Travel on Pause: What Life in Quarantine and the COVID-19 Pandemic Taught Me

By Mhegan Lee Aug 26, 2020

It's still life in quarantine where I live for a little over five months now. We've adapted as best as we can as we try to ride the wave that is 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic upended life as we know it, here are some of the realizations and life lessons I've learned so far.

Quarantine fatigue

I thought that staying at home, physical distancing, and avoiding social gatherings would be fairly easy for an introvert like me. But all the restrictions gradually became tiresome as the months dragged on. So I understand why others were eager to return to their normal activities as soon as restrictions eased up a bit. Quarantine fatigue is real and it hits us all differently. The challenge is how to deal with it without putting ourselves and others at risk. Things may be getting better, but we're not really out of the woods yet.

Missing travel

I miss traveling. I'm longing for that sense of freedom and the myriad of feelings that come with being on the road. It's having this inexplicable feeling of sadness. It's like experiencing a sudden parting with something treasured and wondering if will ever be the same again.

Slowing down

This pandemic forced us to slow down. Daily life has been stripped of countless things that keep us busy. Suddenly, there's more time -- to do nothing or pursue the things we like to try and explore. As the days progressed I realized I don't need much to get by every day. I've stopped wanting things and instead focused on my health and wellness -- on how to keep COVID-19 at bay. I've even started downsizing. I'm clearing spaces at home and getting rid of things I realized I no longer need. By slowing down, I was able to do more of the things I haven't been able to do for a long time.

Life without borders

Traveling is a privilege in a bordered world. I'm one of those people who can't easily visit other countries without a visa. Getting a visa can be costly, time-consuming, and frustrating. It's a constant reminder that we're separated by borders that not everyone can easily cross. But the past months showed us how diseases like COVID-19 know no boundaries. We're all part of a global community that's been affected by this. Our actions and decisions could impact lives across the world.

Doing is an act of hope

We've been through a lot this year -- from dealing with canceled plans to avoiding making any plans and everything in between. While we know that this crisis will end eventually, we don't exactly know when. And that can be paralyzing. To keep doing and making things happen during these trying times is an act of hope.

Here's to looking forward to a better normal.

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