Oh, how I long to be back on a plane again.
Nothing beats that feeling when you’re up at 3 am for the first flight out of the airport.
Not that you’ve slept. It’s like waiting for Christmas morning (if you’re a big kid like me).
That airport feeling
You’re on the way to the airport, wondering what you’ve forgotten to pack, even though the suitcases are bulging and you should be more worried about whether they’re over the luggage allowance limit.
You arrive at the airport ahead of schedule, because even though it’s ridiculous o’clock in the morning, you just want to make it through security to have a big ole’ breakfast and probably an alcoholic drink to wash it all down with.
And then, once you’ve eaten, you’re definitely going to check out the shops and buy something that you ‘need’ for the trip, even though you have a perfectly good pair of sunglasses on your head already.
You line up in a queue to board the plane, even though the flight attendants aren’t at the gate yet and you’ve already booked priority boarding, but you stand there ‘just in case’.
Once you’re on the plane, you’re flicking through the food magazine before you’ve even sat down, even though you’re stuffed. But you’ve got to have a snack at least — and another gin to calm those flight nerves.
And as you taxi down the runway and grip your arm rest (or travel partner’s hand if they’re unlucky), you’re off, ready to adventure, and nothing compares.
So, it’s hardly surprising that not all of us can get onboard with the alleged excitement of a ‘staycation’.
The staycation nightmare
As someone who travels at least four times a year, it’s been a tricky adjustment.
And as much as I like to travel within my own country, the whole point of travel is to experience a new culture and way of life. You simply can’t get that with a staycation.
Of course, it’s great to spend time with those you love, put money back into your own economy, and ultimately stay safe during these unprecedented times we find ourselves in.
But it’s okay if you’re not jumping for joy at the prospect of not experiencing anything particularly new — and all for an inflated price.
I like to travel to places a little off the beaten track, and the UK is now flooded with the type of tourists I hate.
Beaches are overcrowded and strewn with waste, there’s endless traffic on the roads, and social distancing is becoming near impossible.
And let’s not forget that as demand has risen, so have the prices.
For the price of a week-long trip to Morocco, I can now only get a three-night trip to Scotland — and that’s without breakfast.
Never-mind finding a three euro glass of sangria.
When will we escape?
As the temperatures begin to plummet and the kids go back to school, in the UK at least, maybe there’s a small shred of hope on the horizon.
Only time will tell if things will quieten down enough to find some gems to explore and truly enjoy in our own neck of the woods, without competing with the crowds or overpriced accommodation.
One things for certain though — for some of us, it’s still unlikely to provide the same sense of escape or excitement that we’ve been craving after so many months of sitting at home.
In the meantime, I’ll keep dreaming…