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Coronavirus and lockdown: how to be more conscious about life from now on

WorldTravelAble has been recently featured in this article on Little Lost Travel, which gathers stories about different people around the world in self-isolation during the COVID-19 lockdown.

This situation is easy for no one. Some stories give hope, some give tips, but what is really surprising when you look at how everyone is responding is the power of our imagination.

Without knowing of the situation we are faced with today, I actually wrote an article last year about alternative ways to travel, thinking of all of those who can’t travel as a result of any type of situation, like an economic struggle, illness or simply lack of time.

Why can we be grateful during the Coronavirus lockdown?

I am a travel blogger and I have worked in the travel industry most of my adult life. But before working, I didn’t have the means to travel and it was always a dream

I used to receive postcards from my friends while they were enjoying holidays by the sea, in a ski resort or on a remote island, while I was staying home. I kept those cards and stamps as precious travel mementoes – as if it was I who had taken that trip. It helped fuel my dream of building my life as an expat and a citizen of the world who was lucky to visit several countries of America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa and obviously Europe where I live. Have a look at my trips section for some inspiration!

Iguana Martinique
Iguana in Martinique

It also helped me realize how fragile our ecosystems are and the damage that mass tourism and our economic growth model were doing for both our health and the health of our Planet Earth. This is why I decided to focus more on wellbeing and responsible travel in the last couple of years.

With this Coronavirus outbreak, I think many of us have been reminded that travelling is a privilege, and many things we take for granted actually deserve our gratitude, like freedom or hugging our loved ones. 

Last year visiting my Korean friend after 17 years apart
Last year visiting my Korean friend after 17 years apart

Why I wasn’t sure to participate in those lockdown stories?

I hesitated before participating in this story because I am well aware of the suffering the Coronavirus brings to so many people.

I didn’t write it in a naive way. I know that there are so many people who died, are alone, or not even allowed to talk to their family or hug them one last time. It’s cruel. 

I know home is not a safe place to be for many children and women around the world. I know some people don’t even have a home.

I know the economical struggle that so many families are facing.

I know the psychological impact that lonely people or people with an illness are dealing with.

I know the struggle of all professions on the front lines – I don’t mean hospital staff only – I also mean all those professions that we sometimes place little value on, like cleaning staff, supermarket clerks, delivery staff, truck drivers, garbage collectors and so on. In days like today where many of us have the fortune of being able to stay home, or work from home, it’s these people who are the true heroes…

I know…
But maybe that’s why I wanted to participate.

Why I decided to participate in the end

I wanted to remind the part of society like me who are lucky enough to not have to work outside, that we should be grateful

working from home in barcelona this summer before coronavirus lockdown
Working from home last summer

Obviously, it’s hard during these times. And it’s not the same for a person who lives alone or with many people in a small studio as it is for someone who has a beautiful view, a balcony or a garden. 

This Coronavirus lockdown also reminds us of the huge differences between countries, and gaps between different social statuses. 

But I wanted to shine the light on those things that help me get up in the morning. Suddenly we are told what is “essential” and what is not, and this determines our rights to consume certain goods or not. 

I truly believe that every struggle has a lesson to teach.

We might not always be able to see it, because we are in the middle of it, in psychological or physical distress. But it’s definitely there.

In my case, I’ve been reminded to enjoy the little things.

I’ve been reminded that there is a difference between what we need and what we desire.

I’ve been reminded that the clock drives our life so much that we can hardly handle life standing still…

And don’t get me wrong, I’m scared too! Especially for the people I love who are still sick because of the Coronavirus today, or for the ones I know are fragile and are on strict lockdown to avoid being contaminated…

How our lack of health reflects the lack of health for our planet and its animals

Another important thing for World Travel Able, is the realization that this pandemic is tightly linked to the way we consume and mistreat our planet and its inhabitants…

If you think of where the novel Coronavirus comes from (and others like H1N1, Ebola etc) – a market in Wuhan – you understand we are the root cause of the issue. How can we let those wild animal markets take place? And how is it possible that sellers can easily find those wild animals in the first place?

One of the main reasons that zoonotic diseases appear, as stated by Greenpeace in this article and by many scientists, is that wild animals lose their habitat, either due to deforestation, climate change, biodiversity decreases or wildfires. 

For as long as we deny the correlation between the way we handle our planet and the appearance of viruses like this Coronavirus, then pandemics (and lockdowns) are going to be more frequent. 

The same way all countries have been hit by this virus, we must all come together as a global community and understand that we need to protect animals and our Mother Earth.

The health of our planet impacts our own, and our resilience will be the key to overcome this problem. We need to be educated, we need to take ownership of the information we read in the news, we need to understand geopolitical conflicts and how we are manipulated by the media.

We think Elon Musk or Bill Gates are heroes, while one is thinking that delocalizing pollution (with his not-so-ecological-electric cars) to poorer countries is a great way to fight climate change, and in the meantime is polluting the space with 5G nonsense, and the other one supports Monsanto GMOs and pesticides to fight hunger in Africa, while it kills the soils and animals depending on it, as well as biodiversity.

How can we be so blind to see? We really need to wake up and stop being taken for fools. Stop believing that the American dream is to own a house that you will need to pay for the rest of your life, or own a car that you can’t even afford in the first place, travel the world like a machine without having the time to appreciate what each place has to offer, consuming meat at every meal, polluting our oceans with plastics, and believe that technology will save us, while it actually contributes to over 4% of the CO2 emissions, twice as much as the airline industry… 

We have to review our priorities, stop racing for infinite growth in a finite planet… Stop acting like kids who get confused between what s·he actually needs and the toys s·he believes s·he needs…

But I’ve talked more deeply about this in another blog post!

Check Little Lost Travel lockdown stories below!

In the meantime, I let you check this sample of interesting stories, mainly about gratitude despite this stressful situation. And what I like the most is to see how some countries could control it due to their preparation and good habits, while we have learnt it the hard way in the Western World…

It’s also great to see the best of us venturing out to the light, the way we help our community in a way or another, and how lucky we are when we are surrounded by our families… no matter how small our home is. 

Check more about those quarantine stories below!

And don’t hesitate to share your own lockdown experience in the comments!

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