singapore, travel

The New Normal?

What do you say about travel at a time like this? There’s nothing appropriate to say, is there?

Switzerland, Spain and New York City. Sabbatical destinations in Oct-Nov 2019, COVID-19 hotspots in Mar 2020.

There’s a lot to say about home, though. Only, I don’t know where to start.

Singapore’s wildflowers live to tell the tale as the image conscious city’s non-essential maintenance is suspended in Apr-May during our #circuitbreaker.

Maybe I’ll start with how both travel and home are slowly merging into different ideas these last three years?

In 2017, I wondered about travel’s impact on environment and the local economy. In 2018, I tried to find a green purpose to travel. In 2019, I wrote a long article for SecondsGuru on green travel and also turned the spotlight homeward when a desire to travel with minimal impact began morphing into a desire to live with minimal impact.

And in these last three months of Singapore’s Covid-19 circuit breaker, everything travel and everything green has gone out the window. While I needn’t say a word about travel, here’s the green-at-home update. The most reliable recycling place is closed, I’ve resorted to packaged produce and groceries, and I’ve not been able to hand over my kitchen scraps for a friend’s garden compost.

Yet, there’s a flip side. I’ve discovered that I can make good food, keep plants alive and even sketch a half-decent picture. Symphonies, world-class plays, ballet and broadway shows are a YouTube click away.

A sense of loss, a sense of gain.

Outside my insular selfish observations, countries around the world are trying to figure out themselves and their leaders. Stellar examples of sensitive leadership and communities reaching out to fellow citizens is heartening. Crazy autocrats and heart-wrenching racism are finally being seen for what they really are.

A sense of joy, a sense of pain.

Normal will come, but it could take a while. And for those in pain, hopefully in a newer, better way. I’m only one person, all I can do is hope.

Singapore slowly opens up this weekend, as it enters phase 2 of reopening, aptly named Safe Transition. While I figure out how this new found love of staying at home plays into a desire to go snooping around outside again, I’ll let this space rest a bit.

Stay safe, and travel safe when the borders open up.

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