The feeling of discovery and liberation being able to travel pretty much anywhere in the world is one of our greatest privileges and this pandemic, for now, has stripped us of this. Although parts of Europe have far more relaxed International travel now in place, Thailand for now remains locked down to the world.
It means because of the 14-day quarantine on return to Thailand it’s just not worth traveling abroad at the moment. It is a period that will long be remembered in the history books.
Personally I have an insatiable thirst to travel. It keeps life interesting, it allows you to learn about other cultures and see new things. Life can become very one dimensional if you don’t spread your wings.
Given how important I view travel as part of how life should be lived it baffles me as to how many countries populations don’t even have a passport. Only 40% of Americans and 9% of Chinese have passports (click here to read the full article). By contrast, 95% of the UK population have a passport.
Before Covid-19 the Chinese traveler growth was staggering and boding very well for tourist centric global locations like Thailand. China has a population of 1.4 billion people, which means there are still one billion people yet to ever travel. To put this into perspective, China’s population is 39 times bigger than the UK. That, for now, has been put on hold.
As Thailand’s tourist industry, for now, turns to domestic tourism; it has already started heavyweight television campaigns on International television channels like CNN to let people know the country is waiting for them to return. The country is desperate for tourism to recover.
It’s all too easy to say it is just a matter of time until things return to normal, sure at some point you would think, but the reality is no one really knows what the future holds for international tourism. All the time the world has a new virus with no vaccine there is a huge question mark on everything.
For now I will continue to enjoy the beauty and diversity of traveling in Thailand. Next week my family and I fly from Bangkok to Phuket – the four of us cost less that US$100 for a return flight. We will hire a car and take the four hour drive to Koh Lanta. I am sure it will be paradise. If you are an Expat in Thailand do check out the latest new add on to Thaivisa.com, which is called Expat Explore and is designed to give us all travel savings for exploring Thailand – click link here.
I love Thailand for its wealth of travel opportunities, but when global travel has been taken away from me it makes me pine for it more. I look at the countryside of the UK, or the the chic of European towns like Paris or Madrid, the ski slopes of Canada, culturally wonderful places like Havana in Cuba or even a shopping trip to New York in the snow.
Travel really is one of our greatest gifts and for now we need to make do within the parameters that we can. I will use this time to visit areas of Thailand that I have yet to see, like Koh Lanta, as I wait very patiently for global travel to open for business again.