This is not for everyone this comment, but for many, travelling does mean so much.
Living in China and knowing how much travelling is such an integral part of society, it is now evident that as the restrictions ease up on the covid constraints, things will be super busy on the travelling front.
I was out today to look at the early cherry blossoms in one of the Beijing Parks, and it was crazy busy with a lot of people and many who were from out of town.
It was a fantastic day, and I experienced everything that is great about living in China. People were so welcoming, curious and ready to enjoy life.
It was cold out, but there was still so much going on.
Living in Beijing, a vast city of 22 million people and more, means that there are always things to keep yourself busy with. But, I have missed the ability to travel further afield. I also understand that I am not alone.
Beijing is beginning to buzz with excitement about the next opportunity for a holiday trip.
I can tell that many Chinese people have missed the ability to travel because so many people are talking about their next travelling event, their travel excursions and the risky experiences they are looking to explore – glass bridge anyone?
What is apparent is that everyone is talking about places in China to visit.
Previously there was always a desire to get outside of China and to visit some far-away country.
The UK, the States or Europe were always the top destinations.
Not now, everyone is talking about where they can visit in the Chinese mainland and what they can do to experience something different.
This is great for me because I am getting to understand so much more about the many places in China and how the different areas offer so much variety.
It is not so great for the countries that will miss income from losing the tourist industry and the big-spending Chinese travellers.
I am not sure what the new standard will be like for much of the world after the pandemic has finally been dealt with.
As far as I can see, the new normal in China is for everyone to be inquisitive about their country, and this is delivering a solid sense of national pride.
I am good with that because there is a lot to be proud of.
The sad thing is that I wish more Chinese people would go visit my homeland – Scotland, because it is a beautiful part of the world.
I had the privilege of travelling around Scotland with a previous job, and it is something to behold.
The good thing, though, is when I catch-up with friends back home, many people are also talking about having a staycation and exploring the country they live in, Scotland.
I hope that more people do that in Scotland because, like China, there are so many amazing things to see and explore.
I hope that it also drives a strong sense of national pride in Scotland, and the country benefits from all of that and more.
Because we, Scotland, needs that now more than ever.