Travel Hiatus Reflection

Travel Hiatus Reflection
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It wasn’t expected.

Who would have thought that a pandemic can still wreak global havoc despite the technological advancement we enjoy nowadays. Who would have thought we will all experience being stuck in our houses stripped of our rights to travel.

There’s really nothing we can do now but be governed by the rules of travel restrictions included in the World Health Organization’s interim protocol to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. We do not have much choice since public transportations were prevented to operate, planes were prohibited to fly, and even driving our own car will bring us no farther than the grocery stores and wet markets. An overnight stay at any hotel in Manila is now an impossibility.

It is easy to succumb to ennui and despair during these trying times. For people like us, who use travel as the go-to solution for our many problems, being unable to feel the sand beneath our feet or see the earth from a mountain peak, gives us weird feelings. We feel desperately bored not being able to do the thing we love the most. We feel bad that we cannot make use of travel, our elixir of life. For now, we take solace to the promise of “all things shall pass.” So no matter how long it takes, whatever we are going through right now, THIS. TOO. SHALL. PASS.

Instead of lurking and feeling pathetic about the situation, let’s take advantage of this unexpected travel hiatus to come up with a healthy dose of self-reflection. Things will not go back to normal, they say; but whether they do or not, keep in mind the following to help you go through life without regrets.

Nothing in life is permanent except change.

The world is wicked, but nothing in it is permanent – not even your struggles. So if you are facing incredible challenges now, do not lose hope because your problems will come to a halt in due time. That is a promise. Even certain things like death and taxes come to an end.

Do you know what is permanent? Change.

If you want to do better, face the challenges bought by the changes you make in your life. If only all changes are good by default, eh? Then there’s nothing to worry about. However, since every change we make leads us somewhere new, then we have to be careful with our choices. Changes give us room for growth. We should not live a life resisting it as it is one inevitable way to move forward and live with no regrets.

Prepare for the future BUT live on the present.

Are you having a difficult time enjoying the moment? Why is that?

A lot of us are so engrossed in planning for our future that we often forget to live the moment. Goal setting is important, yes, but not to the expense of sacrificing experiences that are meant to be lived.

When you are not doing anything, do you also tend to spend so much time replaying past moments in your head?

If so, would you rather have a vivid picture of what could have happened in a certain time and a certain place? If you do not live the moment, you will end up regretting the future because you will have no better picture of the past. The void space from not living the moment will be filled with what-ifs. Use this quarantine period to make happy memories with your family. Play with your kids. Watch them sleep. Cook a hearty meal. Cuddle. Enjoy your time with your loved ones. Live on the present.  

Life is short.

As deaths and infections from the Coronavirus brought by this pandemic skyrocket, we cannot help thinking that life is indeed very short.

Realizing and accepting that life is short can bring us great force. Try asking yourself this – if you only have 24 hours to live, what will you do? Where will you go? With whom will you spend your remaining time?

If life is short then we should not take things and people for granted. So while you still have time, cultivate a habit to appreciate what you have.

Like what Mark Twain said, “Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile.”

I am not saying that you break the rules of quarantine though, but you get the idea, right?

Health is wealth.

Being healthy does not necessarily mean you are free from illnesses. Leading a healthy life means you are fit both physically and mentally. If you are not sickly yet you have no peace of mind, then you are not healthy. If you are at peace knowing that you have the means to pay for your medical bills but your body easily succumbs to diseases brought by bacteria and viruses, then you are not healthy.

Being healthy has a significant influence on our overall well-being as it allows us to participate in our family and society. To put it simply, health should be viewed as an asset that is worth investing in for us to enjoy a good life.

People, by nature, are good.

Two weeks after the announcement of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), I received a message, from my sister living in a province, telling me how difficult her life was because she cannot go out and buy food for her and her one-year-old daughter. Her husband was stuck in another province and cannot go home because of the travel ban. I was so sad thinking about her ordeals as she tries to make ends meet, alone with her kid.

I posted an appeal for assistance on my Facebook and was so surprised when I received messages offering help for my sister. Several people visited her place and brought her stocks. I was overwhelmed. In my night prayer, I thank God for sending the people who helped me help my sister, and I promised I will pay it forward.

I came up with the “Adopt-a-Family Project” and was able to come up with funds amounting to ₱32,576 which helped 54 families. The outpour of support was exhilarating. Realizing that a lot of people are willing to extend help despite the global health predicament we all are facing is indeed a happy thought.

There is more to living than earning and dying – traveling is one of them. When everything goes back to normal, do not forget the lesson of this experience.

When the travel ban is lifted, we hope to see you again. Let us meet on the roads, shorelines, summits, or even hotels.

#RedDoorzPH, #LetsTravelAgainSoon

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