Mindful travel : here to stay?

FULL ARTICLE

By Jasmine Cundiff, first year Law and German


The Croft Magazine // In the pre-COVID world, we were generally free to travel as far as our imaginations - and bank accounts - could take us. The pandemic has severely curtailed such freedoms, with many travellers forced to amend or cancel travel plans.

As the world shuts down - perhaps a result of the isolation we experience in lockdown -  that wanderlust-feeling has endured. The ‘Staycation’ has become part of our everyday vocabulary, as we attempt to balance a desire to escape with unprecedented restrictions. Rather than seeing the wonders of a distant land, we have had to content ourselves with exploring familiar surroundings. As restrictive as this sounds, many have found the staycation experience to be an enlightening and grounding one.

We have been given the chance to evaluate our choices and consider why we actually want to travel

Instead of rushing to tourist hotspots such as the Colosseum, staycations have given us the chance to mindfully explore less obvious locations, which nonetheless have fascinating features and thought-provoking stories to tell. Perhaps the pandemic has given us the unique opportunity to become re-acquainted with - and then appreciate - the cultural and natural wonders of the country we live in.

a Bristol-based 'staycation' | Daisy Game / Epigram 

We have been given the chance to evaluate our choices and consider why we actually want to travel; is it to complete the bucket list, capture that perfect social media post or to learn about ourselves and our surroundings? Staycations closer to home promote a less indulgent and more sustainable form of travel: a mind-enriching trip near home may prove that we don’t need to spend more money visiting lucrative sites in order to have a great travel experience. A gradual change in attitude towards travel is possible whereby we begin to value the quality of the experience over the quantity of miles that we travel. Above all, the travel restrictions have enabled frequent travellers to acknowledge their position of privilege before the pandemic. When the opportunity to travel is generally limited, each individual trip is of greater value. Putting more consideration into the limited trips we can make may guide us to seek more meaningful, personal experiences.

As with anything during this pandemic, nothing is certain. Yet in adapting our travel habits to align with the wave of restrictions, we have needed to plan more mindfully and resourcefully. There is the potential to carry this mindset into the post-pandemic world, when travel is once again at our disposal.

featured image - Bristol : Daisy Game / Epigram


Do you think the pandemic will have a positive impact on future travel?

AUTHOR

Epigram Travel

The travel section for the University of Bristol's independent newspaper, Epigram. Edited by Nick Bloom, Evy Tang and Ellie Caulfield.