The year 2020 taught us many things, one of them being the importance of adaptability. Country and border crossing restrictions that took place showed us the limitations as individuals and human beings—the limitation of moving freely. The restriction of leaving your own home showed us the value of being able to go out and explore. All the things that used to be normal. It’s like longing for something that you didn’t even know you have. But what happens after the world has stopped? What happens after that a simple matter as leaving your home is taken away for a greater cause?
Now, please don’t take me wrong; there is a good and mandatory reason for all these measurements. However, these measurements shouldn’t be the only thing that takes us forward. Life has to go on. This is why, I believe, being able to travel overseas is a privilege and should be seen as something to be super grateful for. When you open your mind to new things, a whole new world will present itself to you. It is also an eye-opener to this current situation we live in. Not everyone thinks the same way as they do in your home country, and it’s good to have new perspectives on the matter.
First, I want to emphasize the importance of taking care of your and other people’s health. Take extra caution. Keep your mask on at all times, and above all, do not travel if you have any symptoms or all feeling unwell. We decided to go on a trip to Portugal in January, and we were super careful. I mean, beyond careful, that some people might think it is just a bit too much carefulness. But we wanted to play it safe. We didn’t use any public transports (excluding flights), we had a rental car, and we drove around with it. It was good for exploring multiple places and cities and social distancing and staying safe.
Planning is key
If you decide to travel, you would want to plan your trip as much as possible because many things can go wrong. With the risk of sounding like the world’s worst pessimist, I have to say that we expected everything to go wrong, from our flights being canceled to major lockdowns occurring and even getting sick. It was such a relief to see that it’s not so scary out there as it may seem. Well, the lockdown happened when we were leaving, but we managed to fly out. That didn’t have a lot of effect on us, since we were mentally prepared in advance, and we had already had the chance to enjoy our holiday. So, make sure you have all the important information available and written down, such as contact numbers and what to do if the worst happens.
The main thing, of course, is to consider the country’s regulations. Some countries require a negative COVID test and a printed document of it. We traveled to Portugal, and they didn’t require a negative test. That being said, that might change anytime. However, we avoided any extra contacts and took three tests before we left, just in case. Some countries want proof of travel insurance (read more info in this post). Insurance is good to have regardless of the proof needed or not, just for your own sake. Make sure also that they provide at least some COVID coverage. It is good to keep yourself up to date and follow official government websites and airport updates for possible last-minute changes.
Is it worth it?
Some people might think, is it worth traveling during this time? Can you even enjoy it? In my opinion, this was a good time to travel because there were no crowds anywhere, it was relatively affordable, and yes, we had a blast! You get to go to popular spots and sights that would other times be packed with people. You get to find hidden places and enjoy the peace. How extraordinary is that in our modern world! The tourist spots we visited were deserted. Of course, this came with a lot of planning and double-checking. Not all the places will be open, and not everything might go as smoothly as you would think. However, we shouldn’t be scared of traveling. We all should have the ability to adapt and make our own decisions, being responsible simultaneously, as much as possible. At the end of the day, to travel is to live, and to live fully is to have that freedom.
Here you can find my previous post about what will traveling be like in 2021!