Plans were made, tickets were booked, bags were packed. And then COVID-19 hit. The many months spent indoors gave people plenty of time to think up their dream travel expeditions and look forward to a post-pandemic future. With answers ranging from sightseeing in Canada, cooking classes in Italy or exploring Japan and its culture, Youth Mind talked to people across Ontario about where they plan to go when travel becomes possible again.
I feel torn about traveling after COVID-19. On the one hand, I do feel that there is so much of the world to explore and I appreciate new cultures and new countries so much more now. Japan or France have always been on the top of my list, but they were always too expensive or it wasn’t the right timing. Now, I think the value of exploring the world outweighs a lot of those little fears. I’m excited to visit continents I know much less about, like South America or Africa. On the other hand, it’s become startlingly clear how much of Canada I haven’t seen. There are a lot more provinces I want to visit in the next couple of years.
After being in a pandemic for almost a year, I am so excited to finally get out to explore the world and travel to exciting places like Japan. With all the free time I had during lockdown, I’ve been watching a lot of Japanese movies and learning a lot about Japan and its culture, so that would be the first place I want to go once restrictions are lifted. Japan has a beautiful countryside that I’ve seen so much of through its films, and I know seeing it in person after so long would be worth the wait. Japan’s cities are also a huge reason I want to travel there, especially Tokyo with all the crowds and excitement that we’ve been missing out on because of COVID-19. While the lockdown has kept me from experiencing a lot in 2020, it’s also given me the free time to find new interests and learn more about our world. Now I just have to wait until the pandemic ends and the world goes back to normal.
One of the first places I want to travel post-COVID is Thailand. Before COVID hit, I had a trip planned for the country with an old high school friend and an international friend. This trip was going to be my high school friend’s first trip overseas and I was so excited to be with her for that experience. For my international friend, it’s been more than a year since we’ve seen each other, and [after] waiting until travel is safe again, it will likely be more than two. Reuniting after so long and being able to actually do things together is something I really look forward to. Travelling isn’t just about where I’m going, but about who I’m with that makes a trip so special. I will continue to dream of travelling with all my travel buddies until we actually can.
Once COVID-19 has removed its firm grasp from around our lives, I hope to travel to as many new places as I can. This past year has helped me realize that life is so gratifying, but at the same time, can be terribly tenuous. We are never really guaranteed a tomorrow, and arguably, that’s a lesson many of us have had to come to terms with during the pandemic. While I have always dreamt of getting lost down a quaint cobblestone street of France or taking a pesto-making class on the Italian coast, I am learning to strive broader. I have yet to see much of the world. Not even a year before COVID-19 hit, I had finally travelled outside of Canada for the first time. Thus, at last, I am vowing to adorn my passport with stamps from all over the globe and explore what I’ve been missing for far too long.
Once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, I would love to travel to Ireland. I am so excited to visit the beautiful city of Dublin. I am excited to travel around the city, go sightseeing and visit The Cliffs of Moher. Over this past summer, a close group of friends and I had been planning to travel to England, Ireland and Scotland as a graduation trip, but due to the pandemic, our trip did not happen. We have been waiting to travel together to Europe since we were in high school, planning to travel the summer after we all graduated from university. Once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, I am so excited to start travelling and gaining new experiences with my friends, starting with travelling around Europe.
About the author
Emma Siegel is the former managing editor of Youth Mind. She loves em dashes a little too much—no, really, it’s true—and when she isn’t editing a story or doing research for her next article, you can always find her with a book in one hand and a coffee in the other.