Travel Is Our Way to Escape – What Happens Now When We Can’t Leave Our Homes?

Yehliu Geopark in Taiwan

It was 2 a.m. I was just about to put on Family Guy and call it a night when our team in Pakistan sent word that there was a delay with the deployment of features on the website I am currently in task of managing.

Summer in Balesin
Summer in Balesin

“Please, not this again,” I thought to myself as I put on glasses and started sending updates to the bosses: “The error is in a library react-dom; it might be a missed parameter. We’ll test out both the UAT and production server tonight.”

It is during times like these that I miss the old normal. Work was just as stressful then, but at least we had places to go to when things got heavy. Now, every day feels like an endless routine of monotony.

Sunset in Guimaras
Sunset in Guimaras

Just when did it become so easy to believe that tomorrow will be as today?

I remember all the midnight flights I had to endure simply because the tickets were slightly cheaper. I remember getting lost in the many streets of Bonifacio Global City after yet another interview that has gone overdue. I remember taking a six-hour bus ride to La Union with my laptop on one hand and a paper bag on the other as I struggle (and fail) to meet a deadline at work.

I miss the excitement and unpredictability of how each day pans out.

Maybe I’m just being sentimental for times long gone, but Michael Brein, a social psychologist, has a better explanation as to why a lot of people also feel this way: “[Travel is] so stimulating and memorable,” he said.

Coast of San Vicente, Palawan
Coast of San Vicente, Palawan

“We remember our connections with people more than anything else. And it happens so fast and furiously. We get rewarded with self-esteem and self-confidence. Travel puts you in a situation where new stimuli and novelty is coming at you so fast, and the more that it engulfs you and you incorporate it in your life, the more you grow as a person.”

There is no cure for nostalgia, but still, we find ways to cope. For me, I found comfort in doing simple chores around the house.

Every weekend I would make a quick trip to the supermarket, pay bills, and order takeout. It could be Persian cuisine, Vietnamese, or, if I’m being adventurous, Chinese dishes that are relatively unheard of. This way, I figured that I can still experience the world sans my passport.

Yehliu Geopark in Taiwan
Yehliu Geopark in Taiwan

I booked a couple of trips next year and started planning out my itineraries. Last week, I also ordered a couple of pot and candle molds as an outlet of creative freedom amid the anxiety.

More importantly, I remain hopeful that this will pass, and soon, I’ll be out to see the world again.

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