2019 was the calm before the storm. While a lot of us were looking forward to 2020 and all the new challenges and opportunities it would present us with, now that we look back at our memories from 2019, we think to ourselves, “Eh, 2019 was a pretty incredible year too!” It was full of travel, new jobs, meeting new people, and exploring new opportunities. While some led a life on the road, some explored a new destination with their significant others. 2019 was a year full of travel plans that saw the light of the day. While we were surely indulging in travel, travel memories, and experiences with our favorite people in 2019, 2020 also has been a different rollercoaster.
While a lot of us initially lamented over the unprecedented situation 2020 put us in, many of us are now realizing that the time we have been gifted with is a boon in many ways. Sure, you cannot plan your ideal Euro trip to go backpacking across Asia, 2020 has taught us a lot of things, much like 2019 did.
A lot of us are sharing throwback pictures on Instagram and reminiscing on our memories from 2019. We’re saying things like ‘This time, last year, I was vacationing here or this time, last year, I was hiking here or driving around a new country’. While 2019 was incredible in its own way, 2020 has also given us a lot of unconventional memories to cherish.
Here’s taking a look at what we were doing ‘This time, last year’ and how we are making travel memories with people we love, in 2020!
Long road-trips Vs. picnics with your loved ones!
Who doesn’t love a good road trip? Vintage cars and Bollywood films have made us fall in love with the idea of a long road journey with people we love. Since India boasts of some of the finest roads and some spectacular views, a lot of us embarked on road trips in 2019. While some of us celebrated monsoon in Meghalaya, others escaped to the Himalayas during the summers while some chose to seek solace in South Indian hill stations. From road trips to Kutch to Spiti Valley excursions, we did it all in 2019.
While 2019 was great in terms of road trips, we did manage to make the most of 2020 as well. While couldn’t take road trips to other states and travel across the country, we took this time to go on outdoor picnics instead! Since many of us developed some culinary skills during the lockdown, we utilized those to make delicious food which we packed in the back of our car and with our loved ones for short picnics on the outskirts of the city. Be it in our weekend homes, or a picnic by a lake or breakfast at a nearby hill station, we did manage to create some unforgettable travel memories in some beautiful places!
While 2019 included days spent on the road, 2020 was about the goodness of home, packed and enjoyed on the road!
Himalayan treks Vs. Nature Trails
In India, the summers are exceptionally hot in most parts of the country. While we enjoy the best of summer fruits, the summer heat is often unbearable. The summer and monsoon months are usually when we go for a lot of treks in cooler parts of the country. Summer trips to Shimla and Spiti Valley and Monsoon holidays in Meghalaya and Mahabaleshwar are quite common. Our love for nature and the urge to feel that adrenaline rush lead us to undertake a lot of hikes and trekking tours. For many of us, the summer of 2019 was no different. We were going for sunset hikes and exploring lesser-known trails. Some of us were also summitting some of the most gorgeous peaks in the country! Our travels in 2019 exposed us to spectacular experiences and breathtaking natural beauty.
However, we weren’t much deprived of nature’s beauty in 2020 either! While we may not have been able to go to other states, we ended up finding nature trails on the outskirts of our own cities. Many of us went birdwatching and many of us took up cycling trips. This made us realize that there is a lot of natural beauty around us, a lot of places that we didn’t know existed. These unexpected modes of travel and the memories we created have also reminded us of the importance of preserving these places.
Architectural marvels Vs City-based heritage structures
A lot of us travel so that we can witness the architectural splendor of places that are famous all over the world. Getting a mandatory picture with the temples of Hampi, the churches of Goa, the churches, synagogues, and castles in Europe were all a part of our travel list. Be it the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul or the famous Vellankani Church in South India, a lot of places of architectural beauty have a charm that travelers cannot resist. The history of such places just adds to their beauty and to our memories.
But in 2020, we realized that there are a lot of such lesser-known places in our own surroundings. A chapel that we also drove past but never stopped at, an old church that we read about in a travel blog but were too lazy to go to or a step-well that is in the vicinity- in each city, there are a lot of such hidden gems that we either never knew about or were to busy to visit. The travel restrictions made us want to find places of interest in our own cities.
We were pleasantly surprised when we did that. 2020 has been about slowing down and appreciating everything around us. Moreover, appreciated historical spots in our own cities remind us of the importance of preserving and maintaining these places for future generations! A lesson in travel and a lesson in sustainability, what more could you want?
Trying new cuisines Vs. Cooking at home
While some people travel for adventure, some travel for natural beauty and some travel for historical beauty. But some travel for food. Food bonds people is a natural conversation starter and comes with a lot of sentimental value. From a South Indian meal on a banana leaf to a breakfast of aloo parathas and from a plate of Gujarati farsan to Lucknowi kebabs, food is a big part of travel. Since local food is always a big attraction, many of us miss that thrill and rush of trying out new cuisines, as we did during our travels in 2019.
But in 2020, food has still managed to bond us. While we were spending more time at home, viral trends ensured that we made an extra glass of Dalgona for our parents or baked banana bread for our kids. Weekends were no longer about Sunday brunches or going to a Dhaba on the outskirts but about trying new recipes and sharing them with your neighbors. Recipes were shared, phone calls to moms were made and the entire experience of eating got a new meaning in 2020.
We now prefer fresh, slow-cooked meals over Maggi, take time cooking dinner in the evening. Now, we are not in the rush to go anywhere. The experience of cooking and eating, enjoying every bite, has made us more grateful for the food on our plates. Even enjoying a meal by oneself and going for solo picnics have become activities we enjoy.
2020 in Travel Memories
While 2019 gave us plenty of travel memories, 2020 taught us how to make the best out of all the opportunities we had. 2020 taught us that travel begins in your own backyard. A good holiday isn’t always 3 flights away, sometimes it’s in an unexplored gem just a few blocks down the road.
As we hope for a better second half in 2020, let us take a moment to appreciate what we have with us right now. We have our loved ones with us, we have more time for ourselves and we have time to take a breather. Maybe that’s what 2020 is about- looking back on how far you’ve come and taken a much-needed fuel stop! Only this time, it’s for your soul.