Editor Liz Fleming (right) with Tania Tomaszewska, sommelier, Maple Leaf Adventures' Wine Islands cruise.
IT’S BEEN A LONG HAUL, but as these long pandemic days have passed, none of the true travel-lovers among us has ever given up hope. We’ve simply found ways to bring the world to us.
We’ve gone through thousands of photos taken on much-enjoyed trips, perused websites, read travel magazines, planned future adventures and relived our memories. Some of us have taken it a step further and unleashed our myriad travel experiences on our senses.
When the dark days of winter kept us inside, we practiced what we’d learned in Denmark and became masters of hygge – the art of being cozy at home. And if the pressures of staying inside – no matter how cozy – became too much, we shifted our thoughts to another part of the world and practiced the Japanese wellness strategy of forest bathing, drinking in the healing powers of nature on long, mindful walks. If COVID concerns kept us from sleeping well at night and we awoke, tired and anxious, we borrowed a tradition from our Spanish friends and enjoyed a healing afternoon siesta. Realizing that comfort food is essential in times of great stress, we’ve delved into our travel cookbooks and learned to make pasta that brought back memories of tiny courtyard restaurants in Florence. We taught ourselves to handroll pretzels that captured the essence of a Munich beer hall at Oktoberfest and we baked (or perhaps bought!) croissants and baguettes, closed our eyes and dreamt of Paris. A few drops of jasmine-scented essential oil in a diffuser transported us to a sunny sidewalk outside Rome while the scent of coconut conjured the warm breezes and white beach sands we were all missing so badly. We played music that ranged from salsa to symphony, filling our souls with the sounds that reignited the memories of our travels.
And we dreamt of a day when we could re-emerge into a world where travel was again possible.
Today, things are far from perfect and the world of travel is still struggling back to its feet. But the good news is that vaccines are now rolling out in countries around the globe and the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel has grown from a faint glimmer to a strong and increasing glow. We know brighter days are on the horizon and we’ll soon be able to explore the world again – this time with a heightened awareness of how grateful we are for that freedom.
When we again feel the wind in our hair as we stand on the deck of a ship, or hear the chest-vibrating hum as an airplane engine rumbles to life, let’s be sure to luxuriate in those sensations. Let’s savour every moment and turn our senses up to high volume as we experience everything we’ve missed for so long. Our belief in the future of travel will have been justified and the world will have reopened at last.
Originally published in Cruise & Travel Lifestyles Summer 2021 issue.