Late in April, the inevitable happened – my apartment building was sealed after several neighbours tested positive for Covid-19. An unexpected side effect of those two weeks spent in a sealed building was an interest in travel videos. I’m not exactly a travel junkie. Even when I’ve wanted to explore distant places, there have been far too many practical considerations to allow it. But, as I discovered, confinement sometimes has its ways of opening new doors.

It all started when my wife showed me a couple of videos of people chasing the Northern Lights in Norway and Sweden. The videos had breathtaking shots of the bright green lights in the night skies, of course. But what also drew me to the videos were the long journeys that people made to see the spectacle.

Travel videos held out the promise of a few minutes of stress-free distraction in a year often marked by anxiety and uncertainty. It was like discovering a new piece of music – one that gently holds your finger and beckons you as it meanders and soars before finding its way back to the hook line.

Perhaps, my favourite travel memory was, ironically, when I was not on a “pleasure trip” at all. At the end of a work trip in 2016, I found myself with several hours to kill in Aurangabad. I ended up lounging around alone for about five hours at the Bibi ka Maqbara, without the pressure of ticking off ten other touristy places on my bucket list. Looking to 2022, I resolve to treat myself to a similarly liberating experience again. But for now, if only I could remember which darned YouTube video popped up in my recommendations last night


Read all the articles in the Comfort zone series here.