Before the pandemic, I traveled a lot. 4 vacations a year and then the world trip. Traveling was my daily routine and if I wasn’t on a airplane for more than a few months or if there was no trip in the planning, then I got restless.
At the end of 2019, I moved to New Zealand. At that time I had not planned any further travel, because I had just arrived in a new country and wanted to get a foothold. Only a few months later, the pandemic reached New Zealand and the government decided to close the borders. Nobody would have thought at that time that it would take more than 2 years until it would be easier to leave the country and come back.
A few weeks ago, after 3 years, it was time for me to travel again. I went to Korea. I had to check first that my passport was still valid. Also, traveling had changed a lot since the last time I was on a plane. Filling out many forms, covid tests before boarding the plane, masks during the flight, isolation and more tests upon arrival.
The week before the flight I was a bit tense. Had I thought of everything?
It was only when I was standing at the airport that the feeling of familiarity came back. A bit like riding a bicycle. A tingling in the stomach before you get on after a long time, the first kicks are a bit shaky, but after the first 2 meters it feels normal again. That’s how it was for me with traveling.
In Korea, I was asked what it was like to be in a foreign country. And I had to say that it felt very familiar. I like to sit in a group of people and I don’t understand their language. I like to try new dishes (if they are not too spicy). And I like to get lost in the streets of an unknown city.