At last, after nearly 2 years of being in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic, I have finally been able to get back onto a plane and return to Asia.
It has been a long hard road and for some, it will never be the same again. Losing loved ones, friends and jobs has made the last two years unbearable and will leave indelible scars on families.
However, life must go on and although we may feel guilty about traveling again, I know for a while I did. We must try to lead a normal life. Before Covid I was traveling and working around Asia and whilst this time around it will be slightly different in the way I approach things, I aim to carry on.
First stop, Singapore to see old friends after a transit through Dubai which turned out to be extra long due to misunderstandings with covid restrictions on behalf of Emirates. Then onto the Philippines for much-needed sun and relaxation before finally returning to Cambodia, where I left for a 2-week holiday to England that lasted 2 years.
Or so I thought. This year actually took a turn for the worse, for everyone around the world.
I think we will remember 2020 for a long time and it will go down in history as one of those years the human race had to endure a world catastrophe.
Beginning of the end?
It had started well enough.
I attended my 4th wedding in Cambodia as Mr. Sok one of the chefs at the pepper farm got married in March.
It was a very happy occasion for all and it finished off a complete story of Cambodia, one which I will remember forever.
But, having been travelling for over 15 months, and as I was entering my third actual dated year of travel. It felt like a good time to leave to discover new things.
I originally left the UK in Sept 2018 and spent most of 2019 living in Cambodia. Having expected to have been back home by this time I suddenly felt the need to visit and see friends and family.
This year it had meant to be the turn of Vietnam and Laos with maybe a finish in Myanmar, where I would hopefully see more of a beautiful country.
But, before all that, it started with a trip back to the UK in mid-march to surprise mum for her birthday. And what a surprise it turned out to be for both of us.
Because the 23rd of March 2020 will be a day to remember for a long time. I surprised her having been away for 18 months only to be surprised myself by Covid and our lockdown restrictions that left me stuck in the UK indefinitely.
It was to be almost 2 years to the day before I could actually get back onto a plane and fly back to Cambodia where I had left for a two-week holiday.
The Sad part was the loss of several good friends who like many people succumb to Covid-related deaths.
Because we had lockdowns, we had mask-wearing, and a lot of helpful, caring, and compassionate people.
Suddenly away from the pressure and stress of everyday life and have time to help their fellow beings.
However, It came at a price that we now years later, have come to realise.
Inflation, cost of living, and food shortages are all effects of the shutdown of the economy during covid.
It means people’s lives will be affected for decades to come as we deal with the cost of a pandemic. Something that even today has given to speculation is not natural and may have its origins in man-made labs.