Traveling post COVID-19 lockdown: possibility + 5 places I dream of visiting

Tuesday, 19 May 2020
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Traveling has always been a source of immense happiness to me. It will always be my favorite indulgence and something that has become a yearly tradition for me and my wife when we celebrate our wedding anniversary in a destination somewhere in the Philippines.

Possibility of traveling post COVID-19 lockdown

Traveling post COVID-19 lockdown: possibility + 5 places I dream of visiting


    This year, we were even planning to take our two children with us to Boracay as part of our goal to expose them to traveling at a young age. However, because of the recent COVID-19 pandemic that brought life to a standstill, our travel plans had to take an indefinite backseat.

    The possibility of traveling beyond the pandemic


    With our littlest movement  being restricted, is it even possible to travel again after the virus had gone? I reckon, yes, it’s still possible to travel again after the pandemic although it is uncertain as to how soon we can. It might be sooner for domestic travel but for international travel, it is hard to tell.

    Airplane window for domestic travel
    Photo courtesy of pexels.com

    As a matter of fact, the word “normal” in the context of travel might just be a distant memory by the time movement resumes. We may never know the joy of traveling again as it used to be - laid-back, happy, fun, and carefree – especially because health and safety will still be a definite concern even in the virus’ aftermath. 

    On a further note, I think some of the changes which may occur in the future would be stricter airport protocols; fewer yet costlier flights; restricted movements during tours; and certainly even stricter health requirements.

    International flight traveling post COVID-19 lockdown
    Photo courtesy of pexels.com

    I wanted to blurt out that I will go out and travel again immediately after the lockdown has been lifted but that is taking a big risk, especially with COVID-19’s threat still looming. I want to take it a step at a time, get a feel of things before I make a bold move because I have a family to protect.

    Nevertheless, I am still hopeful that I will get to enjoy traveling with my family again in the future, as distant as it may seem. In any case, as with everything else in this world, it will happen when it is due.

    If there’s anything good that I came to realize with this pandemic, it’s becoming even more appreciative of the little things that I took for granted beforehand. The freedom to walk leisurely, to eat in the neighborhood café, or to spend a quiet afternoon in the park all feel like nostalgia these days. 

    Top 5 destinations that I dream of visiting after the lockdown


    In the meantime, while we are eagerly waiting for the pandemic to abate, I preoccupy myself with things that inspire my wanderlust and ease the longing to travel. I have been updating my old travel blog posts and I found the exercise to be therapeutic. It allowed me to relive our past adventures especially because I have to scour my memory for details of those trips.

    Family traveling post COVID-19 lockdown
    On the plane to Bohol in 2019

    On another note, I also came up with a list of the places that I dream of visiting after the lockdown, when it is deemed safe to go out, of course. These are local destinations because we wanted to keep cost at a minimum since the enhanced community quarantine had somehow impacted us financially.

    The top 5 destinations that we dream of visiting after the lockdown are as follows:

    1. Boracay


    Boracay is our favorite island. If there is one destination in the Philippines that we kept coming back to, it’s Boracay. Personally, I fell in love with the many personalities of the island; it can be slow and relaxed one moment, then pulsating and vibrant the next.

    Traveling to Boracay post COVID-19 lockdown
    Boracay

    Boracay is unpredictable, that’s what gives it its distinctive character. In addition, the powdery white sand, the crystal clear waters, colorful nightlife, and the breathtaking sunsets will always be part and parcel of Boracay’s unique allure.

    As I had mentioned earlier, we had plans for a family trip to Boracay. We wanted to see it after it had reopened following its rehabilitation. We were intrigued with how seemingly pristine the beach looked after the island’s much needed breather.

    2. Tagaytay


    Tagaytay is one of our family’s default go-to destinations whenever we feel like escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s always realistic to make travel plans to Tagaytay, after all, it’s just a few hours drive from Metro Manila.

    Traveling to Tagaytay and Taal Lake post COVID-19 lockdown
    Overlooking Taal Lake in Tagaytay

    Additionally, it’s got everything that we love such as the nippy breeze, beautiful green sceneries and landscapes, the amazing view of Taal Lake, and delicious food. We always go home satisfied and recharged whenever we travel to Tagaytay.

    While we have a small house in town, we still dream of staying in one of the hotels in Tagaytay. We like how fancy and comfy those hotels looked, especially those that overlook Taal Lake. Most of these hotels are pocket-friendly as well, so a little indulgence probably won’t hurt our budget.

    3. Baguio


    Baguio is that one destination that everybody else seems to have visited except me. I always see people posting photos of their adventures in the Summer Capital of the Philippines, so I thought of making the resolve to finally include Baguio in my family's local travel bucket list.

    Traveling to Baguio post COVID-19 lockdown
    Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

    Technically, I have been to Baguio some time during college but that was just for a few hours, a stopover for a fieldwork. As such, I have not had the chance to roam and explore the city as much as I had wanted to.

    What I like about Baguio is the cold and fresh air, the wonderful sceneries along mountain slopes and valleys, the food, and the family-friendly tourist spots. 

    Oh, and don’t forget the haunted houses and sites of Baguio. Not really child-friendly, but I would be interested to visit those if given the chance. On second thought, maybe we ought to just book a charming cottage-style accommodation in Baguio - that would be perfect for our family vacation! 

    4. Cebu


    Cebu is one place that is hard for me to forget because this is where I went to during my very first airplane ride.

    Traveling to Magellan's Cross in Cebu post COVID-19 lockdown
    Magellan's Cross in Cebu

    I have been back to Cebu on several occasions with my family but during each visit, we seem to always lack the time to fully enjoy and explore the places that we went to, like in Cebu City.

    We went to Cebu City thinking that an afternoon would be enough for us to go around the city's famous landmarks. Yes, we were able to see the Sto. Nino Shrine and Magellan’s Cross as well as have a quick run to Taboan Market but it felt like we were on a race.

    But if there is one place in Cebu that I would go back to, it’s Bantayan Island. I love how slow-paced life in Bantayan Island is. The beaches are pristine, the people are friendly, it’s easy to move around, and seafood is affordable. There are bars where one can relax and have a few drinks, but these are not the types with booming music and big crowds. All in all, Bantayan Island is everything that a tropical paradise should be.

    5. Davao


    My wife and I were planning to spend our fourth wedding anniversary in Davao. However, our plans eventually changed when we had our first baby and we had to settle for a destination that is somewhere near Metro Manila.

    Traveling to Davao post COVID-19 lockdown
    Photo of pixabay.com

    We still have not forgotten our plan to go to Davao. Hopefully, we can push through with that trip someday because we have been really wanting to go to Davao.

    On a last note, I also do hope to go to my home province of Nueva Ecija after the enhanced community quarantine has been fully lifted since I have not seen my parents since February.

    Travel safety in the time of COVID-19


    Frequent handwashing to prevent COVID-19
    Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

    When we are finally allowed to travel again, let us still be extra mindful of the health and safety protocols especially when we are in a public place. It would not hurt to keep on practicing the following:

    1. Social distancing


    Maintain physical distance of at least a meter when you are in a public place. Avoid shaking hands and kissing, as well.

    2. Wearing of face mask and protective clothing


    Wear protective mask to prevent COVID-19
    Photo courtesy of pexels.com

    Always wear face mask and protective clothing when you are outside. The virus is transmitted via droplets and a face mask would protect you from it. Also avoid touching your eyes and your mouth, especially if your hands are not disinfected.

    3. Maintaining proper hygiene and sanitation


    Take a bath everyday and maintain your physical cleanliness at all times. Being extra clean these days is a big step towards warding off infection.  

    4. Regular handwashing and disinfection


    Disinfect hands to prevent COVID-19
    Photo courtesy of pexels.com

    Wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap regularly, most especially if you came from outside. If soap is not available, disinfect your hands with 70% alcohol.

    5. Bathing and changing clothes upon getting home


    When coming from outside, go straight to the bathroom and take a bath. Change into clean clothes and disinfect the clothes that you wore outside, including your footwear.

    6. Strengthening the immune system


    Take multivitamins and Vitamin C supplements to help strengthen your immune system and protect yourself from infection.

    Keep in mind that all of these challenges shall pass soon enough. In the meantime, let us keep on dreaming while staying safe and healthy.

    #RedDoorzPH, #LetsTravelAgainSoon
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