Blogging in the midst of COVID
I have not blogged so much in 2020. Not a good time for a travel blog, I guess. But is it really the end of it?
My sister and I were supposed to take a vacation in Singapore around April last year when all of a sudden the world came to a standstill and everyone were restricted to move beyond their borders. We first made calls to our airlines and hotels to move our trip, all without extra cost, of course. We were hoping everything would slowly go back to normal a few months after. But with no light at the end of the tunnel in sight, we eventually decided to cancel everything altogether. Good thing we were refunded by our international airline and hotels (save for the local airline that has not yet made refunds to us). But is it really the end of our foreign travel adventures?
Then, everything became a frenzy at work as more writing assignments were given. The blog was pushed at the back burner; the writing, that is. But I open it almost every day, as I read through my past adventures. I realized the first reason why I did this blog — to preserve the memories of my travels. Yes, I have all those photos, but it’s still good to write about the experience, the feelings brought by the moment, and the details that I keep coming back to as reference for future travels and recommendations to friends. But will the memories fade just as much as the world suddenly made a reset?
I looked back and found that there are still more in my memory that I have not put pen into paper. I still need to write those, just to keep the moments alive. And while people may not search online for travel tips or information, some may find it refreshing to read about other places when they can’t step out of their territories, lest their own backyard.
For me, I found that my trips were made extra memorable because of the following reasons:
- Local sights and culture – I’m a history and culture buff. They say that there are different kinds of travelers and those who hit the road belong to various tribes, depending on their interests and preferences. I like to immerse myself to the place, starting from its famous landmarks and historic spots. I find museums and cultural shows interesting. I am interested in finding the uniqueness in a place, along with its similarities and connectedness with other cultures, and in learning how its modern societies and civilisations evolved through the years. I particularly like to take snapshots of architectures and amazing pieces from the past and not-so-distant past. Of course, it gets even more interesting if I have seen the place from a movie, drama, documentary or magazine because I see the images come to life through my trips.
- Food – I love different kinds of cuisine. From street carts to posh restaurants, I try to taste whatever the place can offer. This will call for separate blog posts, but I can’t seem to get tired raving about the food I’ve eaten during my trips. Good thing I have a flexible palate and I can down a not-so-familiar dish that I haven’t tried before. In fact, I find some of the food so delicious that I would even look for them in local restaurants whenever I go back home. Of course, the taste would be different, but the food can help bring back memories of my travels.
- Travel buddies – I have traveled alone when I used to do it for work. But for pleasure, I find the trips more fun and memorable when shared with a travel buddy or buddies. We get to exchange stories of our experiences, especially our bloopers. And it’s nice to converse in my local language every now and then. Most of my trips I treasure not only because of the moments that the place has brought to me but also the memories I have made with my travel companions. Most of all, I realize how one’s character can be formed by traveling with different kinds of people.
- Meeting locals and other travelers on the road – They may just be brief moments, sometimes just passing by, but these moments linger because of beautiful interactions with people we meet on the road. It may be someone who lends help or someone asking for one. It could be a person wherein your eyes met and just smiled warmly, seemingly understanding the other person or acknowledging their presence.
- Great finds – I must confess that my trips are not always without some shopping activities. I like to bring home knick-knacks and souvenirs, but I also like to buy good quality and cheaper products that can only be found in that place. Maybe those products are also available at home, but I can buy them at better value-for-money in the place I’m visiting.
I may not fill the pages of my site as often as I used to, but I will still write about my experiences or maybe pivot this site into something else — something useful or something inspiring or having both and a lot more. Maybe I also write more about the lessons and insights I got from my traveling apart from featuring just the destinations, right?
I write every day, but not for this blog. But I love to put my own thoughts and memories into words. No, COVID cannot stop my passion and it cannot also stop yours. It cannot stop our dreams and ambitions. It cannot stop us from yearning what we love to do. Things and movements may be limited and difficult, but we can all overcome this. We just hope and try our very best until the paths are open again for us to trudge on.