It was the end of February when global media started sending continuous signals about Wuhan territory of China. Media sources were warning about the deaths toll, but none of us considered it a severe threat.
We were enjoying our lives the way we always did. Millions of tourists were packing the suitcases and backpacks for their next travel destinations. In fact, they were already enjoying places like Paris, Rome, and Barcelona. Japan was getting ready for the Sakura festival, and people were eagerly looking forward to enjoying the beauty of cherry trees at its best blossom. Eurovision song contest was about to begin. Liverpool was two matches away from the “30-year-old Trophy Dream”. No one could stop them. Well, the virus did.
With millions of plane take-offs and landings, our planet was running like a Swiss-watch.
Little did we know that the virus named COVID-19 decided to take a swift global tour. It was not going to be “80 days across the world”, even Phileas Fogg would be jealous of such travel speed. In just 40+ days, COVID-19 had 100+ countries in its travel list and took more than 10.000 human lives.
Governments all over the world are trying to calculate the damage and take the necessary actions. Healthcare workers across the globe are fighting to save the lives of thousands of people. Meanwhile, some people fight for toilet papers.
Wuhan is happily recovering from its “traveler’s” footprints. Chinese doctors are trying to help other nations with the experience they have got and medical units.
Amid this turmoil, travelers wait inside of their homes. They are not used to such a static way of living. All of them are asking the same questions:
“What are we supposed to do now?”
I can clearly recall one quote that can shed some light into this situation:
“We discover 60 different places with the same eyes, whereas we should discover 1 place in 60 different perspectives.”
Staying at home and social distancing will help us and others to avoid contagion.
This measure is not only vital but also tempting. People who were born with Traveller DNA are facing a significant challenge. Countless days of fridge-routing, binge-watching, food eating, reading, following the news, sleeping, and waiting for the next day, which is going to replace another endless day.
It may sound crazy, but this period is an opportunity to feel what people in historic expeditions felt. Imagine, you are a team member of the South Pole Expedition, or that you are one of the Chilean miners who got stuck under the ground. Imagine you are one of the boys from Thailand who are waiting to be rescued.
Let's expand our imagination. Imagine that you are Hemingway, Hugo, or Jules Verne. You are sitting at your desk and looking at the empty laptop screen. You are about to write your memoir, travel experience, revelation, nostalgia, emotions, and many other things that are waiting to be packed into a beautiful book. One book requires 45-50 days to be entirely written without revision or editions. Write your first draft and make it available online so that people can read it. Write this book together with other travelers or compatriots. Co-authoring is also a big deal. Share your mutual experience. Sounds easy, but then you have this word, which is called procrastination.
Write like crazy. Write with all your heart. Write the way you are traveling around the globe. Write like you are about to discover something great within you. You have a story from the places that you have been to. You have a story. Everyone has.
It is time to share it. As Hemingway would mention, "All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.". Not out of boredom, but out of passion. Not out of anger but out of gratitude. You had a chance to see this world. You had a chance to see different nations and people. Why not show your world to those who do not have an opportunity to do so? Why not travel with them one more time? Take them to the Himalayas, take them to Copacabana beach, take them to Pyramids of ancient Egypt. Take them to another dimension. Use your power and ability to be the voice of an universal traveler. Write, share, record your voice. Travel to every single household that you can. Try to travel faster than COVID-19.
When these difficult days are over, you will pack your bags, take your stamped passport, and leave your house. Just like you did before. Empty rooms will miss your clumsy style of walking and belly scratching. The fridge will miss your appetite. Netflix will miss you. Or you will miss it. Hard to say.
Your house will wait for your return from yet another destination.
But remember for now.
When Corona travels the world, we stay at home.
We do it for those we care about.
For those we love…