Cristina Gottardi, Unsplash
Cristina Gottardi, Unsplash

Coping with wanderlust during lockdown

It’s safe to say that the past eight months or so have been a bit of a disaster for travel. Us travel lovers have been forced to admire the world from a social distance, looking through the pages of the Instagram explore page or through the windows of others as they lock down in their houses all over the world.

One of the most reassuring parts of lockdown for me was the sense that most of the world was in it together. As the internet was filled with images and videos from the balconies of people stuck in their homes in European countries like Spain and Italy, it made confinement in our own houses just that little bit more bearable.

Sharing images of the world outside of our window during lockdown allowed us to appreciate the small part of the planet that we call home and see what life was like for others.

During the many months that we spent at home, I found solace in the world of YouTube. There are lots of positive and inspiring vloggers who documented their time spent under lockdown from daily walks in their local areas to trips to the beach when this was once again possible. It was from these videos that I really fell in love with Ireland. Having never been there, I saw how beautiful it was through these vloggers, helping me to imagine what it would be like to live there and where I should travel to when we are permitted to do so again.

If you told someone you’d never been interrailing or seen this part of Asia on a backpacking trip, you’d feel uncultured

The past few months have put a lot of things in perspective for all of us. While travel was always something I adored, I realised just how much it is a privilege and not something we should take for granted. I found that, before the pandemic, travelling can often feel like a check list. It felt like we should go to these places and do these things in order to seem cool. If you told someone you’d never been interrailing or seen this part of Asia on a backpacking trip, you’d feel uncultured.

It’s only over the past few months that I realised how much I took the ability to travel for granted. My wanderlust has increased sevenfold over this time and I’ve made list after list of all the places I hope to visit once we are able to do so again.

One of the things I’m taking into this next lockdown which I never thought I’d say is a love for TikTok. I’ve always felt too old for it, but it’s only since admiring the dreamy views, wondrous landscapes and perfect escapism on the app that I’ve come to adore its simplistic beauty.

The best account I’ve seen so far is dedicated to walking through the spookiest and most Autumnal parts of Edinburgh. Fitting in with the true dark academia vibe that I’m going for this year, there is nothing I want more than to find myself sitting in a cosy café next to Edinburgh castle gazing out at the dreary city in the rain.

TikTok, as I’ve discovered, truly is the place for dreamers and hopeless travel romantics like myself. People share aesthetic videos of their scenery from all over the world. Whether you’re dreaming about visiting a candlelit restaurant on the Amalfi Coast or taking a walk around a Japanese forest – you can find the most immaculate travel vibes on the app.

For anyone not willing to sell their soul to TikTok, I suggest doing things the old fashion way. Take out a notebook, print out some images of your favourite places or even paint some beautiful worldly scenes. Use this notebook as a mood board to soothe your wanderlust for the next few months. Then, when we can finally travel again – you’ll have yourself a readymade travel journal to document all of your adventures across the world

Remind yourself how lucky you are to dream about travel at all

So, while we wait for the world to heal itself and for the craziness of everyday life to calm down again, I’m afraid all we’ve got for now is the internet when it comes to escapism. By all means, if you’re able to do so – I can’t see any harm in booking a fully refundable trip optimistically for next year but for now, use this time to pause and reflect. You will be able to travel again one day and this pandemic represents but a blip on our long life spans. Until things are better, feed your wanderlust beautiful images and videos from the places that you’ll one day visit and remind yourself of how lucky you are to dream about travel at all.

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