After more than a year of lockdowns, confinement, and staycations, the COVID-19 vaccine has made it possible for people to think about travelling again. But travel in a post-pandemic world poses new challenges, both physical and emotional. Should we go on as before, renewing plans for cancelled reservations and returning to familiar places? Or is this the time to reconsider what we (and our loved ones) really want from travel experiences? For some people, travel will be about doing what was missed most during the pandemic, be it reconnecting with family and friends at a vacation cottage, finally engaging in a favorite activity we’ve been unable to pursue, or simply venturing out into a new environment.
In the wake of the upheaval and loss so many have experienced, maybe something we share now is a wish to be intentional in how we reenter the world, and how we come together. For those who have lost valued partners, friends, and family members during the pandemic, travelling again can be a real way to both remember and honor those with whom we have shared treasured life experiences. Most important, travel now means taking the opportunity to uplift the body and spirit, and to connect (or reconnect) with our social community and loved ones.
In her talk, “Meaningful Travel Now,” Professor Claudena Skran explores what it means to participate in meaningful travel—that is, travel that uplifts the spirit and the body and connects (or reconnects) us to our loved ones and our larger communities. Drawing on her experiences as a traveler and a tour leader for many kinds of groups, including visits to 35 countries, Professor Skran will share insights about how to draw meaning from your travels now.