Gasps of fresh air from open windows. Jumping jacks on our balconies. Running backwards and forwards on our 5-metre stretch of driveway. Lockdown and this pandemic have meant that this year we’ve all spent hours, days, weeks and months enclosed behind our doors. We’ve made do with what we could get this year, but there’s no doubt that we’ve all experienced significant cabin fever as a result.
This has had significant effects on both our physical and mental health. As well as this, many people have had to deal with loss of income, and other financial stressors on top of all the emotional worries. One way of managing stress is being outdoors in nature – and we think this is going to be a big theme when it comes to our lives post-Covid, whether this is where we choose to live, or how we decide to holiday.
Here are five reasons we think “nature” will be a big theme in our future holidays:
- We no longer take our health for granted. This pandemic has highlighted what really matters: the health of those we love (and ourselves). This has forced us couch potatoes to get outdoors and get moving – and we think vacations will follow suit. So, there may be less guzzling of cocktails by the pool and more trail-running at our island destination of choice (followed by lazing by the pool – we’re only human after all).
- There’s a lower chance of spreading germs. We all know now that viruses can be passed on by touching surfaces others have touched, or by sneezes, coughs or other close proximity to humans. That’s why we’re all social distancing at the moment. This makes the idea of being somewhere less populated than a mall or restaurant much more appealing. Let’s rather get on that stand-up paddle board in the ocean or go for a walk in the forest.
- Time away from our devices. Let’s be honest – the news has mostly been bad this year. In fact, endless scrolling through social media and the internet can only exacerbate any mental health issues we’re experiencing, which is another reason to get out into nature, and stay away from our phones.
- Simple pleasures: In some ways, this year has been like a reset for many of us. We’ve reassessed our busy lives and decided on our priorities. This means a return to simpler times and what’s simpler than a tent under the stars? Road trips, campouts and hikes will be the order of the day – as we start to get back to basics (plus they’re also cheaper holidaying options in general). If you’re looking for savings on travel, you can get discounted flights, car hire and airport transfers through programmes such as Fedhealth’s Sanlam Reality rewards programme.
- A focus on domestic travel: We haven’t been allowed to travel internationally for leisure in some time. So for many of us, this means exploring what South Africa has to offer us, and what a wealth of options there are! In fact, we’re overly blessed with natural beauty here in SA, so we see the public taking a renewed interest in all Mother Nature has to offer around us.
Whether you’re exploring a pristine waterfall on a hiking trail, kiteboarding on a golden coastline, or spotting giraffe on a game farm, we think nature is going to be playing a big role in the local (and international) travel of the future. Let’s get out there!