A year ago, booking a last-minute holiday to a destination halfway around the world was something you could do in just a few clicks. Today, the idea of even crossing a land border is littered with speed bumps, from ever-changing government regulations to time-consuming health and safety protocols. Travel is a casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the freedom and spontaneity we all used to enjoy has been lost.
Being homebound has created an overwhelming sense of nostalgia among avid travellers. Where would you be right now if it weren’t for Covid-19? It’s a question that elicits all types of answers on social media: photos of long, lazy lunches in Tuscany; the glistening waters of the Maldives; a glorious sunset on a safari drive. Instagram is replete with images of past trips coupled with captions that demonstrate our yearning to travel and the significant role it plays in our lives.
While there is a collective itch to get back on the road, the giant pause brought on by the pandemic has had a silver lining. It has given nature a breather from human activity, resulting in clearer skies and cleaner air in many countries, and allowed wildlife to reclaim habitats. Being stuck in one place has also encouraged many people to think about the nature of travel itself and how it can be made a more sustainable, mindful pursuit.
According to a pre-pandemic study conducted by Design Hotels last year on travel trends for the next decade, there had already been a shift to a more conscious type of travel. There were also signs of a rise in eco-travel and travel to remote destinations, but the behavioural changes caused by the pandemic will go beyond choosing a less-trodden path for an active, nature-driven holiday. We are likely to see a return to slow travel, with many people opting for fewer but longer trips, a decision triggered in part by the complications around mobility at the moment. Travellers will aim for a lighter carbon footprint, which will drive greater interest in uber-local destinations, and there will also be an inclination towards immersive wellness experiences.
As we look forward to travelling once again, we asked global tastemakers from various industries how their view on travel has evolved, and where exactly they’re dreaming of going next year.
Award-winning broadcast journalist and storyteller
One of the best-known news anchors in Indonesia, Andini Effendi has reported from all corners of the world. She covered the Libyan Civil War in 2011 and the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. After falling in love with Africa during a trip to South Africa and Namibia last year, she hopes to visit Rwanda next. “I want to see the conservation work there—how nature and good policies can be an asset to a country. I believe Indonesia can learn from it.” She also wants to head to Guatemala and Chile, the latter for a scheduled marathon that was cancelled due to the pandemic.
During lockdown, her travel philosophy has been transformed. “We will be travelling more to accessible places with lesser impact to the environment where we feel secure about our health.” On that note, with a lot of Indonesia left for her to explore, she says now is the right time to see more of her home country.
Curatorial Director, Design Miami
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