2020 is a year with chains for people who have the privilege of doing regular travels - national or international. It is true that in my first 18 years, I had made only 5-6 trips outside Kolkata (with 7 years of total dry spell). But after undergraduate studies, I have never stationed myself in one place for such a long time, it made me realized so many things. Let me ponder over some of them.
1) Travel is a privilege
This year, I learned that travel is a privilege. Last 10 years, I have been rigorously travelling in weekends and taking long breaks for experiencing new things through travels. I never realized that it became part of my motivation in life. Without travels, everything seemed dull. Then I remembered how my friends with family + more leave restrictions, would plan only once or twice holidays and they would try to make the best out of it. I remembered some people I met during travels who were out of their home first time etc. I suddenly could connect with them.
2) Not to boost about freedoms of travels and to understand others bindings
I was not fully bound to home this year. I could cycle through national parks near my place and also hike in nearby parks. So, my situation was not as bad as many during the pandemic. I was happy and sad at the same time for that.
Somehow, I did not feel like sharing any updates or pictures. I never felt like that before in social media, when I used to give my daily travel updates: I used to think that the ones who enjoys such posts with experiences, would like it and nobody would feel bad/jealous as such. But this time, I felt that when there is freedom of travel missing in most part of world, I can not bring much happiness with my cycling and hiking posts.
3) To care more
The positive part of staying mostly at home gives someone time to think about life. I realized care to be the best positive enforcement of life. We take so many things for granted sometimes, we undermine the importance of gratitude. I am hopeful, over time, this realization will make me a better person. I still have a long way to go :-)
Thankfully, Asha for Education always gives me that opportunity to help the underprivileged in my home country. The initial feeling of helplessness while the world is suffering was less due to that opportunity given to me.
4) The digital identity and fictional social world around it
The human touch is missing in the digital world. When we are away from human presence, we realize it. At least I did, I can switch between introvert and extrovert ways but 2020 was too much even for the introvert in me. In the first half of 2020, there was a 5 week time when I did not meet any friend, family or colleague (just cautious not to be a spreader), so absolutely zero human interaction in person those times. It made me realize no matter how much I try to be independent, we are us because of others around us.
No matter, how many zoom calls or whatsapp video calls happen with family or friends, without real conversations, it wont work after a time.
5) Enjoy little things of life
But some things were better for me in 2020. I could see little things, simple things. Now that I do not need to plan for new countries to go or new mountains to hike or new beaches to visit, I started noticing simple things around me. The flowers, the leaves, the shapes of trees, the riverside meadows and above all, the slow changes of mother nature around me. I even made a flower book collecting pictures of different flowers during spring (like the school times).
I am finishing my post with few of these flower pictures without making any big philosophical statement....Lets 2020 be the year of realization and the year we learned to care for everybody in our society :-)