It's incredible to think how quickly the world has slowed to almost a standstill. There's an unfamiliar softness to the new season we just entered (be it spring or autumn, depending on your hemisphere). A peacefulness among the apprehension. A quiet where there once was noise. How rapidly we've all adapted to stopping, to self-isolation, to staying at home.
Cast your mind back a few months and try to picture yourself then knowing what you know now. Flip back through your calendar and see how busy you were. What were you up to? What were your plans? What were your hopes for April? This season? This year? It's a little mind-blowing how suddenly all those plans can be indefinitely postponed.
One thing it's worth thinking about is that most of those plans not only involved people you loved but also places you loved to visit. The birthday dinner at your favourite restaurant. The drinks catch-up with friends at that swanky bar. The theatre tickets with your partner for that exciting new play. All of your treasured local venues need you to stay open - and they probably need travellers too.
So as you think about all the places locally that you'd love to see stay open, think about all the places you intended to travel to as well. All the trips you had planned, the upcoming adventures this year held for you. Think about the companies that were going to take you there, the places you were going to stay, the locals who were going to show you around. The people who would drive your taxis, serve you up delicious meals in the day and create exciting cocktails and entertaining shows for you at night.
An extraordinary number of people rely on tourism as their source of income. So if you love to travel, it's now a vital time to support our industry. Without us, there would be no airlines to transport you around the globe. No hotels to help you stay in the heart of the action. No travel books or local guides to show you those hidden gems. No tour companies to whisk you away on memorable experiences.
We are the people who make your dreams of seeing the world a reality. Who open you up to an array of exciting new languages, cultures and cuisines. Who connect you with your family members overseas and long-lost friends whose faces you usually only see on video calls. Who even help you meet that special someone that was born in a country far, far away.
So please, if you can, don't cancel your travel plans but reschedule. Even if it's unclear right now when exactly when that will be. As we all put our lives on pause, to halt a pandemic, to help save lives, we need to make sure that the things we value the most are still there for us to experience.
If being at home has made you realise how much you love to see the world, then please help us to continue to help you to do that. Keep us, the travel industry, alive by keeping your plans for someday hopefully very soon.