5 reasons why traveling should be considered radically differently after COVID-19

“We think we’re going on a journey, but sooner or later, it’s the journey that builds you, or undoes you.” shared Nicolas Bouvier, traveler and writer of the last century.

How many of us, with a growing access to the world through the internet, are enjoying traveling nowadays almost in the same way as we can enjoy a film? Indeed, the internet has changed the paradigm. Bookings only take a minute while it took weeks, just a few decades ago, to send a request by mail and make a contract for a stay or enter a travel agency to build up a trip that usually was the trip of the year.

Over the last decade, we have been traveling and crossing continents easily – just as easily as the virus we are now facing. What if this special time was just a fantastic opportunity to reconsider our relationship with the world? Aren’t there at least 5 main reasons why traveling should be considered radically differently after COVID-19?

Reason 1 – Travel can connect us to our deepest desires and needs – through the 4 elements

What is travel? How can it ever build us, open us up? How can it contribute to our evolution? Can’t traveling be a wonderful key to experience life in a spiritual way?

The 4 elements (Fire, Air, Water, Earth) compose everything in the matter. They are to be found in each particle of nature and therefore in each of our cells. They are the link in every living tissue. Thus, choosing your next travel destination by connecting to the power of the 4 elements can make the choice and the reason for traveling radically different, with a much deeper targeted view.

Can we start focusing on feeling deep inside our desires or needs?

To answer a need for more inspiration, we may have the intelligent freedom to prepare our journey to Bali. Doing so, the Water element should reconnect us to our inner genius and our creativity should flow again.

The call of Water is much different from that of Fire, that answers a will to go beyond our comfort zone and need to challenge ourselves. Earth and Air will satisfy other sides of our personnality. Accordingly, they will help us feel better grounded or open us up to Love and our lighthearted aspect. In this period of confinement, watching as Spring is blossoming or else pictures connecting to Air, which contacts the heart chakra and Spring season, can be of great help until we can enjoy going out again.

Reason 2 – Travel can be an invitation to breathe in its deepest meaning: reconnecting to what’s essential

Now, what if we opened the atlas with the desire to take a fresh look at our next adventure – futher to the COVID-19 blockade? What if we could already dream of that next trip? As you understood, not dream of the place to visit, trendy destination of the moment, but of a place to breathe, while breathing has never been more important, more necessary, has it?

Nestled on natural sites like oxygen bubbles throughout the world – whether in a national or regional park, or else in the heart of a private sanctuary – ecolodges open the door to another type of travel: journeys that can transform our relationship with life. At Spinguera Ecolodge in Cape Verde, Larissa, its creator, admits with a sense of humor that the flavor of the ecolodge is almost that of a clinic, away from the noise of our civilization, thus reconnecting us with what’s essential in life.

Reason 3 – Travel can refresh our way of traveling & living while reintegrating our humanity through a re-connection with nature

This kind of trip, when staying at an ecolodge, is closely linked to the being and wellbeing (rather than to the ‘must do & visit’ common tips for the traveler). In the wilderness, wellbeing is seen in its purest acceptance, beyond the sole equipment of a spa.

The main values of ecolodges are precisely to invite us to breathe deeply and reconnect with space, and ultimately with nature. By mirror effect, they invite us to reconnect with our own pure happy nature. Free from the dictates of travel fashion, in the here and now, in the middle of nowhere, ecolodges invite us to a connection between body and cosmos, contacting a sacred relationship from microcosm to macrocosm. With a spiritual vision, ecolodges invite us to reintegrate our humanity into an inspired dynamic with nature (both our master and home) while relearning by boomerang effect how vital it is to protect nature, just as much as to take care of ourselves, since both are intimately linked.

Most ecolodges offer daily yoga lessons, shiatsu and other energetic sessions of wellness and meditation.

Reason 4 – Travel can help make a better world

Last but not least, how can travel really be a way to feel more united worldwide while exchanging our unique strengths and abilities, just as brothers and sisters sharing a unified conscientiousness? How can our next journey make a change while supporting communities? How can we imagine adding this as a mission to our future adventure trips?

In Namib Rand, the creator of the Wolvedans nine-tented lodge claims “Our vision and commitment to Wolwedans, and the development of Namibia and its people still drives us forward today. Wolwedans was not only designed for profit, but mainly to make an important contribution to the local economy, to provide opportunities for those who would otherwise have had none, and to help conserve one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.”

At Ibitipoca in Minas Gerais, Brazil, conservation is also clearly part of the creation with a clear rewilding goal, notably by strengthening the critically endangered muriqui, the largest non-human primate in the Americas. At Uakari Floating Lodge in the Amazon, the Uakari red-face-monkey is the mascot.

In the end, such places that welcome us for a week’s break also support our planet for a better living, with an altogetherness vision. The ultimate profit of such choice for a radically different journey in a nature inspired and inspiring environment is to connect us with our higher self for a really transformational time away from home.

Reason 5 – Reconsidering travel as a precious gift

No doubt travel is a powerful sector, both from the economic and the human point of view and, as such, provides us with good reasons for our escapes. Travel indeed is powerful in that it allows us to participate in the beauty of sharing and the human connection ultimately focusing on peace, but also in the economic development of territories far from opulence. But perhaps it will be even more powerful under certain conditions…

Realizing that a great escape can strengthen us, for a vacation that makes sense… we should be less tempted to travel the world so often. Maybe we could be much more motivated to deeply feel one place and take the time to experience it on site.

Then, back home, we can take that time to digest the experience with a view to integrating all the benefits, just as after a yoga session, the savasana position (the position of the corpse, in immobility and silence) precisely allows us to integrate the benefits of the postures and the work of the body and spiri… until we can feel how this journey has impacted our daily life (and feel gratitude for it).

In this way of reconsidering traveling and integration of the experience itself, beyond sceneries, becomes part of the trip. Maybe with an even amplified joy because, if we do agree that traveling is a gift, isn’t it high time to reconsider it as precious… because it is scarce? Isn’t it high time to focus on that journey of the year… taking up the chance to appreciate harmony again, with that almost ethnic, admiring approach?

Laurence Costa is Co-founder of “instants d’Absolu” Ecolodge & Spa. “instants d’Absolu” Ecolodge & Spa is a secret luxury retreat in the Auvergne wilderness of France.

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Comments (17)

  1. Jay says:

    I’ve been feeling inspired lately to consider a trip to Bali after all of this is over. I’m glad you mentioned that here. There are places I know will recover no matter what happens. And I hope this is one of the many places that will be appreciated for their beauty in the future.

  2. Pete says:

    Totally agree. The world’s never going to be the same in so many ways. Travelling won’t just be a habit as it is now, we’ll think about it a lot more – partly because after furlough many of us will have less money to spend on airfares.

    • Johnny says:

      I completely agree that travel will change for a number of factors. 1) people will have less money in their pockets, 2) people may lack confidence in the travel industry being financially stable, 3) people will be more nervous about travelling, 4) people may find it difficult to find the right insurance.

      But what I can’t agree with is a lot of the nonsense in the article. The notion that the elements of air, fire, water, and earth are the foundation of life is an outdated philosophy. Actually, I’m trying to bite my tongue here but I also struggle when reading stuff like “to reintegrate our humanity into an inspired dynamic with nature (both our master and home) while relearning by boomerang effect how vital it is to protect nature”. Without wishing to sound rude, this sounds like utter nonsense to me!

    • Laurence Costa says:

      Hi Pete, Johnny, thanks for your comment and for sharing your opinions!

      I utterly accept that we should not think the same and this is actually what’s intereresting and precious in life and human relationships, beyond writing.
      My vision and invitation for traveling tomorrow is that of accepting to reconnect with our body and heart, apart from the usual connection with the brain, for a broader conscientiousness and better choices. Not that of stepping back because of fear or less money. Beyond thinking, this is an inner invitation to experience… if that makes sense. Because… what can be said to be a topical philosophy? All in all, can anything be said to be totally objective ;-)?

      While blogging, I do admit that I’m sharing my impressions and deep feelings, with total sincerity. I thank you for yours.

    • Dave Garnett says:

      I’m sorry but I have to side with Johnny on this one. The idea that matter is made up of fire, air, earth and water is one that is almost two and a half thousand years old. I think Science has come on a long way since then!! :-)

    • Hi Dave, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I can understand my invitation to travel differently can seem bizarre, but beyond thinking, what if you could just experience by yourself, your own senses and see… if that makes sense to you, not relying on concepts (that will seem true one century, outdated the next one) but feeling deep inside?

      From my own experience, only through the body can I feel what really makes sense or not and what makes me alive here and now, beyond concepts. This is my only sincere invitation. Best regards.

    • COSTA says:

      Hi Dave, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I can understand my invitation to travel differently can seem bizarre, but beyond thinking, what if you could just experience by yourself, your own senses and see… if that makes sense to you, not relying on concepts (that will seem true one century, outdated the next one) but feeling deep inside?

      From my own experience, only through the body can I feel what really makes sense or not and what makes me alive here and now, beyond concepts. This is my only sincere invitation.

  3. Sally Arnold says:

    Although I agree with what you say about reconnecting to what’s essential when you travel, it can be very difficult. I’ve got two friends who are very senior in their companies and they find it very difficult to switch off from the pressures of work.

    One of them says that it takes at least four days for him to unwind and begin to relax. Even then the constant drip of e-mails and phone calls makes it almost impossible to truly get away. It is ironic that those who can afford to travel are unable to really get the benefits.

    • Laurence Costa says:

      Hello Sally, reconnecting to what’s essential probably has to be turned into a routine while taking care of ourselves.

      Well-being, even though it is part of our human deep nature, needs to be activated. If there is no doubt that our environment plays an essential role; drawn into a positive spiral, the mind can also lead us on the path to well-being. Connecting your next travel adventure to daily yoga sessions can help start a positive routine. Until then, I wish you all the best.

  4. Justine Wright says:

    I still see travel as a precious gift, as you’ve put with reason 5. I think travelling less regularly with financial restrictions makes me value each holiday and destination all the more, and the novelty and special nature of it all has never worn off for me. These days travel has become far more accessible so the novelty likely wears off for many. For those that travel more often, the break is perhaps a good way to step back and really appreciate it all the more and all the ways in which it improves and expands our lives. I suppose like anything, we can take such things for granted and when we can’t have it or do it, we can be more grateful and look at it with a renewed sense of appreciation.

  5. Grace says:

    Dozens of people have recommended meditation to me. Until now I’ve never been able to stop my mind racing, juggling so many things for my busy job in London. After two weeks working at home without all the distractions of office life I feel that I might be in a position to give meditation another go, especially if I could get away to somewhere fantastic. Without having to pay for fares into London, extortionate lunches and drinks after work I’m saving huge amounts of money, so it might happen.

    • Laurence Costa says:

      Dear Grace, how about getting rid of the “if’s”? Isn’t wonder in the eyes first? Peace in the heart before being conditioned? Leaving in pure nature, I am convinced that a fantastic natural environment can contribute to our well-being but that it is not a sine qua non condition. Whereas raising your awareness through meditation can definitely help appreciate life and your next travel adventure even more. There are plenty of online short guided meditations that can help and maybe you could start a positive routine at this time of confinement, don’t you think? Take care!

  6. Mark B says:

    Looking at the four elements is an interesting way to frame our perspective on life and travel. The expression of ‘you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone’ keeps springing to mind lately and I think when the situation changes and we can all once again travel safely without the threat of the virus, we’ll be, hopefully, more appreciative of it and look at what we actually get from our experiences on a deeper level.

  7. Irving G. says:

    This pandemic has changed all of us in a variety of ways. One thing is for sure, we will learn to appreciate everything more after all of this is over. I agree that while travelling was made easier, the same thing happened with the spread of the virus. On the other hand, after this pandemic, people will surely be able to do more good deeds for others and the environment. We will see travelling as a blessing and an opportunity to seize the moment. We will be able to connect more with other people and appreciate the culture and history of the place we are in. Moreover, it will be also be an opportunity for us to truly realize that we have been abusing the resources that mother Earth is giving away for free and do something about it. We will carry this event for the rest of our lives and I hope that we will act collectively to make this world a better place for us and for the future generations.

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