Corona is also a warning shot for the travel addicts among us. Staying at home not only spares your nerves, it’s also healthier.
Flooded St. Mark’s Square: travel was and remains dangerous – stay at home … Photo: Anteo Marinoni/ap
Corona came just in time, right? Until then, you’ve been jetting through the world, hitchhiking and pedaling like everyone else. 120 kilometers of traffic jams at the Kamener Kreuz intersection, three hours of waiting for the ICE, and a ground staff strike looming on Mallorca – peanuts! Nothing could stop you.
But did you really want this: "Forest fires in California – all vacationers evacuated. Ferry accident off Ko Samui – vacationers stranded. Food poisoning on the Southern Princess – vacationers puke all over the place" – let’s be honest: Didn’t that fit much better into the "Tagesschau" than into your real life?
But you ignored all the warnings. You trudged through swamps, chewed on wavy cheese sandwiches, and supported half-criminal cab drivers. Why, why did you go on tirelessly? What did you think the world had that Marzahn, Lindenberg and Bergedorf didn’t?
Would you have sought adventure? The essence of human existence, the naked struggle for existence. How – never packed the tape at Aldi and then the wallet lay at home?
Breathtaking culinary challenges you wanted to face? Why not the XXXL-Jagerschnitzel in the Gildestubchen? Explore foreign societies with bizarre rites? Wouldn’t the nearest golf club have done? No, it was more, you say.
Unbearable, this endless drivel
You wouldn’t have wanted to embarrass yourselves in front of your colleagues who were traveling. Those unspeakable turquoise-green bays, the unmeasurable mountains of scampi and those unbelievably gorgeous disco boys on Fuerteventura that they raved about – all this endless drivel, and you, unimaginable, had nothing to contribute?
But you already knew the truth back then: All vacationers lie. They all show off. They all drink their three terrible weeks away. And even if they had – how could such trifles have kept up with the bulbous splendor with which balcony radishes thank those at home for their summer presence?
You knew that. But you threw all warnings to the wind. You searched. And you booked. Again and again you proved yourselves to be resistant to advice. You seem born to self-torment, made to suffer. What a yearly recurring misery that was.
But now it has come to an end. At last you may confess, unapologetically and endlessly relieved: The world itself is bad. The world out there, however, in which travelers cavort, is a raw jungle, a vale of tears, a place of the most diverse ferry and worries. The number of horrors is legion, their names are: Bangkok, Kiev, Papenburg, Antananarivo, Saint Moritz … – and it has and has no end. Surely, soon those voices will be heard again, chattering eloquently about how uplifting it is to finally be able to travel, fly and hike away again without a care in the world. And how much they missed it all.
Stay at home.
Close your ears. Don’t listen to them. Be kind to yourselves and stay at home. Going away is not for you. Traveling makes you lonely and distraught – remember?
American breakfast, French counter clerks and German SUV drivers – that’s the grimace with which the world confronts the traveler. Skin cancer is in the air and homesickness runs through your mind. You will experience the downfall in installments on the way, nothing else. Remember: The days of liberation are here. Never again do you have to go out into this hostile life. The muddy suds outside Lloret de Mar, the orthopedic practices of Kitzbuhel, the tripe soups of Sindelfingen and the far too hot springs on Iceland, they will never see you again.
Sit back, tend your beehives, weed your salad beds, and if you’re really still missing something, turn on "mare TV." Stay hard. Forget Venice. Leave Lhasa behind. Andorra out of sight, Sacramento out of mind. Even if it should become possible again – do not travel! Traveling was and remains dangerous. It could broaden your horizons.