It is the year 2050, Corona Virus is a thing of the distant past and the new normal is just the normal. I am in my sixties and I have continued to write SilverSpoon London all this time – that’s 37 years! With the Hollywood movie being made of this blog, I reached deep into the archives remembering the way we used to travel. I almost can’t believe what life was like BC (before Corona) and how different travel was pre-2020. With that being said I thought I’d write a letter to the people of 2020, a backwards time capsule if you will, in order to compare life and travel as it is now to back then.
During the spring of 2020 we learnt many lessons from what we did right as a country and what we did wrong. We also learnt personal lessons – there were many, many things we hated about the Great British Lockdown of 2020 (not seeing our parents and grandparents, no pubs being open, no holidays or hair cuts) and many things we came to like (more time as a family, working from home, the slower pace of life) and we adapted our lives to incorporate these differences. The New World Order was established.
We became more attuned to the world around us and noticed as the fog lifted from the skies, the birds could be heard a little clearer as the din of traffic died, our hands were always a little cleaner than they had been… and we would never take toilet paper for granted again. Of course everything was terrible economically for a while but it’s been much better in the last few years with Wilfred Johnson as prime minister (don’t worry, he is much better than his dad, Boris). Things are great in the States too especially as president Malia Obama has introduced their best ever health care system.
I’ve spent the last thirty years travelling with my family, taking my children on adventures but never forgetting the days when we were shut inside. Travel has changed exponentially in the last thirty years and of course, the Corona virus was pivotal to those changes… actually it was pivotal to many changes in the second third of the century.
In 2020 when the travel bans came in on both an international and national level, people stopped flying. And do you know what, many people actually liked it. Even when the vaccine was discovered at the end of 2020 by Oxford university scientists, many people hung up their travel wings for good, they didn’t even renew their passports and instead decided to explore their own countries more.
In the last five years with the invention of a totally energy-efficient and eco-friendly flying car, staycations as become even easier. And you probably already know that the flying car was invented by my son, Oscar Silver, for which he won the Nobel Prize.
With the emphasis on walking and cycling, people took to their feet and their bikes and these kind of wholesome holidays became even more popular. The electric bike is officially the UK’s most popular form of transport, you can even make one yourself very cheaply. And due to the advance of climate change the weather has become very hard to predict, so some people have started to think why bother leaving the country anyway?
Of course the cruise industry died years ago sadly but sea travel is still popular and under water travel is now huge! Especially as it means each person has an individual oxygen tank and they don’t have to breath the same air. The submarine industry is now booming and the coral reefs are still there (just about) and have become even more popular.
2. Air travel
Things are different in airports too. We worried it would take four hours to get through the airport after what happened in 2020. But there was none of that, instead a quick and efficient (well depending on what country you’re in!) temperature check plus certification that your vaccines are up to date and you’re ready to go. They’re not worried about Covid-19 of course, well that was wiped out years ago thanks to mass vaccinations but now everyone is much more prepared for possible pandemics – we’ve had a few since and are currently up to Covid-37 but the excellent vaccination programme makes this less of a problem and lock downs are infrequent. Many refused to get the vaccinations believing holding an onion would stop them from catching the Great Plagues, but people of that mindset are becoming very few and far between and most of them don’t own passports and they’re not allowed to travel anyway.
Lots of airlines went bankrupt after the 2020 crisis, to be honest it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as some of them were hugely inefficient anyway. New aeroplanes were built by the remaining airlines with more space between seats, cleaning became much more thorough and flying was a nicer experience all around.
Of course there’s another option if you want to taking your flying car with you. The air tug allows for flying cars to be tethered together and tugged to various destinations (a bit like an old-fashioned railway train), this is absolutely great for social distancing as you don’t have to be close to other passengers or breathe the same air. It’s a little more expensive but overall more economical as it avoid the necessity of hire cars when you arrive at the destination.
3. A Different Restaurant Experience
Since 2020 restaurant experiences have totally changed. The capacity in each restaurant is much smaller leading to an overall more pleasant experience. Patrons now dine in pods to stem the spread of germs, menus are on ZPads (the 2050 equivalent of the iPad) and food is delivered by robots in order to limit human contact.
Everything is paid for online. In fact money (as in physical cash) doesn’t exist anymore. Everyone realised how dirty it was and payments were done by card alone, until we realised that even this could be eliminated as everything could be done via your phone. We don’t even have house keys (dirty and germ-filled too) any more, homes can be unlocked with your phone with extra security from facial recognition. Everyone has to carry a spare phone as you are totally screwed without it! You’ll be pleased to know that there have been great improvements in battery life!
Instagram, the popular social media of 2016 – 2020 and one of the number one places for ‘Millenials’ to get travel inspiration died a death. Everyone was fed up of the buying of bots, fake followers and the fact that the feed never went chronological again. Lockdown mean that TikTok was the chosen social media of Generation Z, spawning a new wave of Travel TikTok influencers. Generation A.2, Oscar’s era, use a new type of ‘social media’ entirely. Flick-Flack allows influencers to appear hologrammatically in front of you so that you can also fully experience their suggestions, there’s even options to taste the food their trying, touch the fabrics in hotels (virtually) and smell the air of their location.
The most popular Flick-Flacker in the UK is Queen Charlotte who has over a billion followers thanks to insights into life at the Palace.
Taking inspiration from Japanese hotels, properties around the world upped their technology game. Toilets are completely automatic and work on a ‘no touch’ system. Same with taps and doors. Every hotel has an app which you download to your phone, via this you can check in, control the lights, TV etc even dial room service. This eliminates any excess touching of surfaces.
The ‘buffet’ has become obselete and even the word buffet was taken out of the English dictionary . Whilst us millenials still remember buffet brunches fondly, Generation Y cannot believe we used to do something so disgusting and Oscar’s generation barely know the meaning of the word. Occasionally you still see them at retro 201o’s themed parties but most people steer clear of them as they’re seen as germ hives.
Spas and gyms are still a thing but the capacities are so limited that in-room work outs via video chat are much more popular. Spa treatments themselves are much less popular than they used to be, somehow being massaged by someone in full PPE never caught on…
Around the pool and in public areas it has become standard to have your own pod allocated in order to maintain social distance. People were weary at first but soon everyone came to like having plenty of personal space.
Finally, the rise in working from home and the discovery that it was more efficient to have virtual meetings via Zoom meant holidays became much more flexible. People are now able to set their own hours meaning more holidays are possible. This means more time for families and overall people are a lot closer and actually less stressed than their 2020 counterparts.
To the people of 2020 I really hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the future. And don’t forget to catch the film version of SilverSpoon London, coming to your screens in 2051…