Not sure if you can go ahead and travel again? Waiting for some kind of permission that tells you: “Yes, my dear, spread your wings and go and see the world (again)!”
Well, this is your permission. This, right here. The world keeps on spinning, and it is waiting for you to discover it.
- Truth #1: You are allowed to Travel – Let’s go!
- Truth #2: The Locals need YOU
- Truth #3: This C Topic does not exist when traveling
- Truth #4: You are allowed to Laugh, Smile and Live
- Truth #5: Once you step out, you will feel free
- Truth #6: You can change what is in your power
- Truth #7: The World did not change
- Book recommendation: Stop Reading The News
- How to get started
- C Talk
- Your Permission to Travel Again
This post is just our opinion on things we see happening with tourism worldwide, with fellow travelers, and ourselves, actually.
We know, you actually do not need our permission. In fact, you most likely do not need permission from anyone. Yet, we all know how it is. Sometimes, you require that little nudge to do the things you have a strong urge to do.
Therefore, we do not know who needs to hear this, but this is for you:
Truth #1: You are allowed to Travel – Let’s go!
We have noticed this with several travelers and heard it from many sides: a waiting on the sidelines for some kind of permission.
At times, many of us have been waiting for the starting signal, the starting shot. Personally, I have been there as well. At times, it felt like waiting for an approval:
A “I was given the go-ahead, so now I can start” mentality was born.
Guess what: this is not going to happen. No one will come and say: “Hey Joe, Hey Jane, thanks for your contribution. You are now allowed to live your pre-pandemic life again.”
Well, except this very post here: You are allowed to travel. Not that you actually require any, but this is your permission from the Hostelgeeks, fellow travelers, and the tourism sector.
Waiting for these “magic” words, is basically just a part of giving away self-responsibility.
And, if you’re hoping for a magical article in a major newspaper to grant you permission, let me reiterate: It’s not going to happen!
The media is not designed to encourage you. It will just go on to the next big topic out there, like financial crisis, possible wars, minimum salaries, you name it. We highly recommend reading Rolf Dobelli’s “Stop Reading The News“. More on that below.
It is okay to live and smile. It is okay to travel. What is not okay, is to steal your life time and on top of that make you feel guilty about it.
Truth #2: The Locals need YOU – Now!
While many privileged countries may not receive a massive economic hit, countries dependent on tourism receive not one, but thousands of punches.
Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Cuba, and so many more are suffering from losing tourists. Of course, mass tourism has its darker sides and cons. Yet, especially for countries like Colombia and Sri Lanka, tourism has been and will be a way out of poverty and many other problems.
The hard truth is, as well, that this part will never be told.
You will never see a statistic of how many people actually lost their business, lost their being and future.
“You only see the full damage once the storm is over.”
– Matt, Hostelgeeks
Take Colombia, for instance.
This beautiful country just started to become more and more popular for tourism. It was a way out for people. A way out of producing, smuggling, dealing with dr*gs. A way out of violence. Locals started to open hotels, hostels, offer tours, transport, restaurants, and more.
And now? What can you do once this part of the economy is gone and hundreds of shops close? These people still need to pay their bills and eat.
This is one of the reasons why Mexico decided not to stop tourism. The cartels are strong as well in the Yucatán area, but as long as tourism brings in the money, people can live their life and safety is ensured.
The cost for Mexico of actually shutting down tourism would have been massive and unpredictable. Was it the right decision to close or to stay open? Truth be told, in terms of statistics, we will actually never know. It is only calculations and so-called opportunity costs, alternative costs, even. An opportunity cost is the cost of not being able to do other things with time and resources because of the chosen activity.
Regardless of right or wrong, tourism is a major dependence on many countries, and it’s about time this avenue opened back up.
Oh and on that note: Do not trust those numbers of GDP regarding tourism. Why? Only officially licensed tourism products/ services count here. So the hotels and licensed tours count, sure. But no restaurants, bars, clubs, small homestays, snack bars, beach vendors. All these little ones, usually the ones suffering now the most, do not even count for the percentage of tourism in a country’s GCP. Therefore, do not let anyone fool you when you hear “Sri Lanka’s Tourism counts only for a mere 5% of their GDP“. No way!
You see, tourism is not just about having a blast, cocktails on a beach and wonderful Instagram shots. Tourism can be the entire existence of a village, region, or maybe even a country.
Truth #3: This C Topic does not exist when traveling
Whenever we traveled since March 2020 and met people, this topic was perhaps discussed by a mere 2%. I am not entirely sure if people are bored with it, annoyed by it, or simply do not care. The reason does not matter, actually.
Once you hit the road, this overwhelming topic becomes a tiny, marginal note.
Life is more than discussing these topics outside of our personal control.
What we’ve loved about “getting back out there” is a refreshing reminder that there is so much more to life than talking (over and over again) about C – a more true-to-life existence comes back with a vengeance and travellers are just so happy to be back travelling again, meeting new people and experiencing epic hostels.
Truth #4: You are allowed to Laugh, Smile and Live
Yes, you are!
You should not accept anyone telling you differently. It is a harsh reality, but keyboard-warriors on Instagram and Facebook, and perhaps even friends and family, deny you the right to smile, celebrate, and move on. It’s almost as though if we’re not playing miserable, we don’t care. In truth, nothing is as black or white as that.
What can you do? Well, you can focus on the things you can control. You can stop consuming the media, for one thing, and this is actually a big one! You can be the one that chooses a different narrative, one that spreads love and happiness to the people you meet.
Do things that make you smile, share laughter with friends, visit places on your bucket-list, hug a stranger – be a shining example to all those that see you that the happy chemicals are what support a healthy body-mind, not in this other fearful way.
Remember: there is no law put in place that stops you from being happy! Read that again.
Truth #5: Once you step out, you will feel free
This is something that we noticed ourselves and heard many times from fellow travelers and actually within our community.
You might feel guilty for starting to travel again. You may feel judged, although no one actually says anything to you.
You will likely begin to see that a lot of it has been made up in your own head and through the scare tactics of the media. In reality, most people leave people alone (especially if you’re radiating confidence in your choices).
At the end of the day, you are a sovereign being, and as long as you’re not setting out to hurt anyone, people should mind their own business.
Truth #6: You can change what is in your power
I remember hearing recently that “this might have been the worst two years of my life.”
And again, recently, a fellow traveler told me, “This has been the best 2 years of my life.” He was stuck in Sri Lanka’s south.
No tourists, just a small bubble of a few hundred people helping each other out, surfing all day long, and sharing life. To be honest, it sounded like a tiny paradise. His eyes were glowing when he started talking about his last two years.
Obviously, not everything is in your own hands. External factors play a big role, same as luck too. Yet, there are certain things that are in your control, and then there is attitude, too.
It is certainly not easy to turn a bad situation into a good one. Yet, it can be trained and it is a process. A few books that cover this type of mental training are
- Unf*ck your brain by Faith Harper
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Marc Manson
- The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli
Take this video by Ricky Gervais. You might say he is behaving rudely. The fact is, he is a helper, but not a people pleaser. This is a massive difference. Plus, he understands a few things about the situation.
Oh and on that note: The books mentioned above also help you with guilt tripping by certain people.
Truth #7: The World did not Change
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.”
~ Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
Do you remember when the pandemic was beginning to rear its ugly head? You heard it from every side: we had to slow down. We all have to be more humble. We all have to take a break. We all have to be more conscious of our surroundings, more helpful, more human, nicer, and smile more. We should not go to work when sick. We should help where we can.
Now, there is no easy way to tell this: The World did not change (much)!
The world is still full of bad people, amazing people, and helpful people. In my opinion, good people outnumber bad ones big time. And of course, there are scammers, even thiefs, and you will experience yet again the ugly, greedy sites of the world. Yet, at the same time, you will encounter appreciation, smiles, and happiness. And as every traveler knows now, there are more good experiences than bad ones.
On that note, it might be worth mentioning that the world is always changing. Whether in a storm or sunshine, there is constant change, and it can go both ways.
So, the pandemic did not change the world for the better, in my opinion. It remained similar to pre-pandemic times.
This is a good thing in a way, but maybe also a missed opportunity?
Either way, this is not really in your hands. Go out there and spread joy and happiness while refusing to take s**t and standing your ground.
Read: “Stop Reading The News” – by Rolf Dobelli
If you are consuming lots of media, we recommend giving this book a good read: Stop Reading the News – A Manifesto for a Happier, Calmer and Wiser Life. Rolf Dobelli walks you through the history of newspapers. He talks about how it started and how it is going. He shares some insights into the industry that are eye-opening, to say the least.
This book is not about conspiracy, about propaganda and manipulation, or anything of that sort. It is basically about you, and how you can actually receive information without the fluff of a newspaper. It is about you saving time and earning a quality of life.
“News is to the Brain, what sugar is to the body.”
– Rolf Dobelli
Here is a TED Talk of Rolf Dobelli.
How to get started? Facebook and Instagram
So where can you actually start now to plan your travels? There are many ways to get solid, up-to-date information. Once you take a look, you might feel like a fool for not having started earlier. At least this is how we felt, a bit.
Check Facebook groups and Instagram channels. Many of our users also reach out to us in private messages. Please do so on our instagram/hostelgeeks. We invite you to do this. We are happy to help when we can.
One, out of many interesting Facebook groups, is the “Covid Travelers Group“.
Here, travelers share tips on where to travel, which countries are open, restrictions on travel, first-hand experience in the different countries and more. Since the situation is ever-changing, having up-to-date information is very important. This group is a great start.
There are many groups like this. Join them and search through the different posts. For sure, you will find useful information and inspiration. You can also ask questions yourself, obviously.
Another great channel is Instagram. If you want to get a feel for a destination, just check out the latest photos from Instagram from different countries/ cities/ villages/ hostels. You might be surprised at how many festivals, parties, social get-togethers, and so on you will encounter.
Some Inspirational Quotes for You
Inspirational quotes might be cheesy at times. But the fun part is that we can usually relate to them in one way or another. Here you find our favorite travel quotes of all time.
Your only limit is your mind.
“Mindset is to understand, that there is a plane leaving tonight to the other end of the world – and I could be on it”
– Matt from Hostelgeeks.com
“The moment you realize no one really cares what you do, is both devistating and freeing.”
– Matt from Hostelgeeks.com
“Everything you can imagine is real.”
― Pablo Picasso
“No pressure, no diamonds”
– Thomas Carlyle
“Be a warrior, not a worrier.”
“If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.”
– Michele Ruiz
Do something worth remembering.
Right now, you may be at 10% of your potential. Read that again.
“What if I
cannot can do it”
Last but not least: C Talk
This post is not about the pandemic per se. It is about freedom of choice, freedom of mind, about living, about not feeling guilty about smiling and enjoying life. We don’t care if you got one, two, seventeen, or none at all.This is not the point of this article, and most of all, it is your personal choice.
We simply want to take this article here to tell you that it is okay to move and travel.
And one more truth: when traveling, not a single person asks if you are actually vaccinated or not. Because, again, this topic is not something travelers are interested in. And even if they are, again, there is no law to say that you must divulge this personal information to anyone you don’t want to.
The world is opening up again, and both hostels and hotspot destinations are eager to welcome fresh faces and energy!
This is your Permission to Travel Again
This is your sign you may have been waiting for.
Now, go. Go and fill your journey with incredible stories. You deserve it!
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