By Audrey Tan

Being homebound for more than a year, we are all pining for that delightful moment of getting on a plane and travelling to an unfamiliar destination (or even a well-loved place). The allure of travel used to obscure the agony of visa applications, itinerary planning, and endless scrolling through accommodation options. 

No longer able to contain my wanderlusting heart, these days, I find myself scrolling Airbnb just for fun and, more importantly, a mental escape. I miss travelling so much!

When can we travel again? This is the question on everyone’s mind as we find ourselves halfway through 2021. While no one can say for sure when we can finally swap our grocery bags for luggage bags, to keep the travel nostalgia alive, here are some things I really miss about travelling:

The Planning And Anticipation

This is usually the part I dread the most about going on vacation. Now, I find myself longing for it because it offers an escape from the mundane repetitiveness of the current day-to-day. I miss researching where to go, reading blogs, watching vlogs, booking accommodation and all that necessary planning for a trip of a lifetime. 

Then there’s the pre-trip shopping and grooming! Because, of course, you want to pack the right clothes (and have options), plus a fresh, new hair-do to match. 

Although, nothing beats that sweet, sweet moment when I can finally activate the automatic reply on my work email I drafted weeks ago informing everyone that I can’t be reached! Watch out, Ibiza, here I come!

The Journey Itself

Am I the only one who misses the bellowing sound of airport announcements? You’ve never really paid it much attention except when it becomes your soundtrack to watching other travellers scurry around you. Surprisingly, I miss other travellers too. Because without them, airports will just never have the same upbeat vibe. 

Awaiting departure can be one of the most anti-climactic experiences ever, but now I miss the butterflies in my stomach as I sit waiting to board the flight. Excited that the culmination of months of saving, planning, and daydreaming is finally going to pay off. Staring out the window, wondering where all these other planes are headed and thinking, I’m next! 

Arriving Ready To Vacay

I miss the moment you land at a new destination, the thud of the airplane that makes me secretly smile to myself. I step outside, feel the hot air on my skin, breathe in all the different smells, and say hello to the carefree, holiday me. Looking forward to the adventure that awaits, arriving at a destination always seems to pass by like a breeze. Getting in the car of a local taxi driver who can’t wait to tell me about the exciting things I can look forward to, the holiday begins.

En route to the accommodation, staring out the car window, observing the place I’ve been dreaming of for the months leading up to the trip, admiring the architecture — I miss it all! It’s better than I dreamt! Everything is new, foreign, exciting, and beckoning me to explore.

Checking into the hotel or getting the keys for an Airbnb where I’ll be recuperating and recounting my crusades. Taking a picture of every inch of the place so that I’ll never forget how it looks. That first sip of beer on the beach or cocktail by the pool, the hot sun on my skin, the faint melody of the top 100 summer playlist playing in the background amidst sounds of joy and happiness, accompanied by the liberating feeling of being on holiday offers a giddying sensation like no other. 

You can do anything you want, including doing nothing all day.

The Destination

Travel enriches the mind, heart, and soul. It propels you into an entirely new orbit. I miss learning about all the different cultures and traditions of every new place I visit, the warm hospitality, the people, and the mouth-watering culinary experiences that I can enjoy without a care in the world because, after all, I’m on holiday! 

I long for walking aimlessly around a new city, with no other objective except to relax and take it all in. Exploring the different geography and landscape of a new place, a new adventure and experience awaits at every turn.

I miss meeting enthusiastic locals eager to share their smiles and secrets with visitors. I miss bargaining with street vendors, walking through colourful narrow passageways and busy streets. The energy is exhilarating yet relaxing at the same time. 

At the end of the holiday, I miss coming home with a healthy tan and all the delicious soreness from so much exploring. All the new memories and perspectives I now have, rekindling my passion for life. Recharged, rejuvenated, and ready to take on life with fresh eyes. 

These are the things I miss most about travelling. What about you?