This is a question that many people are asking themselves during the pandemic. For some, it is a categorical ‘no’, others seem to have no qualms, and the many are somewhere in between. Travel, of course, encompasses a variety of possibilities.
In recent years, the notion of travel has often implied jetting off to some exotic climes. When I look back over my blog, I realise how lucky I have been to visit so many interesting countries, over the years. I have always loved travelling and in some ways, it was something I took for granted.
Now, like going shopping, I have no great appetite for travelling abroad. We haven’t been to our house in France, since November. Usually we would have been there from the beginning of April to the end of June, spending July and August in the UK. This frees up our house for our sons and friends to enjoy the hottest months. Of course, with lockdown this was not possible and now that we do have the possibility of returning to France, there are the quarantine restrictions to think about and our new puppy to consider (but that’s another story!)
Travel can be very local. At the beginning of lockdown, we discovered parts of the village that we didn’t know existed while out walking. Once lockdown lifted slightly, we revisited local beauty spots while extending our walks. We are now contemplating a couple of days away, still in the UK, but somewhere that is dog friendly. Watch this space!
A couple of years ago I wrote about the concept of a ‘staycation’. This can be interpreted as staying in the country where you live or staying in your own home, perhaps going out for day trips. Either way, I hope you will enjoy this post that I wrote earlier.
Are you familiar with this term? I’ve only recently come across the expression and that was when I was preparing for the English conversation lessons that I take in France. I love delivering these classes because I do them voluntarily. It’s great to be able to make this small contribution to the local community. I love teaching and it’s an excellent way to meet people.
I digress (ramble!). I was researching for my next lesson and stumbled on the term ‘staycation’. I think I was vaguely aware of the concept but that was all. The definition is:
“a holiday spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.”
I’m guessing that the term originated from the States as it is a combination of the words stay and vacation. In the UK we talk about holidays.
Have you ever had a ‘staycation’? We’ve certainly had many holidays in the UK, particularly when our sons were small and we didn’t have the finances to travel abroad. In fact, some of our best breaks have been in Bournemouth, Cornwall and Devon. Another one of my favourite places is the Gower in South Wales.
Of course the weather will always come into play in the UK. At the moment we are enjoying a heatwave but this is not the norm for a British summer! It is not really surprising that so many Brits go in search of – generally – sunnier climes for their holidays. The opportunity to experience other cultures, cuisines and lifestyles may also entice people to travel abroad.
Why take a staycation? I’ve mentioned finance but for many people a staycation can be less stressful. Fewer concerns about travel, security and health risks can encourage people to holiday at home or nearer to home.
I have already written about my first trip to Scotland, specifically Glasgow and Edinburgh, last year. It was the most amazing trip and made me wonder why I hadn’t done it sooner. I opted to let the train take the strain and I found it a very relaxing way to sit back and enjoy the scenery.
There is also the question of ethical tourism. Cheap flights and massive cruise ships have their drawbacks, particularly with the impact they have on the environment. Concerns about their carbon footprint may be another reason why people choose to stay either closer to home or at home.
In answer to my original question ‘to travel or not to travel’, I’d be very interested to know how you feel about travelling, either now or in the future. I think that we have to all carry out our own, personal risk assessment and then decide what we want to do. Of course, if you are in an area which already has a local lockdown, you don’t have the luxury of choice.
Stay safe, wherever you might be.