No hacks, offers or ideas here. But if you love travel – really love travel – I think this will resonate with you.
Speaking to a friend recently, we got to a very simple and profound point about what makes travel so elusive and wonderful. These are movie clips, windows, and moments in time.
We were talking about Hong Kong, and soon after Ukraine, when a comment about Hong Kong’s unfortunate governance changes and utterly bizarre Covid-19 protocols prompted me to say, “I’m glad having spent my time there, I will probably never go back. ”.
And that’s it – that’s why travel is something to grab by the horns with all your might and run with it, when you can. You never know when a country will change, a war will break out, or the once simple opportunity to visit will be removed.
Or, in a threadlike sense, when it gets overrun by mass tourism and loses its charm.
Never miss a beat
I am ashamed to say that I never arrived in Ukraine. Not yet. I go. Mark my words, I will do it well. I’m going to splurge when I get there too. As many may lament, life often gets in the way of the best laid plans and too often I have prioritized easier, “planning free” trips over the things I wanted to do in Ukraine.
I feel so connected to the Ukrainian people right now, but not as connected as a lot of those who got there. They have my heart, sympathy, and utmost respect, but I can’t imagine how much stronger that feeling would be had I seen these towns in the news face to face.
Ukraine was bubbling with travel trends, with its diverse regions and cuisines, its art, and the mighty Chernobyl nuclear power plant open to visitors before it all crashed down on us. I should have gone there.
This is just one example of the elusive and powerful nature of travel, but the message is what matters.
Travel is priceless for many clichéd reasons, but also because it’s so elusive. No two journeys are almost ever alike and in just a few years, a drastic change can transform any city or region. I would love to go back to Hong Kong, but I no longer believe in my heart that I will.
I’m glad I spent my time there.
I feel lucky to share stories from my time there. Still, I’m sad that my daughter will never be able to walk to ‘The Peak’ and bask in the endless glow and buzz of the city below. Who knows where a conflict can boil, or nature can change a landscape.
I am now prioritizing any places that need planning or would be best affected by an influx of visitors. I also favor places of extreme natural beauty, because who knows how long that will be. I want to seize these opportunities while they are there, in the most conscious way possible.
After years at home, I’m sure no one needs any extra inspiration to go out and turn that proverbial bucket list into an action list, but I wanted to use this historic moment to remind people how much point travel can be elusive.
It’s the most wonderful, exhilarating, and educational thing you can do, and if you don’t want to sit down one day and say, “I’d like to spend some time there,” I have to say that there is no time like the present.