Ink insights, part 1
Ink invited 100+ leading names in travel – from industry experts to travel writers and photographers – to reveal where their wanderlust will take them after lockdown. The result provides a compelling glimpse of our industry’s evolution, reassessing what it means to travel and what travel means to us.
Reconnect as a global community
The current crisis has reminded us that we are all part of one truly global network – and travel is the glue that keeps that community physically connected. Travel is more than a luxury, it plays an integral role in modern life. By bringing family and friends together, we now recognise it as a human need.
Our panel overwhelmingly agreed that the urge for true human connection, rather than a nice hotel room or smart spa, is currently a real motivator. Hence the majority reflected on how their first trip will be to reunite with loved ones.
“I am desperate to see friends back in the States, and to eat at Keith McNally’s brasseries when they reopen. But before all of that, I’m going to Scotland to see family, and tour the Highlands – nowhere else makes me quite so happy.”
Mark C O’Flaherty
Luxury travel journalist
“I cannot wait to return to parts of the world where pieces of my heart have found a home. For me, travel is, first and foremost, people and it’s the people I love in these parts of the world that I’m looking forward to seeing the most.”
Travel writer and photographer
“The place I most want to visit when all this is over is Madrid. Part of the reason is because I lived there for many years, and now that the city has become one of the worst hit by the pandemic, I feel a pressing need to see old friends and give them all big hugs.”
“My mom lives in Maine and like everyone with older parents we are unable to see her. I miss my family and travel, so it would be the perfect trip to combine the two.”
Return to the familiar
The desire to seek out new experiences, to see new places or try new things is a defining characteristic for many travellers – particularly those who do it professionally. After all, when your job requires you to show people the world, who’s got time to go anywhere twice?
So, it’s interesting how many of our panellists expressed a strong urge to return to destinations they have regularly visited before. Seeking the familiar, from favourite foods to places that feel like a second home, was a recurring motif. Of course, it makes sense: the desire to return to somewhere that holds a special place in our hearts, highlights the emotional quality of travel.
“I crave the normalcy of opening my shutters, walking to the bakery for almond croissants, practicing my rusty French with the lady at the wine shop, sitting elbow-to-elbow on a café terrace.”
Co-author of 100 Things to Do in San Francisco Before You Die
“I’ve been to Tibet three times already, but it’s the place I always long to return to and urge my friends to try to visit, if only because no second-hand report can catch its truth.”
Author of A Beginner’s Guide to Japan
“About seven years ago I took my first trip to Hawaii and just fell in love with everything about it: the scenery, the sound of the waves, and especially the aloha spirit. It became an annual retreat. I’ve definitely been envisioning the moment I will see Hawaii again.”
Founder of ScreenChic.com
“Everything about my Tuscan villa just feels casual and reassuring - and with absolutely no pretention. Once I’m able to do that, I’ll feel some sense of normalcy again.”
Lee Brian Schrager
Founder of the South Beach and New York City Wine & Food Festivals
Reappreciate open spaces
This pandemic may be preventing people from travelling, but it hasn’t dimmed their passion to roam. Far from it. There is a significant increase in wanderlust, as travellers reappreciate the freedom to explore the world.
And after being cooped up inside for so long it’s clear that many people are desperate to go places with endless horizons and big skies. Whether that’s by the ocean or up a mountain, the compulsion to be outdoors and visit nature spots is universal.
“Waterfalls, fjords and the kind of lush nature – I’ve been dreaming of a trip to the Lofoten. And the feeling that the horizon is not a limit will be irresistible.”
Anne Kathrin Koophamel
“I yearn for the wide-open skies of Montana with the jagged peaks in the horizon and vistas so grand they make your eyes ache.”
Joshua David Stein
Journalist and author
“Peaceful walks on a windswept coastline, a clear sky, a clear mind, freedom and space to roam after all this time cooped up in my Brooklyn apartment. No sirens … just the steady breath of the sea.”
Author of poetry chapbook Ghostbot
“When I close my eyes and imagine myself in a future where all of this is behind us, I only really see myself in one place. The ocean. I miss the sound of the waves and the truly restorative feeling I get from swimming along in a body of water.”
Despite the restrictions, fears and cancellations caused by the current crisis, no one has been put off travel. Quite the opposite: there is a new-found appreciation for how essential travel is to our lives. This means the travellers of tomorrow are all set and more determined than ever to make their dream moments a reality. After all, physically connecting with people, familiar places and the wonders of nature is in essence a return to the utmost core of being human.
Click here to download a copy of Part 1
Check out part 2: #traveltomorrow for more insights on the new types of traveller and part 3: #traveltrends2021 for Next year’s travel predictions