I had my first flight in 20 months a few days ago, flying from Bangalore to Madras. And today, on World Tourism Day, I fly back to Bangalore for the second time. I realize I am not the traveler I was a few years ago, as I am thrilled and excited to be back amid the clouds. It’sIt’s not simply the pandemic or the worry and anxiety that comes with it. There has been a shift, particularly in post-pandemic travel, and I am now focusing on the slow travel experience and choosing to be a sustainable and responsible traveler.
- Take it slowly and deliberately.
Slow travel has always appealed to me, and I’ve learned to be a conscious traveler. I do not want to rush to destinations or “do” goals. I’m also not in the mood to be seen in hot exotic locales. And when that happens, I want to travel slowly and quietly, savoring every minute and allowing myself to become completely immersed in the location. Rather than rushing through destinations, I prefer little stops that are slow and long. I’m in the mood to take small steps, one at a time, and not leave a large carbon footprint.
- Keep it local
I’ve always wanted to learn more about local traditions, heritage, and culture; no one knows that better than local specialists and guides. The pandemic has wiped out their livelihoods, and I’d like to meet with them, cooperate with them, travel with them, and share their tales. As we get wrapped up in the places and experiences and developing content around them, we frequently lose sight of the minor things and stories. Locals make the best tour guides, and most tour operators specializing in smaller, boutique destinations are excellent storytellers. Their voices, though, are frequently drowned out by the din. These local encounters will give me an in-depth experience of a location in the post-pandemic travel environment.
- When it comes to fashion, less is more.
There was a time when I wanted to travel at least once a month, if not twice a month. I would go from one aircraft to the next without giving it a second thought, preparing, or savoring the experience. But now, I want to make my post-pandemic journey more focused and meaningful. It’sIt’s not that I want every journey to be a soul-searching experience – some trips may need to decompress or turn off while others may be a job or a vacation – but I do want an intent to define all travel, prolonged travel.
- Backyard Adventures
I was on a break from the media when I began traveling in 2007, and I visited around 30 Hoysala temples in Karnataka’sKarnataka’s rural hinterlands. But it wasn’t simply the heritage that took my breath away. It happened to me in rural India. And it changed my life. I’d just returned from my first vacation to Europe, but my stay in rural Karnataka had left an indelible impression on me. And that turned me become a lifelong traveler. Even though I’ve seen numerous nations and cities since then, the initial journey holds a particular place in my heart. And there’s a part of me that wants to go back to these places. Also, I want to make more significant inroads into my backyard, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, as these are my home states. I hope to travel more in India and eventually go abroad, but my backyard travels will take precedence now.
- Travel as a source of inspiration for writings and hobbies
I’ve always been drawn to stories, which is how I became a storyteller. But, somewhere along the way, the story shifted. I want to get my life back on track. And it’s not just about personal accounts. I wish to convey stories about secret temples and vanished villages, lost cultures, fascinating lores, birding hotspots, and lesser-known locales. I want to go on road trips, meet artists and crafters, and share stories about animals and birding environments. I may not be trending for the sake of Instagram, but I do want to make these individuals and places popular.
And that concludes our adventure thus far. However, routes may vary, detours may entice me, and nothing is set in stone indefinitely. But I’d like to believe that my stories will have a tiny impact on someone else. What are your ideas on travel after a pandemic?