Travelling in Winters: A Boon or a Curse

How to combat the risks of winter travel

Vansh Malhotra (he/him) // Contributor
Freya Emery // Illustrator

Winter is in the air as the holiday season approaches our lives. People around the world get thrilled at the idea of visiting their hometown or going on a trip with their friends and family. Excitement showers their hearts that they become fastidious in planning every detail in advance and construct an itinerary in their minds. Although it is a good habit to map out things beforehand, we must realize that destiny is the master of all and may induce some circumstances to alter or nullify our travel plans. Most people commit an egregious error by overlooking the factor of probability existing in every situation. 

 While organizing our winter trip, we must vacillate and invent a plan B that helps us manage  the uncertainty of our initial plan. I remember that my mother had plans to travel to India last winter for Christmas and celebrate with her family. She had arranged this trip several months prior and taken limited time off work. Unfortunately, one day before her trip, she lost her passport and became stressed when she couldn’t find it anywhere. 

She searched frantically in every nook and corner, but all in vain. She spoke with the Indian Embassy and completed some paperwork, finally allowing her to leave the country. Alas, on the day of her departure, her flight got cancelled due to challenging weather conditions. She became really anxious and developed a churlish attitude as her itinerary had been adversely affected. All her hopes got drained as she had carefully planned the schedule of each day of her trip. Christmas passed by in anxiety and despair. If my mother had made a second plan about celebrating Christmas, she would not have had to indulge in this grief. 

Expecting the unexpected can help ease some of the anxiety that comes with travel. Sure, it is frustrating to not arrive at your destination when you originally planned to, but anxieties might not be so loud if we all were prepared for the worst.  A few years ago, one of my aunts had planned to travel to the UK from India to attend her niece’s wedding. She had booked her flight and decided everything in advance. Right before her trip, she fell ill, but tried to power through and fly anyway. However, she was prevented from boarding the flight by the airport authorities, and despite much pleading, she was sent back home. She had not planned the “what-if” of her trip and was left feeling devastated. 

Life is full of surprises, good and bad. When we count on everything going our way, we face disappointment from alterations. Booking activities immediately after your arrival time is a risky game to play, and can lead to heartbreak. My friend was left feeling the agony of misplanning classes the morning after a bus ride to Whistler. He paid for equipment, was expecting to advance alongside his group classes, and enjoy a winter wonderland. However, when his bus broke down due to poor weather on the Sea-to-Sky, he  saw those plans fly out the window. Despite his best efforts, his plan was foiled and he was left with a bitter taste in his mouth when it came to scheduling a prepaid trip.

To avoid the messy feelings that come with travel, everyone should be aware of the risks associated with organizing your winter travel. Life is a mystery, and anything can happen anytime. Nothing is guaranteed in today’s world, as we have all seen after battling with the COVID-19 pandemic. So many people lost their lives; numerous plans got affected and many people suffered from stress because they had not equipped their mindset with life being a probability. 

One should only travel this winter if they gain wisdom to encounter changes in life rather than getting bellicose and bursting out with rage at the possibility of any risk lurking in their plans. Some people may think that this could never happen to them, but the harsh reality is that no one is above the winter elements.We must stand up to our obstacles by carefully analyzing every probability.

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