It’s the first summer of the decade, a season one waits for all year long, and yet here we are, all locked up in our homes, waiting for the deadly Coronavirus to spare the human race. All the possibilities that jostle for space in the mind as one starts planning for the summer break — exotic destinations, fun activities, visiting relatives in far off places, etc.a— will not materialise in 2020.
Are people sad, complaining about what they are not getting this year around? Apparently not. As humans have a tendency of making the most out of whatever we get — even amidst this chaos.
A viral sting to summer plans
While summer is deemed the most popular tourist season for Indians, with many usually making plans to take trips to various destinations, Pritesh Khare, owner of India Voyage, a travel company, is confident that travel isn’t the only option.
“This is the best time to go crazy on social media. After all, social media offers a lot more than pretty pictures and captivating posts,” points out Pritesh. “If travel is to be avoided for the time being, why not plan for the future by equipping yourself with knowledge about far off places?” he suggests.
Farah Agarwal, an interior designer in Chennai, had not made any plans. In fact, one might even say that her instincts to go with the flow has helped prevent some heartbreak for her children and herself. Farah is now busy with her family, using the time to ensure that while her kids have their fun at home, they use their time wisely for studies, so they are comfortable with the portions when schools reopen. She is working on new design ideas so that when everything is back to normal her business is ready to reach new heights. But what’s the first thing she plans after the lockdown? “I plan to visit my parents who live in Bangalore,” she tells us.
Unlike Farah, however, Bindya Talluri, a makeup and beauty blogger who also hails from Chennai, had made plans with her son right at the beginning of the year to visit her cousins in the US. These plans now stand cancelled. Now once the lockdown ends and things get back to normal, she’s looking at taking her boy to elsewhere in India. “And though it might not be immediately after the lockdown is lifted, I am surely going to visit Mumbai with my son when this pandemic end,” adds Bindya.
Travel another day
While the travel industry is feeling the devastation caused by the virus, travellers seem to understand it’s for the greater good.
Deepti Gupta, a Delhi-based travel writer, who took off to her hometown in Dehradun before all this started, is clearly enjoying this summer with her family while waiting for the pandemic to come to an end. While speaking to us, she tells us that according to her, the present scenario is likely to continue. “I really think the entire summer vacations are going to be spent at home. But why not, if that is the best way to stay safe?” she asks.
However, she points out that the consequences the industry is facing cannot be ignored. “The travel industry is already seeing quite a downfall, with airlines laying off staff, hotels going without bookings and all forms of public transport being suspended. But on the upside, there is a decrease in pollution; it seems like the environment is being revived,” Deepti notes.
While we wait for things to get cleared up, however, perhaps we can consider Deepti’s suggestions to start off the summer vacation. “We have got an opportunity to discover a new hobby or pick up an old one that was lost among everyday routines,” she indicates. “Spend time with the family and help each other in daily chores. Play board games or read. Catch up on sleep, which is quite often disrupted by our busy schedules and tensions.”