Australia is a country of travellers. We're famous for it. So when COVID-19 hit and domestic and international borders slammed shut, it was a stab in the national psyche.
Not only were our favourite overseas destinations off-limits - New Zealand is No. 1, followed by Indonesia (Bali), the US, the UK then China - but we couldn't mosey to our favourite beach towns, regional towns, high countries or wine countries, let alone revered landmarks such as Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef.
Instead, if we were lucky enough to remain in stable employment, many of us spent our savings on home renovations, giving us shiny new surrounds in which to endure the cabin fever and itchy feet.
But travel - hoorah! - is back, sitting way and above at the top of Australians' plans for the next 12 months. And the focus is squarely on staying close to home.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents in ACM's Heartbeat of Australia study said they intended to travel in Australia, while less than a third indicated they were planning to head overseas.
Before the pandemic, nearly a million Australians a month were going overseas; 2019 saw a record 11.3million short-term trips, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics - almost double that of 10 years before.
In August 2021, in the thick of pandemic restrictions, the figure had plummeted to less than 17,000. In May this year it had clawed its way back to 420,000.
In the meantime, there's little surprise that Australians want to get moving. They've had to continually postpone travel plans through the pandemic. And they are desperate to see loved ones.
As ACM research director Alex Mihalovich points out, we are a very connected people, and the pent-up yearning to catch up with friends and family - as well as take those long-overdue holidays - is being unleashed right now.
"People are still nervous about going overseas - that is the big inference," Mr Mihalovich said. "People are fearful they are going to get stranded - because one, they fear airlines are going to cancel their flights, and two, they are worried the government is going to close the borders again.
"The thinking is, 'Let's play it safe - we want to travel, we are sick of being locked up in our homes, but let's just do it domestically, because if anything goes wrong we can quickly come home again'."
Who knows, we may be on the cusp of a golden age in Australian domestic tourism.
The signs are positive for an industry comprising thousands of operators that was smashed by the pandemic.
According to government figures from Tourism Research Australia, domestic travel will return to its pre-pandemic levels this financial year, and overtake them the next.
Even now, Australians are spending more on domestic travel than they did pre-COVID.
In April 2022, while overnight trips were down 4 per cent compared with April 2019, what we spent on those April trips was through the roof - $10.1 billion, up 31 per cent from 2019.
- Sarah Maguire is a travel writer and incoming editor of ACM's Explore travel guide published every Saturday.