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  • Experts Opinion

COVID 19 and its horrors casting a shadow over Travel

Published On 27 Apr 2020 by Oshank Soni

No flight bookings, no travel planning, no gear shopping. With the pandemic lurking freely, globetrotters are locked inside their homes plagued by the uncontrollable urge to go traveling. Torn between the terrifying thought of not being able to travel and the fear of getting out. It is a constant "can't live indoors- can't live outdoors" struggle and we, being a part of the adventure thirsty tribe, are the ones suffering the most.


Being both adventure providers and adventure seekers, we at Trekmunk, like all travel and tourism-related organizations, have suffered a huge blow. To begin with, the situation in India and around the world looks grim. Testing of a new vaccine has begun but offers no guarantee for the moment being April 27th, 2020. With the number of cases rising with every passing day, there is still no clarity about when exactly we will be able to travel, not even a vague assumption. Unfortunately, for us it just spells HORROR. This is not how we expected our 2020 to start off.


Meanwhile, nature is taking its course. Spring came and went, and so will summer. Batches have been canceled since the mid of March until further notice; this means that we will be facing dark times during summer, which is normally the main trekking season. Even if the world starts recovering from this bizarre virus, travelers will refrain from venturing out into the wild all too soon.


Now, all of you who have canceled a trip or are part of a batch that has been canceled due to regional restrictions, travel bans, advisories, etc, please know that through all this, we still have our staff and the mountain folk depending on us- especially, our staff in the mountains. We are their only resource and thus, we cannot even dream of cutting their salaries by a small percentage. Trekking is a small industry, but the people involved are numerous; and now that it is severely affected by this epidemic, all those people are stranded and in need of our support. Hence, we request you, not to ask for the refund of your booking; considering the scale and enormity of the expeditions we operate each year, it is simply not possible and would only lead to a shutdown. So please consider your funds safe and undiminished. Trekmunk will provide a redeemable voucher that you can use in the future.

 
Right now, we are working to ensure that your post-COVID trips run smoothly and most importantly safely. We are currently laying down plans and mandates to adhere to what will possibly become the new normal. While cleanliness and hygiene remaining the key priorities, more intricate things will be put to place; but for that, we will come out with an entirely different blog attesting to every detail.


In the coming months, we will continue to rely on the Government of India directives, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and so will our local partners. We believe these are trustworthy sources and you should too. The flood of information on social media is often off the mark and can easily confuse us and derail our plans.


We are trying our best to keep you up-to-date about all our trips and we are happy to talk to you if you have any questions or concerns. We are teleworking actively, so please drop us a message and we will get back to you shortly. We are looking forward to new trekking journeys this autumn and winter. We hope to see you there, finally breathing that mountain air.


Until then, stay home, stay safe, stay in love with adventure.


P.S: The Himalayas will be waiting; mightier than ever.

  1. Oshank Soni : Co-Founder at Trekmunk. Has travelled to 28 Indian States, has led more than 50 high altitude treks in the Indian Himalayas. He is an Investment Banker by profession but a traveller by passion. He has led treks in Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Sikkim and Nepal. He is a NOLS certified First Aid Responder. Chasing the sun is his full-time job, a Storyteller, Travel photographer and Videographer at Insane Traveller Productions.

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