Updated: May 25, 2020
It's the day after the beginning of the phase 2 in France and I feel like writing down a few thoughts linked to this period. I believe it can help me to identify the positive and negative sides of this situation and I'm pretty sure it'll be interesting to read this article again in a few years.
Three months ago, nobody could ever expect that something similar could happen. We were still positive as every beginning of the year, full of new goal and ambitions, full of hope and projects for this 2020. Then, all of a sudden we saw our freedom being progressively denied. Our routine, our habits, it was all gone. Each of us had to adapt to a new reality where nothing was as before, where social distancing obliged lovers, family members, students/workers abroad and their home country to a painful separation. A new reality were the places that used to be part of our daily life started to close: schools, restaurants, shops, museums, gyms, businesses and so on.
Home became our only nest, assuming its original meaning.
Our days gradually found a new rhythm made of smart working, lessons from home, masks and gloves, video calls with our families and friends, inside workout, empty streets filled with the noise of ambulances sirens... And going out to do the shopping has never felt so good.
My life since I moved to Paris in September has been incredibly busy at the point that sometimes I felt like I wasn't able to have the control on it. The lockdown made me realise the incredible preciousness of time which is the most important thing we have in our life. Being immersed in our daily routine and always in a rush, we tend to forget the most simple things, our values, the power of dedicating your time to cultivate your passions, to learn new things, to call someone you haven't seen in a while, to tick off what has been on your to-do-list for a long time.
I started this quarantine with a positive attitude, despite the difficulties of being far from my family in Italy and the strongest feeling of patriotism I've ever had.
Knowing that the situation was very critical in Italy, that the number of cases and deaths was increasing terribly fast, that my family and friends were stuck at home and scared to go out just to buy basic food and medicines, this made me feel very bad.
And travelling. On one side, this situation is tormenting my traveller soul: the incertitude of the tourism sector, the impossibility of planning future trips, the lack of information about the re-opening of borders or the evolution of travel restrictions. It's all a big question mark. On the other side I realised how many things I've done in the last few years and took the time to have a look at old pictures, to write new travel articles, to watch travel documentaries, to learn about remote destinations and to think about how lucky I am of living the life I want.
Sometimes we forget that being able to travel is a privilege that we can't take for granted, that the real essence of it is the discovery and that we all need to build a new way of travelling whenever it will be possible again.
I'm talking about taking care of the environment at home as abroad, about adapting to a new culture and reality that we really want to explore without the willingness of changing it, about focusing on a form of tourism which is beneficial for everybody: the local community, the travellers and the planet.
I send my love to all the families that were particularly hit by this virus and to the health workers whose role has been more than usual fundamental, to those who had to work putting their life at risk everyday, to the teachers and professors for providing education and support, to all the people that inspired me in this hectic situation and helped me to focus on the bright side. I read beautiful books, I discovered new online businesses and apps, I cooked with the help of my grandma's recipes, I appreciated even more the importance of my family and my friends in my life, the value of freedom in simple things like a walk in a park and a visit to a museum on a weekend, I felt the satisfaction of seeing the seeds you planted becoming plants. Last but not least, I've understood that I'm following the right direction guided by my passions.
Maybe, these times of uncertainty is bringing us some certainties we had forgotten.
I want to leave you with a wish:
In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to. - Dave Hools -