What does post-Corona travel look like in reality?
After being stuck back home for months due to the Coronavirus lockdown, I’m finally free to leave. The Schengen zone borders in Europe are opening up again, and while flying might still be off-limits to some destinations, overland travel is now allowed almost everywhere. Perhaps it would be smarter to wait a little longer; but then, I’m not in any rush, and if there’s another wave of the virus, I can always just head home again. For now, the plan is to ride from Warsaw to Dakar extra slowly, racing in cross country rallies along the way. But to start this leg of the journey, I first needed to get to Warsaw… and here’s what happened.
No More Borders
One of my main concerns about post-Corona travel was borders. Yet, although the Lithuanian – Polish border was shut during the Coronavirus lockdown (only goods trucks and people who had a “valid reason”, for example, a work contract, were allowed through), that’s no longer the case. Crossing the border felt the same as pre-Corona – you just breeze through unstopped and unchecked, much like before. On the Polish side, there were some transport police cars parked on the side of the road, but they didn’t seem interested in a lone motorcycle rider at all.
Unsure of whether hotels in Poland were fully back in business or not, I decided to book in advance and got a room in a BnB in a small town of Lomza. Booking the hotel was no issue at all and when I arrived, it was buzzing with people – it appears everyone is anxious to get out and travel a little.
But the best part was the reaction of the locals – instead of suspicion, I was met by smiles and friendliness. It’s not that Coronavirus is gone and everything is right back to normal; but it does feel like people have had enough and, while some security measures like wearing masks in public are still in place, it seems that traveling – at least in the form of overlanding – is not seen as something unacceptable anymore.
Let’s see how I fare entering Ukraine and Romania next, though.