Heal the World

By Christina Kim - April 25, 2020

Traveling seems to be a distant picture these days, in our current situation where the whole world seems to be engulfed in the thick smog of uncertainties as the pandemic continues to plague our lives and everywhere and everyone is just smothered by the orders to stay confined within their homes. There is no foreseeable timeline to the possibility of upcoming travel and while we do spend more time at home and our loved ones, kindling our relationships, it is also inevitable that we do miss that piece of the world outside. 
The colour of the bright blue skies adorned with the puffy white pillow clouds embellished with the shimmering and sometimes sparkling bright rays of the golden sun enveloping the curvatures of pride embossed with carpets of green as they dip into the hollow valleys and lands on their feet immersed in the gushing waters in blue and green rolling over the bumps of the rocks or on the vast surface of the mighty ocean.
It is a sight indeed and a majestic one that meets no match.

I have missed traveling and I am sure many (or most) of us do. After all, the world is out there, so beautiful and resplendent that it is just waiting to be admired.
There are so many places in the world and so many on our list that we wish to see in our lifetime and we simply cannot wait to tick them off one by one as they grow and grow on our never-ending list. We are just insatiable of our wanderlust and we are so excited at the prospect of going to one place after another. How disappointed we must have all felt as our dreams are put to a halt at this moment! Even if we are not going to be traveling anytime soon, the thought of this forbiddance is sending us into despair not to mention frustration.
There is nothing we can do as we are helpless against a far more powerful threat (as it seems) at the moment and while we are resisting that urge, we are also holding it in in obedience for the sake of our livelihood, praying for salvation soon to end this dread.
All we can do is admire pictures of our past travel or stalk, scour and devour the sights offered on our screens and pages, thanks to all the enthusiasts and itchy feet owners who just could not stop remising on the better times of the past. 
How have we taken the liberty to traipse around the globe for granted for so long!

However, while we are wallowing in our sadness over not being to travel, our Earth, on the contrary is rejoicing over it as it is kept free of our dirty prints and marks all over its surface. Environmental reports are showing the improvement of air quality and also in our waterways. Water is getting cleaner in places like Venice and air pollution index has seen a major dip in China, and there are even more of such significant environmental changes observed around the world. The Earth is taking its time to recover from all the ills we have caused upon it over time and it will continue to take time, as it will not be so soon to undo all that injuries we have inflicted upon and we are looking at major injuries. 
It is so easy for us to book a flight which take us to any destination we desire, planning our itinerary and making our way to all the local landmarks with excitement. We look forward to have a bite of that local taste and to bring home a souvenir to remind us of the trip. We snap photos of everything and everywhere we leave our footprints, making sure we left no stone unturned while we are there, or at least, to the best of our ability. We dance with the locals, move around to get to each place of interest before we bid it goodbye, hoping for a next trip and head back to the airport to fly back to our home, sadly and gladly at the same time, while ideas of our next destination start to fill our minds. 
How wonderful this picture is now that we can only imagine as we are stuck at home, isn't it? Those memories, the excitement and the happiness we felt which bring us to immediately pull out all those old photos to look at and start blasting our social media with a piece of this memory each and every single day. It is such a wonderful way to keep us feeling good in a time of uncertainty like this.
Alas, how oblivious we have also been of the impact of our favourite wanderlust on our beautiful Mother Earth and how ignorant we have been to her calls all this while!

Every trip we make fills our heart with excitement and joy but it tears a bit of our Earth slowly, ripping at her flesh, heart and soul every single time. She weeps in silence (or perhaps we just ignore the sounds of her cries) as we beam with joy, standing on top of her surface, leaving our footprints which is yet another wound on her body. 
How are we hurting Earth, you may ask?
Every little thing we do is an added injury to Mother Earth.
From the carbon emissions from our aircrafts, to the space used to build airports, to the fuel in our rented cars/public transportation and those traveler/tourist specific mobiles to food that we put in our mouths, and those footprints we leave behind, they are not beautiful at all to Mother Earth as we tread on her soil and create more pollution to choke her to death. We destroy bits and bits of her as we grow in population and our prints are just that murderous weapons which grinds her skin and limbs. Flash photography too impose threats to certain plants and animals, and do I need to mention the poses and the things we do to take that wonderful shot for social media, traipsing all over a natural landmark, rubbing the soles of our feet on the ground everywhere? Our feet are protected by our shoes, but Mother Nature is bare skinned, and abrasions and wounds are inflicted on her continuously. We are harmless, or so we think, but just think of that same thing being done multiple, no, millions or even zillions of time, on that same spot of the wound, and do you think there will be any soil left? Imagine yourself having a wound and yet someone were to continuously rub or poke at your wound, will it not hurt?
It is so sad really, that all our joy are at the expense of Mother Earth's misery and as our population grew, so did the magnitude of the damage on her.

Over the years, travel has been affordable that almost everyone is able to travel and that has even amplified the effects on our beautiful planet, whether we realise it or not, though I pick the former. We are definitely aware of it, but we are still indignant to enjoy our lives to the fullest, because we "only live once" and we just have such itchy feet to explore the world for ourselves. However, Mother Earth has also reacted and we can already see and feel the impact of her reaction through the climate changes, the global warming, the extinction of our natural resources and the rise in the toxicity in the very air we breathe. Everything is now more and more damaging to our health these days, if we are not careful. Look at the numbers of diseases and maladies we have faced over the years and in the era we are living now, compared to our ancestors and you will see a major contrast.
We may be more intelligent and advanced in our progress these days, but we are also more prone to infections and contamination than before which we do not even have the answers, take for instance, our current situation and there may be even more in the unknown.
It is a scary thought to think of the problems we have created and bred over time.

Now as we are forced to stay at home and no travelling is allowed, it is actually a healing move for our Mother Earth as she slowly takes in her breaths and recuperates in peace.
The dirty waters are slowly cleaning without our presence and the air is also restoring its composition. Though it is not perfectly complete and there is still so much to recover, it is however, a changing step where we allow them to finally rest without disturbance from our loud presence everywhere.
It may be tragic to us that we do not get to see parts of our world as we please right now, but it is not to our Mother Earth who is slowly putting back parts and pieces of herself into their places, restoring their natural beauty as it once was.

Therefore, as we rest at home, Mother Earth is also, taking a proper rest after centuries, or millenniums since she started her work. We can mope over our restraints but be glad that our Mother Earth is enjoying her liberty at this point, and start thinking of our own actions and impacts to be more aware and cautious in the future. 
This is not about telling you not to travel because I cannot stop you nor anyone else, for admittedly, I am also a big fan of seeing the world before I die, but there are also many ways we can look at to limit the impact of our actions on our beautiful planet.
Make responsible tourism part of our itinerary, minimise the toxins we release to the environment, choose wisely and be kind to the living species we see everywhere. Be mindful of the "trails" we leave behind, pick them after us, clean up, and encourage others to do the same.

It is time that each and everyone of us wake up, listen to the calls of Mother Earth and start to do our part to heal the world and make it a better place to live in.
After all, as the King of Pop sang in his lyrics, it is for "You and Me".
Together, we can heal the world.

*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

Art Direction and Photography Styling by Me.
Photos/Videos all belong to me and are copyrighted.
Please kindly ask for permission if you need to use any of my images.

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