It's been about a year and a half since the Covid-19 pandemic started. I came back home to South Africa at the end of 2019, to spend Christmas with the family and my grandpa who a few months before was diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer.
My plan then was to spend 3 months with the family and then head back to Thailand, Malaysia and hopefully Japan. Little did we have an idea what would happen soon after, that would essentially wipe out all non-essential travel at local and international level and put any plans I had before to an absolute halt with no end in sight.
While I was fortunate to still have client work lined up for most of the year (while many of my friends got reduced salaries or retrenched from work), it left me with a lot of extra time, that would've been otherwise spent exploring cities, finding street food, and hanging out with friend's at cafe's and coworking spaces.
Trying to fill the gap in my mind, I've developed this crazy (maybe depressing) moments where I would put on my headphones, some music, have a coffee and spend hours on Google Streetview and explore places I would like to see, as well as checking out where I've been and reminiscing of my time there, just a year or two ago.
My other escape is going through photos. While I'll always have the memories, in my mind, photos is something that confirms the authenticity of those memories. I try to take as many photos as I can. In the past, I used to travel with my Canon DSLR as photography is something I still care about deeply, although it's taken the backseat in recent years. But as iPhone image quality have improved over the years' I've tend to avoid the extra weight. I will however take it with me again when I have Japan or Europe on my travelling with.
It's the archeticture, the food and the occassional dog that begs for a photo.
Fast forward: On 9 July 2021, I was lucky to my first covid jab, which gives me hope that we would hopefully be able to sort of travel freely again in the near future, considering most travelling at the moment is still heavily restricted.
Fingers crossed we'll be able to return to a semi-normal world in regards to travel.