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Once the doctors have saved our world, the travel industry will heal it!

July 02, 2020
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I think it is fair to say that we will all remember 2020 as the year of that dreadful virus. A few years are such that there is no other way to remember them. 2001 would always be the year the twin towers fell.  And 2020 will always be the year of the virus. But beyond these years which change the course of mankind, how do you remember other years? How do you remember 2016? 2003? Last year? Some years have important milestones that make them memorable – got married, had kids, moved to a new country. But other years, we mostly remember for the new or unique experiences we’ve had. And more often than not, we have these memorable experiences when we travel. 2003? Crazy road trip with friends in California and Vegas. 2016? Two weeks of heaven in Kashmir. Last year? Watching India play (and defeat!) Pakistan in Manchester!

Travel is food for the soul. It nourishes us, helps us connect with our loved ones and strangers alike, makes us feel so small and also on top of the world at the same time. It makes us dare – to try new cuisines, to learn new languages, to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. It makes us grateful. Every time we travel, a small part of us changes forever. What is life, if not chapters in a book, each chapter describing how we grew as we traveled?

No doubt, this world will not come to an end. Scientists, doctors and health care workers will save us. There will indeed be a tomorrow beyond this crisis. But it would be a world that would need a lot of nourishment and care to recuperate. Perhaps for the first time since the ice age, human beings have traveled as little as they have now. It is a huge trauma for the collective humankind.

The Travel industry will have to play a big role in bringing this world back to good health. We may be sound in body, but travel will bring back our spirits. We need to enable everyone to see the world once more. We have to make sure people feel safe when they venture out once again. We need to take extra care of the very young and the very old. Most importantly, we have to get the world dreaming again, of visiting new places, of meeting new people, of making new memories. 2021 will be the year we will remember as the year we traveled again!

Once the doctors are done, we will be ready to play our part in healing the world!

Gaurav Bhatnagar