Now that the borders are slowly opening up again, many people are getting excited (Hooray!) and cannot wait to get out and see the world again. The happy activity of browsing online for new places to discover and new cultures to experience, is taking us all by hand and sweeping us off our feet. Our stomachs are hungry for new flavours and our noses ready to take in the scents of new places, from street foods to fruits on farmlands or village markets.
We crave to indulge and consume the benefits of travelling for the gratification of our own needs after the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, what used to be our luxury pleasure of taking a break from the normal routines of our lives, has turned into an almost unbearable desire to flee and stay away for as long as possible. We are low on energy, socially deprived and in dire need to plug into our life’s chargers to rejuvenate and feel energized again.
We are humans. We need to go out there, we need to explore. We need to live, and we absolutely deserve it.
There is nothing wrong with taking care of our wants and needs. And there is nothing wrong with indulging ourselves in what we love to do. We all have worked hard the last year, jumped through hoops to become the perfect school teacher, psychologist, cook, living-room athlete, partner, and colleague. We accommodated emotions we assumed we never had to deal with. We faced new fears of a catastrophe, the uncertainty of an unknown global disease that, unfortunately, forced many of us to depart this world much too soon. We did all this, while in confinement, while suffering from emotional, mental and Zoom fatigue…and still, we tried to take care of ourselves, to find that inner quietness that is essential to navigating such probation. Just to realise that all the yoga and meditation, all the best wishes from friends and family via our mobile devices and all the bread we can bake at home, simply do not cut it. We are normal human beings and we need more… we need to go out there, we need to explore. We need to live, and we absolutely deserve it.
But, how are you going to travel?
Allow us to push a question to your head: how are you going to travel again? This is not a question around the mode of transportation to whatever destination you might have in mind. This is a much more existential question. – What kind of traveler will you be from now on?
While you are browsing those awesome holiday pictures of clear sunshine on smiling villagers in Tanzania and playing children on the shores of Sal island in Cape Verde, do you also think of how COVID-19 has affected their social structure and what their wishes and needs are right now? The thought might not occur immediately, but the villagers in the nearby resort where you are considering staying in Thailand, might not have had time for yoga while out all day collecting wood or struggling to find enough supplies for their family. You might have not considered immediately that baking bread is a luxury, provided there is enough flour to do it…not an instagram competition. Wifi, a comfortable home on where to be confined… all mirages for a great portion of our planet’s population. And that’s fine… we have dealt with enough and we just want to bask in the sun and enjoy a great Margarita. But what if you could get all that AND make a difference to those villagers or those children or their environment?
Why not give some value back? And no, we are not talking about money. We are talking about that same energy you feel when you exit the arrivals hall in a new airport, ready to start absorbing all that this new place has to offer.
The point is… next to being indulgent to ourselves sometimes (as we certainly deserve), we as human beings also have the innate desire to connect to one another and to help each other out. So the COVID-19 pandemic also led us to think about the kind of impact we want to make on the world. On how our previous travels may have been a bit too one-sidedly focused on ourselves. We go places, we collect countries visited like stamps and happily post on Social Media how we have been to 16, 32, 98 different countries. But do we ever stop to consider… with all that financial capacity that we have in comparison to less fortunate other Humans, with all the mental and physical energy we carry within us from our well fed, well maintained bodies and well educated minds, have we given back a little something that truly made an impact? That helped improve people’s lives?
So here is a provocative question: why not give some value back? And no, we are not talking about money. We are talking about that same energy you feel when you exit the arrivals hall in a new airport, ready to start absorbing all that this new place has to offer. That energy may transform people’s lives locally. This is our proposal to you – travel, enjoy and give back. Give all you can and you will return home much richer than you left.
At PIT, we plan to help you achieve this. We would love to make you feel comfortable, motivated and alive while trekking in the Kilimanjaro or gazing at the turquoise water of Mozambique. But essentially, we would love to give you something that can only come from the gratification and self-pride you feel when helping others… a sense of accomplishment.
So next time you travel, do travel with a purpose. Let’s travel the change together!