Stages of the Denial Travel
The Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a newly discovered virus that is wreaking havoc around the world. In January of this year, 800,000 new cases have been reported in the United States and 117 million globally. Cases are continuing to rise at an increasing rate. When the Coronavirus was declared a worldwide Pandemic in March of last year, countries around the world took necessary precautions by closing their borders to stop the spread. As a result, 90% of the world has been locked down and are required to stay socially distant.
This has dramatically reduced travel. The high-volume shutdowns that are in effect forced people to not travel since airlines suspended all services domestic and international. People are now required to stay home and quarantine themselves.
When people travel, they expect to gain satisfaction. It serves as an escape from their busy and stressful lives. There are different levels of satisfaction when traveling. In a journal article titled “Health and Wellness Benefits of Travel Experiences A Literature Review”, two researchers named Chun-Chu Chen from Washington State University and James Patrick from Texas A & M analyzed the emotions that a person feels during a vacation and they put them into four stages. Chen and Patrick named These stages: The Stages of Travel.
However, when people are getting denied the ability to travel for an intensive period, the opposite effects of the Stages of Travel occur. Instead of getting the benefits of travel such as happiness and satisfaction, they are feeling the opposite. A person’s satisfaction decreases throughout the process. These parallel stages are called the The Stages of Denial of Travel.
Not allowing people to leave their homes has devastating effects on one’s mental state. An article titled “The Psychological Impact of Quarantine and How to Reduce it: Rapid Review of the Evidence” written by multiple doctors and practitioners explains these effects. According to this article, quarantining within your home for an extensive period can contribute to psychological disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), insomnia, and anxiety. This is because people are unable to be in close contact with one another and socialize which contributes to even more effects such as loneliness and irritability. These factors are reflected in the Stages for the Denial of Travel. Since people are unable to travel and escape the stresses of life, they are confined in their homes without any physical interaction with other people.
When one goes on vacation, he or she goes through and experiences four stages of travel. Before vacation, a person is in the Anticipation stage. During this stage, people are generally happier because of the excitement and anticipation of going on a vacation to enjoy themselves for a couple of days. People also look forward to making memories and experience positive feelings while on their getaway.
The second stage of this process is called the experience stage. During the experience stage, a person is on the vacation enjoying themselves and making those memories they were excited about making. This increases satisfaction and carries over into the next stages of the Stages of Travel.
The third Stage of Travel is the Beneficial Stage which happens during and after vacation. Satisfaction is at its highest point during this stage. Eventually, people begin to reflect on their experiences, and they carry over to when they return home. Those experiences are shared with others. The person who went on the vacation has high satisfaction and wants others to know all about their trip.
Then during the Fade-Out stage, The happiness and satisfaction gained from their travel experience starts to diminish and they return to their normal lives like going back to work and returning to school.
People rely on travelling for pleasure and satisfaction. Depriving them of those characteristics can have devastating effects on their mental health. Because of the worldwide shutdown of travel due to the Pandemic, many people are not gaining that happiness from going on a vacation. Instead, they are going through the opposite. These feelings are explained by The Stages of Denial of Travel. Satisfaction and happiness decrease throughout the stages of Denial of Travel. In the first stage, also known as the Fear stage, happiness starts to decrease because of the fear and growing anxiety of contracting the Coronavirus.
The next stage is known as the Negative Experience Stage The effects of this period have the opposite effect than the Experience Stage in the Stages of Travel. In this stage, people are fully experiencing what it is like to not have any close contact with others. They often deal with anxiety and boredom because they cannot leave their homes and be in physical contact with their friends and family.
The third stage is the Harmful Stage. During the Harmful Stage, the negative effects, and consequences of the deprivation of travel come into effect. Sadness or the opposite of satisfaction is at its highest point here. The negative effects described earlier such as loneliness, Post Traumatic Stress Order, and anxiety take hold and begin to develop during this stage. Happiness and satisfaction are at their lowest during this. People begin to reflect their feelings and overall experiences of staying quarantined for a long period of time.
The final stage of this process is the Fade In stage. During the Fade In stage, the anticipation of returning to normalcy and traveling increases satisfaction and happiness. When people are excited about finally traveling again after a long period of being isolated from the rest of the world, the negative consequences from the previous stages begin to fade away. People are finally looking forward to resuming their regular lives by being able to travel and congregate in person.
The Stages of the Denial of Travel reflect what the majority of people are going through especially during this current Pandemic. People are longing for a sense of normalcy so that they could leave their homes and travel at last. It is evident from Chun-Chu Chen and James Patrick’s Four Stages of Travel that travelling or going on a vacation is an important factor for psychological benefits. Taking away something that has many psychological benefits could eventually damage the human psyche.
- Chen, C. (2013). Health and wellness benefits of travel experiences a literature Review. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
- Brooks, S. K., Webster, R. K., Smith, L. E., Woodland, L., Wessely, S., Greenberg, N., & Rubin, G. J. (2020). The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce … Retrieved February 24, 2021.
- Ozdemir, M. (2020). (PDF) the novel Coronavirus Covid-19 crisis on Incoming … Retrieved February 22, 2021.