I thought about naming this “Travel Won’t Come Back”, but before starting to write it I decided that was too grandiose and I have no way of knowing that. But I do feel comfortable saying it will never be the same.
Why? I don’t think people realize how easy it’s been to travel over the past 20 years. You’ve been welcome almost everywhere because there was a lot of trust and a lot of help being offered. I don’t think this is the case any more.
The trust has eroded on two fronts.
The first is that most diseases were either wide spread around the world where many people were immune or it was visibly clear the person was sick. Then we welcomed COVID-19 where no one (and soon to be not many) is immune and people spread it without even knowing they have it. I also believe in many parts of the world this will be worse than most people think – to the point of everyone knowing someone directly or indirectly who died of the virus. It’s only logical, in a Spock kinda way, that local communities, especially in more corrupt and less educated areas, will be fearful of welcoming foreigners into their towns.
Additionally, if you are traveling you’ll be more cautious of people you meet along the way. Where have they been? What could you unintentionally bring back to grandma in n days? This makes the entire experience less fun.
The second reason trust has been eroded is because of the lack of help between countries during COVID-19. What happened to the great helpfulness and cooperation of the EU? I don’t recall seeing anything about Germany sending ventilators to Italy or France setting up field hospitals. IDK, perhaps I missed it, but as globalization slowly shifts back to localization the uncooperativeness of the EU is another nail in the coffin.
Both localization and globalization have their advantages, the later of which includes easy travel. I think whether people realize it or not people are happier to receive you in a globalized world because there is a feeling of togetherness.
I couldn’t tell you how long this will last, but I wouldn’t expect travel in September 2020 to be similar to travel in September 2019.