Life lessons from travelling during a pandemic

Updated: 3 days ago

© Copyright 2021 Artwork by Cordi Neckermann

Learning to go with the flow has been the soundtrack to my lockdown life. And even now, planning things seems a little pointless. I want to believe I’m in control of what is going to happen but really, I’m not. Travelling over the summer holidays to finally see family and friends was yet another lesson for me in how planning will only cause more stress than just going with the flow.

The tickets and tests were booked, but there was no guarantee that everything would turn out as planned. It was four of us travelling, so there was always a chance that one of us could test positive and all the lovely planning would go to down the toilet. There was nothing that could be done to create more security, only surrendering to the flow of things and hoping that it would all turn out for the best.

Everything did turn out for the best. We ended up making it to all our destinations and got to enjoy seeing friends and family. Just being away from home was a real treat. In pre-pandemic times travelling over the holidays to see family was a given. But this year there was a whole different appreciation for being able to travel. Every day away seemed like a gift and actually sitting on an airplane almost felt like a miracle.

All our travel plans ended up working out, but not without a few obstacles and hiccups along the way! These are the three lessons that I brought home with me from our trips which I wanted to share with you.

Expect the unexpected

Whatever we do or plan, there is never a guarantee that it will actually happen just as we expect. It is actually more helpful to let go of the expected and embrace the unexpected, knowing that even the detours can still lead to where you want to be. On our travels, we hit quite a few of these detours, but in the end it all worked out and we ended up where we wanted to be. I guess we kept our focus more on the goal rather than the path, since we already knew it would be new and unexpected, with potential obstacles thrown in.

Enjoy every moment

My uncle always says that when you get old, goodbyes are different because you never know what the next year may bring. This year especially, his saying held true for all of us, no matter what age we may be. Covid-19 is dangerous for everyone, whether they are young, mature, healthy or have a medical condition. With this in mind, enjoying the time with loved ones we don’t get to see every day had a whole new meaning.

I catch myself so often taking life and health for granted and getting lost and worried in future plans. But the truth is, all we lovely humans really have for sure is the very moment we live in. We can't change the past and the future we can only shape to a certain extent, with very little or no control. But we do have the power to choose to enjoy every single second of every moment we are in, especially when spending time with loved ones.