The year 2020 was the year we learned just how fragile life is and how the freedom to roam the world can be taken awaken the blink of an eye.
No one could have predicted that a microscopic organism that’s about 10 000 times smaller than a grain of salt would appear like wrecking ball and turn the world upside down, and inside out.
I am hoping that this year will be the ray of gorgeous sunshine at the end of a long, grim and ugly tunnel.
The questions that we all need answers to are as follows: What will 2021 be like? Are we going to travel? Will travel be like the good old days? Will travel by like the introspective, isolated, locked-down messy mess that 2020 was?
If there’s one thing I know travellers can expect this year with any certainty, is uncertainty.
This pandemic is not going to end any time soon and no one knows when the authorities will travel bans and restrictions. I have so many trips planned this year but I don’t know if I’ll actually be able to take them. They’re all up in the air. Where I should be. Flying to my next destination.
One thing I am elated about is the way travel has changed for the better. Everything is cleaner and prices are lower.
Despite the beginnings of vaccinations, the new normal for all travel (whether around the world or the block!) means masks, social distancing, enhanced cleanliness, and vigilance in monitoring ourselves for the mildest of symptoms. I am currently quarantined at Am Weinberg Boutique Hotel as I did not present a negative
Covid-19 test upon arrival in Namibia.
Am Weinberg is a government-approved facility where I will stay isolated until I have a negative test result, and where I am carrying the costs of my stay. This was a deliberate move as the testing in London where I came from, is exorbitant. It is cheaper for me to stay at Am Weinberg Boutique Hotel for 4 days at a rate of N$1400 per night inclusive of meals than it is to get tested in London.
I know, right! My stay thus far has been spectacular and the service here is phenomenal, especially from Jennifer. I’ve had more than enough time to think about how this year will pan out from a travel point of view and I’d like to share 3 glimpses of hopeful scenarios.
Everything is squeaky clean
Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way and we can all expect the perceived value of cleanliness to continue. Even though there’s a vaccine, we’ve now all become accustomed to cleaner hotels, restaurants and flights. I don’t expect this to go away. The Namibian tourism industry, in particular, has shown great commitment in following the Covid-19 related procedures.
The rise of global nomads
I foresee more people travelling to destinations for longer periods of time because they can work and play at the same time. Many have made the abrupt shift of working from home during the pandemic and people who enjoy travelling can leverage modern-day technologies to work remotely from anywhere in the world. While on holiday. Boom. I think global nomadism is going to be a huge theme in 2021 and I think it’s great!
Travel passes/health passports
We will see countries issuing Health passports or travel passes indicating one’s testing and/or vaccination status. I’ve seen people up in arms about this but a solution of this nature has existed for decades - the Carte Jaune also known as the Yellow Card, shows one vaccination status against Yellow Fever. Namibians can’t even enter Angola without this and many countries still require proof of certain vaccinations when travelling. I look forward to getting vaccinated and taking a vacation. See what I did there?
While confusion remains about who can travel (and to where), which destinations are considered “safe”(and by whom), and the ever-changing requirements of each country; many questions whether it’s even ethical to travel at all, particularly for tourism. All I know is I am optimistic about travel this year, travel will never be the same again, and the 2020 lockdowns have left most people with a pent up urge to travel in 2021. Provided it’s done safely and responsibly, I say go for it!
Until next week.