Now that I think about it, a visit to a restaurant, cinema or the theatre – especially the theatre! – would be a special treat right now. When these become realistic prospects, I, as will many of you, plan to make the most of every opportunity to eat out and catch a show.
Ready to plan a local meet-up, anyone? By the end of the year, I might even be bold enough to brave the cinema’s pick-n-mix stand. Imagine that!