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Summer travels vs local adventures

To go or not to go, that’s the question. With extended daylight, blooming flowers and happiness in the air of Denmark, you can smell the Summer. As more countries relax their covid-related travel rules, it’s time to plan a summer holiday if you haven’t already.

Photographs: Unsplash

Text: Ophelia Wu

After two cancelled or restricted Summers, many of us feel the urge to travel again. We crave the air and stimulation of a foreign land, some places that have been on the list for so long but were put on hold. The travel bug bites again, the excitement of reuniting with families and friends, especially those who live across the globe on other continents. Have you noticed any change in habits and preferences regarding travelling after the lockdown? I, for one, have grown to enjoy the proximity and relatively easier domestic adventures. However, when it comes to travelling, even a short trip to London, once a frequent business traveller, I have noticed a subtle layer of stress and anxiety creeping underneath. Never sure of what the latest rules are pre-departure and upon arrival, the claustrophobic packed flight full of people without wearing a mask and the latest Brexit immigration rules…all these are adding to the stress of travelling we were all once very accustomed to. So now it’s a game of travel bug vs stress.

The debate

Despite yearning for foreign culture and excitement, researching, planning and preparing for any trip has increased its complexity and uncertainty. What used to be an exciting holiday may now become an unclear journey at every step, almost as if you cannot breathe a sigh of relief until you’re home safe and sound. On top of that, there seem to be dividing groups of vaccinated and unvaccinated. Unvaccinated ones have fewer options even though most countries have dropped the need for proof at borders. The amount of time and possibility of quarantine upon arrival is another make-or-break reason when choosing a destination.

Indeed there might not be mile-long white sandy beaches like those along the coast of the Algarve, luxurious retreats in the Balinese jungle tree houses, picturesque ports filled with colourful Italian houses, mouth-watering food, and wine in vibrant Spanish towns etc. Summer in Denmark is amazing, the cities all wake up from a long hibernation, and everything is in full bloom. The country welcomes you with street festivals, cultural events, and long daylights like there is no tomorrow. There are many reasons to consider local adventures. The restriction-free and easiness of simply driving around or hopping on a train is unbeatable. There is a sense of certainty, liberation, and freedom where you can be as spontaneous as you wish without facing the troublesome border, quarantine, unannounced flight cancellation, long queues and any unforeseen circumstances on the way. That peace of mind is priceless.

"After two cancelled or restricted summers, many of us feel the urge to travel again."

The verdict

It’s a tough call. At the end of the day, a holiday is supposed to be relaxing and rejuvenating - if it gives you extra stress, what’s the point? While travel preferences are always personal and unique to everyone, the pandemic is still around, the virus is still circulating, and whether you’re vaccinated or not, there will always be a vulnerable community in each country we visit. So perhaps the priority is not considering carbon footprint, quarantine or passport stamps, but public health and safety; be respectful and mindful of the current situation while planning and visiting any place. To go or not to go, that’s the question.

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