No hacks, deals or insights here. But if you love travel — like, truly love travel — I think this will resonate with you.
Talking to a friend recently, we came to a very simple and profound point on what makes travel so elusively wonderful. It’s all about clips, windows and moments in time.
We were discussing Hong Kong, and shortly thereafter Ukraine, when a comment about Hong Kong’s unfortunate changes in governance and utterly bizarre Covid-19 protocols prompted me to say “I’m glad I had my time there, I’ll probably never go back”.
And that’s it — that’s why travel is a thing to grab by the horns with all your might and run with, when you can. You never know when a country will change, a war will break out, or the once simple opportunity to visit will be removed.
Or, in a vain sense, when it will become overrun with mass tourism and lose its charm.
Never Miss A Beat
I’m ashamed to say I never made it to Ukraine. Not yet. I will. Mark my words, I damn well will. I’m going to splurge when I get there too. As many can lament, life often gets in the way of best laid plans and too often I prioritized easier, “planning free” trips over things I wanted to do in Ukraine.
I feel so connected to the people of Ukraine right now, but not as connected as many who did make it there. They have my heart, my sympathy and my utmost respect, but I can’t imagine how much stronger that feeling would be, if I had seen these cities in the news face to face.
Ukraine was bubbling into travel trends, with its diverse regions and cuisines, art and the powerful Chernobyl Nuclear Plant open to visitors before it all came crashing upon us. I should’ve gone.
It’s just one example of the elusive and powerful nature of travel, but the message is what matters.
Travel is priceless for many cliched reasons, but also because it’s so elusive. Two trips are hardly ever the same and in just a matter of years, sweeping change can transform any city or region. I’d love to get back to Hong Kong, but I no longer believe in my heart that I will.
I’m glad I had my time there.
I feel lucky to share stories of my times there. Yet, I feel sad that my daughter may never get to hike up to ‘The Peak’ and bask in the endless glow and buzz of the city below. Who knows where a conflict may bubble, or nature may change a landscape.
I am now prioritizing all the places that do require planning, or that would be best impacted by an influx of visitors. I’m also prioritizing places of extreme natural beauty, because who knows how long that’ll be the case. I want to take those opportunities while they’re there, in as conscious a way as possible.
After years at home, I’m sure no one needs any added inspiration to get out and turn that proverbial bucket list into an action list, but I wanted to take this historic moment in time to remind people of how elusive travel can be.
It’s the most wonderful, the most exhilarating and the most educational thing one can do, and if you don’t want to sit back one day and say “I wish I got some time there”, I’ve got to say, there’s no time like the present.