8 Lessons I Learned from My Travel Hiatus (So Far)

8 Lessons I Learned from My Travel Hiatus (So Far)

Who would’ve thought that you can gain new perspectives by staying at home?

Yep, we hear ya — the fact that there’s no certainty on when we can travel again is unsettling. But alas, public health and safety is our utmost priority right now, and travel must take a backseat in the meantime. For most of us who probably live for adventure and discovery, this travel hiatus has and will put a lot of things into perspective. 

But please, let’s go beyond all-too-annoying, self-indulgent lines like: “travel shouldn’t be taken for granted” and “I’m so lucky I travelled before this happened.” Trust me, you can do (and think) better than that! So instead, how about a healthy dose of self-reflection amidst this travel hiatus? I know I have, and here are some of the things I’ve realised so far. 

Also read: 6 Most Insensitive Things Travellers Can Do During a Global Pandemic 

1. Life is indeed short

travel hiatus

So, better go after your travel goals as soon as you can. While it does pay to be pragmatic, sometimes there’s no better time than now! Unless, of course, there’s a serious global pandemic happening such as… well, now

But when all goes back to normal, sometimes a little leap of faith and making travel plans right then and there is better than having to wait for months. If you can afford to travel and take a leave from work soon, then why not? Honestly, you never know what could happen in a few months — which is both comforting and worrying, really.

Also read: The Difficult Choice: Save for the Future or Travel and Live Life?

2. It’s important to live in the present

Going back to my previous point, it’s true that the future is uncertain. Hence, better to live in and enjoy the present, instead of constantly waiting for the next exciting thing (i.e., travel plans). This isn’t to say that you should stop caring about the future altogether, okay?

Essentially, it’s about learning to stop thinking that the grass is probably greener on the other side. Because in case you haven’t noticed, it’s often not as green as you think it is. Sometimes, it’s about making do with the cards you’re given. So, the beauty in living in the now lies in making every moment count! 

Also read: From Micro Travel to Walking Tours: 10 Travel Trends To Watch in 2020

3. Learn to slow down

Most of us travel enthusiasts tend to live fast-paced lives — whether it’s because of our day jobs, maximised travel itineraries, or both. You know the feeling that there’s always so much to see and do, but never enough time to have it all? And yet, we still keep striving to have and do it all? Well, no wonder we tend to be always on the go! 

But because of this travel hiatus, I’ve had to learn — no, wait, re-learn — to slow down. Basically, reacquainting myself with the slow-paced life, which is inevitable for most of us in these times. 

4. Healthy habits matter

If there’s one thing that this global health crisis has truly taught us, it’s the importance of being and staying healthy. This includes having a healthy lifestyle, which could be hard to maintain if you travel a lot! 

Aside from the physical and emotional toll that frequent travel brings, your eating habits are also affected. I mean, sure, trying out local (and usually not-so-healthy) delicacies is part of travelling. But it’s probably best not to do this too often! There’s also the matter of your sleep schedule, which can be affected by factors like jetlag and earlier wake-up times. And we all know that having enough sleep is key to a good immune system! 

But when you’re on a travel hiatus, you get to have a more stable (and hopefully healthier) daily routine — from your diet and exercise, sleeping pattern, to even your inner peace. The latter often entails keeping our social media usage in moderation. And I’ve learned that sometimes, it’s actually easier to disconnect when you’re at home (with nothing going on), than when you’re travelling (and therefore have a lot to post about)!

5. It can help you travel better

travel hiatus

You heard that right! Sometimes, a travel hiatus — whether self-imposed or government-imposed — could lead to better travel experiences in the future. For me, staying at home means having more time and energy to write about my previous travels. They say that “wisdom is in hindsight,” and as far as writing about a personal experience goes, this is quite true. 

I also have more time to decide on where I should go next (I’m quite the indecisive type, you see) and plan accordingly. This includes having more time to research for my overall itinerary. I find further research very helpful, especially if you’re the type who likes going beyond the usual recommended touristy spots

But most of all, a travel hiatus helps renew your sense of wonder. Think of it as the travel equivalent of a palate cleanser! Now, doesn’t this make you look forward to future trips even more? For sure, you’ll definitely have a greater appreciation once you can finally travel again! 

Also read: 6 Bad Travel Habits That Are Ruining Your Vacation

6. You can actually “travel” without leaving your house

travel hiatus

I know, I know, this seems to be the recurring theme for many non-news articles nowadays. And obviously, we don’t mean it  like literally teleporting from your house to the Eiffel Tower. (Stay at home and practice social distancing, folks!) Nonetheless, it’s true that travel is everywhere — sometimes in places you wouldn’t expect!

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said in one of his essays, “our minds travel when our bodies are forced to stay at home.” It’s definitely one of those lines that are most accurate during a travel hiatus. It’s all about using your imagination; from reading travel-centric books, watching adventure films, to taking virtual tours of foreign destinations. There’s never a shortage of travel inspiration, as long as you know where to look! 

Also read: 10 Fun & Creative Ways to Document Your Travels

7. This, too, shall pass

Maybe I’m overdoing the inspirational quotes, but stay with me here. In no way am I saying that we should just calm down and let this pandemic be. We’re all about taking necessary precautions seriously, after all! But apart from that, it’s also good to keep a hopeful perspective (read: not toxic positivity). Though we can never be too sure when we can start travelling again, it helps to comfort oneself by dreaming of brighter days ahead!  

But until then, let’s stay at home and help out however we can, shall we? 

Also read: A Love Letter to My Dream Destinations: BRB, I’ll See You Soon

8. There’s more to life than travelling

travel hiatus

Which isn’t to say that travelling doesn’t matter, because it does! It’s one of the best non-material things we can ever have, after all. But sometimes, life — or should I say, an unfortunate event — happens, and we’re left with no choice but to make do with what we have. 

So, this entails shifting our focus from travel to other hobbies and interests. Though that doesn’t necessarily mean delving away from travel altogether! Again, travel inspiration can be found even in the most unlikely places — but only if one remembers to look in the right direction and keep moving forward!  (Okay, that’s enough semi-cheesy motivational lines for now.)

Also read: 20 Things to Do While Quarantined or Social Distancing Amid Covid-19

Suffice to say, quarantine and travel hiatus really puts a lot of things into perspective. How is it going so far for you? We’d definitely like to hear about your own insights so far. 

Here’s to hoping that once these dark times are over, we’ll be a lot wiser than we were before! But hey, one day at a time, right? And above all else, stay safe and healthy, everyone! 

About Author

Marcy Miniano
Marcy Miniano

A fast-talking caffeine-dependent wordsmith, Marcy has never been one to shy away from sharing a good story or two. If she’s not in a quiet coffee shop somewhere, she enjoys spending afternoons in a museum or art gallery — whether it’s around Metro Manila or a foreign city she’s visiting. She wishes to retire in a winter village someday, so she can fulfil her lifelong dream of wearing turtlenecks all year round and owning a pet penguin.


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