#LifeWithout: Travel

I’d never considered how important travelling is to my daily routine. I’m not talking about trips to the Caribbean or spending a week in Disneyland, but the basic, mundane travel of spending 5 minutes driving to school in a car, or to go to the grocery store. Since quarantine has begun, this basic concept has been all but removed, as going outside for anything other than essentials is not only frowned upon, but actively dangerous.

Adjusting to a life without routinely leaving the house has been difficult. The exercise I got from routine trips to the gym and just walking around the school all day were no longer options. I’ve had to put a lot more active thought into how I spend my time, as 90% of what I normally do was replaced with more leisure. Usually I’ll go for a quick walk outside or just go up and down the stairs for 15 minutes or so.

Being in a car is also something I’ve missed a lot more than I expected to. Being stuck inside, relegated to my neighborhood for half a year has made the world feel a lot smaller. Before quarantine, I’d be moving around regularly, whether it was going to the grocery store or hanging out with friends or just stopping at a gas station and watching the people go in and out. With the COVID-19 virus, all of that time I would spend outside of my neighborhood is restricted, and staying at home is the new normal.

I’ve also gotten to know my house a lot more. Before all this happened, I would spend most of my days out at school or with friends, and when I got home I would start playing video games or watching Netflix. Now, as 95% of my time is entirely indoors, I’ve noticed innocuous details about my home I never had before. I’ve noticed multiple small dents in the living room walls, kitchen and all over that I’ve never seen before. I found out there was a coat hanger in my bathroom, right there on the wall next to my towel, which I had no idea existed. I was actually kind of scared when I first noticed it, as I thought it had literally appeared out of nowhere.

Overall, quarantine has been a transformative experience. Many things have changed in this time, like routine mask wearing, never eating at a restaurant, and new online schooling. The thing that has impacted me most, however, is not being able to drive a car or spend time inside other buildings. Just being able to go places that are not my home and neighborhood was something I didn’t even know I was taking for granted.

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