Traveling in the times of Covid

Reisen-Koffer-Wecker-cultureandcream-blogpost

The title came to mind based on one of my favorite books by Gabriel García Márquez (“Love in the Times of Cholera“). As a journalist, my professional life so far has been shaped by traveling. I spent more time at domestic and international airports and in the air than in my editorial office. In one year Lufthansa counted 36 flights on my Miles & More account. Traveling has also always been my passion in my private life. With the exception of Antarctica, I have traveled to all seven continents many times.

In February of last year I was on three Maldives islands for story research. And then came the insidious new virus – and from one day to the next everything was different. No more trips, no more press appointments. Home office instead of traveling. On days when I’m a little depressed about the current situation, I click through my photos of the most beautiful trips on the computer and travel in my head. In moments like this, it makes me especially grateful that I have already seen so much of the world. At least a little consolation.

Traveling is different now

When you travel so much, packing your suitcase becomes a routine. Every move is perfect. You have everything in your head that you need for the different destinations and weather conditions. Not once have I forgotten something important at home. Today is my first trip after the countless lockdowns. I’m going to visit my sister in Berlin for three days. Actually nothing earth-shattering such a six-hour drive, but I’m as excited as I used to be when I was traveling to Rajasthan for a perfume presentation just for three days, for example. I say to myself „don’t forget anything“. It feels like I’m packing a travel bag for the first time. I have to laugh at myself. Clothes in, clothes out, because I realize that I don’t need much for this trip after all.

Going out and strolling is not allowed in Berlin either. So you pack very differently than before. No high heels, no fashion items. Only leisure wear, so cozy like at home. The famous quote from Karl Lagerfeld, “Anyone who wears sweatpants has lost control of their life”, he would certainly revise today and create trendy joggers. Because he was very business-minded, good Karl.

The new trend is called Athflow. No slack look, but comfortable and chic at the same time. I’m packing something like that now. Because the new joggers no longer have anything in common with the old gymnastics father Jahn trousers in terms of materials and design. Go on. Do I need a raincoat or rather the ultra-light down jacket that can be rolled up small. The latter is allowed because it saves space. Everything is finally stowed away.

Then it’s the turn of the cosmetics. I am spared the need to fill the transparent 1-liter hand luggage bag from earlier times. At least an advantage. Everything on the tubes and jars that I used in the bathroom this morning comes with me. Oh, and then also a dry shampoo so that I don’t have to wash my hair the next day in Berlin. The beauty bag is ready. No, not really. I almost forgot my favorite Byredo perfume in its leather travel case.

Sandwiches instead of a restaurant

The next stop is the kitchen. My husband would like to have a few sandwiches while on the go, because you can’t take a break in a nice restaurant like in the past. Everything really turned out differently, but definitely not funnier. So I make sandwiches, make coffee for the big, black thermos that I have already bought as “Corona” equipment for traveling. I feel like I am on a camping holiday and that has never been my cup of tea. Everything is finally ready to be loaded into the car.

I am locking the front door when it comes to mind boiling hot – the FFP2 masks. I never used a travel utensil like this before. Everything is really different. So march, march back and get the masks. Phew, without them I would have been lost on the way. Without it, you can’t even go to a gas station to pee. We are finally sitting in the car towards Berlin. After half an hour I notice that I have left my already filled water bottle in the kitchen. That would never have happened to me before. But now it is too late. I would like to finally be able to live as carefree as I used to be. Ease of life. That is exactly what is missing from travel in times of Covid.

German

traveling

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