I am good at traveling. I have now been to 38 countries and countless airports. I’m good with google. I know how to navigate new places.
None of that is true since Covid.
There are no search engines to tell you what to expect because no one has really traveled yet and things change every day.
While I am thankful to be able to travel, it is very difficult to have so many restrictions sometimes.
Most of our time in Peru was spent with not only one, but two masks, and a face shield as well. Even when outside! Social distancing is very serious in some places here. Don’t even go to a coffee house and expect to be able to drink your coffee till you are in a designated area.
If you know me, you know that airport travel lounges are one of my favorite parts about traveling. However, many are still not open and if they are, expect many changes.
Today, I am at the Hanaq International VIP Lounge in LIM Lima Jorge Chavez Airport. Most of the time, food and drinks are a buffet style. Here, you are given a single paper to check off an item in each category (no more than one check mark per category) and they make a tray for you.
While I still love the perk of travel lounges, having so many rules day in and day out can really wear on your mood.
I have said it before and I will say it again- contrast creates clarity. I don’t just travel because I’m obsessed with language, culture, food. I travel because it helps me to see my life in a different light. To stop taking things for granted, to be thankful!
I realized yesterday that the average family in Peru makes in a year what I make in a week! I still can’t get over that. They have cars, cell phones, nice looking clothes. They don’t beg. There doesn’t appear to be a problem with homelessness.
This hit me hard in Cusco. We were told that before the pandemic, this town saw about 10,000 visitors per day. They had zero during the pandemic. In a town with no real ability to export, completely reliant on tourism. They are now seeing about 300 visitors per day. That made me a lot less frustrated with all the people waking up to me trying to sell me things. I guess it’s all about perspective.
I know we have all suffered during Covid, some much more than others. My hope is that life not only continues to return to “normal” but that we will do it even better. Realizing the things we lost and the things we are gaining back.
The world is a big place. I strongly suggest leaving your backyard every once in a while. It will make you appreciate what you have. It certainly has for me.