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Crossing the Pacific During a Pandemic.

Updated: Dec 19, 2020

Traveling in the COVID-19 era, the new unknown.

The coronavirus has brought countries all around the world to their knees. I have witnessed this reality with my own two eyes. Empty roads, empty restaurants, and empty airplanes, not to mention the many sick people around the world. Fortunately, I’ve been able to continue my #WorldExplorer, simply because I have the best job in the world. However, I now see the world in a new light—or darkness—whichever way you want to look at it. We can try to pretend , but the honest truth is that the world is much different now due to this extremely contagious virus. I’ve also seen some changes in me. For one, I pack my travel bags differently now. There are new essentials: face masks, hand sanitizers, and saniwipes, perhaps!

But the change in accessories, or having to carry heavier travel bags, isn’t an issue. Maybe it’s the eerie feeling of walking through completely empty airports, or flying on commercial airlines with maybe five passengers on board. Either way, it’s all a big unknown. Every so often, you get on a flight with a good group of passengers. The airlines now require passengers to wear a face mask and practice social distancing. This occurs during the boarding process, but once you get on the plane, it all goes out the window. I don’t know… it all seems like pretend to me. You stay six feet apart while boarding, but once you get on the plane everyone sits next to each other. Like I said, it’s a huge unknown.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been traveling west across the Pacific. Today, I flew over some of the most beautiful waters I have ever seen. Clean, clear, blue, shallow waters like no other, southwest of mainland Japan, on the coast of Okinawa. Perhaps it’s an illusion, knowing full well that after I reach the ground I’ll be quarantined in my hotel room, unable to go out and enjoy what this beautiful, tiny island in the middle of nowhere has to offer. This is real. The coronavirus is a deadly inconvenience in al aspect.

Off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Photo by Richard Tulloch.
Off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Photo by Richard Tulloch.

Off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Photo by Richard Tulloch.
Off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Photo by Richard Tulloch.

No matter where you are, the area around you has been affected by this virus. I’ve literally been around the world and back, and everywhere I go it’s the same: face masks, social distancing, getting your temperature taken in the middle of airport terminals. This is the new world standard. But I am optimistic about a newer, cleaner, and better world after this pandemic is over.

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