Well if we can’t travel thanks to all the COVID lock downs, at least we can still read and write about it, reminisce about the past and make holiday plans for the future!
Staying at home more isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We can actually slow down instead of rushing around due to FOMO. It makes you wonder how much we’ve “improved” over the years, in terms of lifestyle offerings. More cafes, more restaurants, more entertainment attraction, and of course more travel options thanks to budget airlines and online bookings. I don’t think anyone would ever want to turn back to the days of yore, although on the topic of online bookings, I have my own reservations about that, pun not intended, but that is a story for another day. Can you imagine regressing 2 decades back?
Copenhagen’s Nyhavn Harbour. If you want instagrammable, this is it!
For me anyway, I now have more time to put thoughts to paper. I remember the time I was travelling through Norway and Denmark. It was when I’d first started my blog. I was able to pen numerous articles throughout my 3 week holiday. However, since then, despite trying very hard, I’ve never actually been able to replicate that success on my own travels.
It got me wondering why, and I figured out 2 huge reasons for that. One is obviously time. For the Norway trip, because food was ridiculously expensive, we would have dinner before 5pm. I am not sure if it is the same now, but in Norway, the menu is more expensive come dinner time, even if it is exactly the same dish that you could have for lunch! And because dinner charges start around 5pm, we figured if we eat at 4.30pm, we’d save potentially 30%, a worthy endeavour! That left us with a lot of free time after dark, which was also around 5pm since it was Oct/Nov that we were there. With so much free time and nothing else to do (the husband was perfectly fine snuggling up in bed and watching TV in the hotel room) I’d blog about the day’s excursions.
Cruising the Nærøyfjord via Norway in a Nutshell
I know travel journalists are able to churn out articles on the go, but do you know how much effort that takes? Ask any travel journalist and they’ll tell you FAM trips are no walk in the park. After a long day of jammed packed activities (more jammed than your average guided tour when someone else is footing the bill) the journalist still has to spend the night doing more work, before hitting the sack and repeating the procedure again the next day. There is hardly any down time. I know because I’ve been there before. It can be done for FAM trips, but when I’m on a self-funded holiday with family, it is my duty to reserve time and mental energy for family, not work.
That is not to say that I do completely nothing “work-wise”. Because I realise the other huge time zapper is social media and the availability of wifi and data connection. When I was in Norway, Instagram wasn’t a thing. The only big thing was Facebook. The blog was an avenue for me to channel all my thoughts and to share all my “hey look at how much fun I’m having” pictures and stories. It became a need to share, similar to how you might feel if you had to travel alone and had no one else to talk to. But then Instagram came along, with its higher than Facebook engagement rates, which not only zapped up my time, but also my need to duplicate the sharing on the blog. And when Instastories came about, short video clips of all the fun things I’m doing seemed so much more exciting and immediate than having to pen down my thoughts, and possibly likewise to digest.
That is why we all need to slow down and take stock of things once in a while. Because I realise at the end of the day, Instastories can show you snippets of what I’m doing sights and sounds included, but it can’t replicate the true thoughts in my head. It can’t do pros and cons, it can’t do commentary and analysis. At the end of the day, the only thing that Instagram can guarantee you is a pretty picture. And that is also why moving forward, I am going to dish up more travel articles, sharing deeper insights than what you would get in a mere Instagram post. I will still be active on my Instagram though, because who am I kidding, the allure of instant Instagram is just too much to resist. And while we’re at it, be nice and add me won’t you?
One last picture for the fun of it, why not. This was taken in Luxembourg.