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A photo from a travel trip to Cambodia. It shows a dock on a lake with umbrellas forming an arch overhead.

Travelling is Back! A Look Back at 2022

It’s hard to believe the difference a year makes. When I sat down to write my annual year in review this time last year, everything was uncertain. Omicron was tearing its way across the world, borders were shutting down again, and everyone was waiting for the dreaded announcement of another lockdown. In many ways, December 2021 felt like a repeat of December 2020, and it was hard to have any optimism about what 2022 would hold.

Sadly, 2022 has delivered on that in many ways. There is a war raging in Europe. Inflation and the cost of living crisis is affecting millions, if not billions, of people worldwide. Legislation targeting our most vulnerable populations was passed in dozens of countries. And the list goes on. But 2022 was also a year of great hope and change. I will forever be in awe of the bravery and courage of the protestors in Iran and China. The Ukrainian people continue to inspire us all with their resilience and tenacity. And despite the laws, discrimination, and inequities facing them, people around the world are still standing up and demanding that their voices be heard. It has been a year equal parts inspiring and devastating.

When I wrote my first year in review back in 2018, I wrote about my experiences as a tour guide. The highlights and what I would remember from a year of leading tours throughout France. I thought that I was starting a tradition. That every December I would write a fun article about being a tour guide. But the best laid plans often go awry. And between the fire at Notre Dame and the pandemic that devastated tourism, these annual reviews have been decidedly more somber in tone with each passing year. However, I always tried to find the positives in years that were filled with so much uncertainty. Which is why this year, I’m choosing to focus on the fact that 2022 was the year that travelling truly made a comeback.

I realize that this may seem like an odd thing to focus on when so many people are struggling to make ends meet. Being able to go travelling is an extreme luxury when millions of people are having to choose between food or heat. But there’s no denying that 2022 saw a massive boom in travelling. Personally, I believe that this is a good thing. Not just for the tourism livelihoods that were gutted these past two years, but for the world in general.

Travelling to other countries, meeting people from different backgrounds, and experiencing new cultures is an extraordinarily effective way to foster empathy among us; something the world dearly needs more of right now. I also believe that there is now a greater appreciation among travellers for the experiences they are having. We all now know what it’s like when the world collectively closes its borders. I know that I will never again take for granted the fact that they are open once more. So yes, 2022 was the year that travelling returned. And if the end result is more empathy and appreciation, I’m all for it.

As we head into 2023, I hope that you have some travelling of your own planned. I hope that you get to explore the world, learn more about the places you visit, and make genuine connections with the people who live there. And if Paris happens to be one of your destinations, my wish is that this city is everything you ever hoped it would be.

Happy Holidays from Story of a City! I’ll see you in 2023 with more stories, adventures, and things to do and see in Paris.


Laura Moore is a professional storyteller who loves history and the many stories that make Paris one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Join one of her signature tours to learn the story of a city.

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