Perhaps this should have been my first post. Normally a good intro is explaining your motivations for writing but I decided to leave it a bit and settle into the routine of writing.
It might seem like an odd time to start writing about travelling when currently, so few people are actually doing it- including myself. However, I feel that I got to the point where if I don’t talk more about travelling or reflect back on the travels I’m lucky to have had so far, I might just burst into tears. Why? I’m travel depressed. There. I said it. So in this post I want to look at “travel depression” and why we should talk about it and, more importantly perhaps, why we shouldn’t?
The definition of “first world problem”
I choose this title to talk about why we shouldn’t talk about feeling down in the dumps about travelling because quite frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised or annoyed if that was the response to someone talking about needing to travel. We are living through an incredibly difficult time where people are losing their jobs, loved ones and their own lives. Millions of people have died and more are separated from their families, yet I’m complaining about not being able to have a holiday? That thought has plagued my mind since my first cancelled flight and is still equally as important to remember right now.
Let’s also not forget that travel itself is a gift. Even under normal circumstances, not everyone can travel as freely as I have been able to. Whether this is due to financial reasons or political, we should remember that although it may take a while to get back into travelling, there are those that will never experience its joy. What’s waiting a year or two compared to a lifetime of being denied the privilege of travelling all over the world? I still feel it’s important to have some perspective before you go plastering how much you miss travelling across social media.
A Real Thing
Although I absolutely and whole heartedly agree that sometimes we do need to get over ourselves when we complain about not travelling, sometimes you just can’t. For me, travelling isn’t simply a holiday a year on a nice beach, it’s heading off whenever and wherever I can. I try to travel around 8-10 times a year and this varies from quick weekend trips to longer summer stays. For me, travel is a lifestyle and something I think about 24/7. It’s reading the latest lonely planet article, playing around on Google Flights “just to see” or looking at the world map and wondering “Where next”? For some of us, travelling is something we live, breathe and throw all our energy towards. It’s why I work so hard- my reward. Take that away and what is left- an aimlessness that just can’t be fixed.
Perhaps one of the most important reasons for missing travel is something that can only be experienced by expats and loved ones of expats: family. When you are separated from your family living abroad, the comfort is there that you can return when and if you need to. Living in Spain, I know that my family are only a three hour flight away and I can be home in the same day if I need to. It’s this element that hurts people all over the world. There are families separated by oceans and thousands of miles who have not been able to see their loved ones, let alone hug them. Now we are faced with more complicated travel procedures- tests and quarantine where whether I am able to see my parents this year seems to lie in the hands of the British Government (a scary thought really).
So there you have it. Both sides of the coin. I suppose to answer the question I had initially proposed, I started writing about travel because I cannot travel. I need something to hang onto and something to remember. I also need to remind myself how lucky I am to have my health, my job and that my friends and family are all well. But sometimes, your mind slips and you’d give anything to board that plane to, well, anywhere!