Since the pandemic took over our world, our relationships with others have been drastically affected. Activities which we once took for granted – like traveling – have turned into mere hopes and dreams for many of us over the last 12 months. Thankfully, vaccination programs have been unveiled with remarkable success and large populations have abided by many local regulations in a collective effort to save lives. And so, it begs the question: as the world begins to open itself back up, how do we do the same?
To go travelling post-Covid restrictions is at the top of many people’s agendas. Whether going on a short vacation on a beach somewhere or planning for a 6-month adventure backpacking throughout Europe, many of us are eager to burst the bubbles that we have been constrained to. However, 12 long months of isolation will be a tough obstacle for many to overcome; although missed, the sudden companionship and human interaction may be overwhelming. It’s interesting how, in just a few months, one can go from being an extrovert who loves being around others to someone who’s anxious at the very thought.
■ It is likely that, as the world reopens, many will find that they aren’t as excited as they first imagined.
But that’s okay.
It’s okay to be apprehensive about a world for which we’ve had little interaction with over the last year. As a result of our isolation, when we look to travel it might be scary and/or overwhelming to think about having companions. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t – a tremendous number of studies have shown that sharing positive experiences with others plays a huge part in our own happiness and overall life-satisfaction.
So, we thought we’d try and come up with a few things to keep in mind which could help:
1. Don’t push yourself too far.
If you’re only comfortable with meeting a small number of other travelers to begin with, then make sure you do just that. You don’t need to be in a group of 10+ people to enjoy yourself and make the most of your surroundings – a smaller group of 2-4 may be best to ease yourself back into connecting with others. Once traveling, you might find that you can handle larger groups than you thought – so be sure to head out with an open mind!
2. Fit in time for yourself.
Whether meditation, yoga, or simply taking some rest, it’s important to remember to allow yourself some time to recuperate. Many of us have been on our own for the last 12 months, and so it could come as a big culture shock if we don’t fit in any time to look after ourselves! Be sure to take a second and listen to your own thoughts.
3. Don’t take it personally.
If you start finding it easier to socialize with others, you may find that others might not be quite on your level of comfort just yet. If others want their personal space (because that’s all they’ve had for the last 12 months), then be sure to provide it. It’s not you, and it’s not them. Things will take time to feel like normal again, and for some, they will have a “new normal.” Be sure to respect it, and your personal boundaries will be respected in return.
4. Take your time.
As life comes, take it day by day. Your first travel outing doesn’t need to be some grand adventure throughout the Himalayas (though it definitely can be!); it could be as simple as touring your local museums or showing someone new to town around. Do what makes you comfortable, yet still excited. As normal life resumes, you may find yourself traveling further and further – and before you know it, you’re at Machu Picchu having the time of your life with a group of people who were all strangers just a few weeks before.
5. Remember, we’re all in this together.
Although you may have lived an extremely isolated life over the last 12 months, it’s important to take a step back and remember that most other people have, too. If you’re feeling anxious about travelling again, you’re certainly not the only one!
Wander will be a great tool to ease us back into interaction with others. As a group creator, you can be in control of who joins you on your trip, and how many people make up your group. You will get to plan your very own adventure with others who want to do the exact same. As we try to reconnect with others in a post-Covid world, Wander can be the platform to help us do just that in the most exciting way possible.
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