Travel is easier than you think – we just have to get out of our lockdown-induced comfort zone

After a year's hiatus from flying, a hastily grabbed trip to Turkey recently showed me how exciting travel could be - and how easy it is. Why hadn't I done it sooner? On the train to the airport, I had the carriage to myself; on the travelator, I slid along like Benjamin Braddock through a half-empty airport filled with the sound of silence.

As the plane broke through the dark clouds into brilliant sunshine, I was reminded that there's nothing like flying to get a fresh perspective on the world. After months of being grounded, travel had begun to feel like an impossible dream. Lockdown stuttered to an end, but many of us remained mired in our comfort zones, rooted to the spot, literally and psychologically.

Even leaving the house can become an expedition, so what a faff a holiday can seem: the researching, the packing, the form-filling, never mind the journey and the threat of quarantine. And yet in the end, it's easier than you think.  Spontaneity is key.

Choose a destination on the "safe" list, or decide to live with the quarantine if you can. Book your flight or train and go, before anyone changes their mind. Yes, our choice is ever-dwindling (within days of my return, Turkey joined the red list) but it doesn't really matter where you go.

The change is the thing. In Bodrum, after the relief of unmasking, I felt transported to another world. The damp heat of night rushed in through the taxi windows, and I stuck my head out to breathe it all in: salt-sea breeze scented with jasmine, clamorous east-west music on the radio.

At the Macakizi Hotel, people were carrying on at the bar like it was 2019. I bit into what seemed like the most delicious food I'd ever tasted: exotic spices, a subtle smokiness, sea bass caught early that morning.  And the view, when I awoke the next day, was worth two weeks of isolation: gulets in the bay, framed by bougainvillea, the sun shining on the water like molten silver.

What a balm for the soul! What joyous, soul-stirring otherness, a few hours from home. It's a reminder of what is out there.

All we have to do is leave the house. 

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