The last few years have been hell for travellers, with a mass campaign of fearmongering over the pandemic and an unforgiveable curtailment of a lot of human and civil rights, as well as personal freedoms. But travellers have weathered the storm and the world is for the most part fully open again. Here’s hoping 2023 is the year travel really returns to normal for everyone.
Things aren’t getting off to the best of starts. The United States still thinks it has the moral authority to override personal consent and demand proof of vaccination to enter, with the TSA continually extending their mandate to at least January 2023 now, despite most other countries dropping that requirement a long time ago. China is finally opening up again and dropping the absolute majority of their draconian measures, seemingly overnight after quietly downgrading the categorisation of SARSCOV2 as an infectious disease, but still have a raft of punitive policies in place, and there are still quite a few borders that are clinging onto the last dregs of Covid policy madness. Even Southwest Airlines have fumbled the ball during the busiest travel period with one of the most catastrophic industry failures in recent years.
It doesn’t look promising on the face of it, I grant you, but the truth is for most of the world travel has returned to normal. For the most part at least. It may not have been as quickly as many would have liked, myself included, and maybe not as fully as everyone would have hoped, but travel is back! Most borders are fully open, most restrictions have been dropped in their entirety with the vast majority of people now embarrassed at how ridiculous they were in hindsight, even if they still won’t admit it, and the narrative of fear continues to crumble and be exposed for what it actually was.
So for all of those out there who have emailed and messaged me over the last few years with your tales of destroyed travel dreams, delayed or postponed gap years, cancelled career breaks or simple worries about if it was even safe or practical to travel at all, now is your time!
I hope you all took my advice to keep saving, keep planning and keep those travel dreams alive.
It is your time to get out and relax on those tropical beaches or have an epic adventure trekking through jungles or over volcanoes. It is your time discover all the world has to offer you, your time to experience the transformative and life changing power of a gap year! So go out there and take full advantage of it.
Whatever you choose to do, whether it is enjoying the bars and beaches of southeast Asia, discovering the ancient history of Egypt or Peru or soaking in the culture of a European city or two, the whole world is your oyster again.
I hope in 2023 that you get to follow all of your travel dreams without fear or restriction, and for those of you that need it, that travel can somehow help you heal after the last few years. I hope that the upcoming new year travel will bring some happiness and joy back into peoples lives again, instead of simply adding to the state of survival mode that many people have simply endured. I know from long experience it has the power to do that.
So wherever you end up travelling to in 2023 I wish you a wonderful year of travel, fun and adventure. I think by now, we’ve all earned it!
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