This entire year stood under the shadow of COVID. We hear about it on the news every day, some of our friends and family got it and we all crave our lost freedom.
COVID has affected all industries, not just the travel one. Almost every person on this globe feels some level of impact on his finances and personal life. Needless to say, in almost every case, COVID has impacted us in a negative way.
1. How has COVID impacted me as a travel blogger?
As a travel blogger myself, this invisible virus has turned my life to 180 degrees. After years of work, my business was flourishing. Over 100,000 thousand people were reading my travel guides each month, planning their trips according to my advice. In such a competitive industry, I managed to make my voice heard.
But suddenly, at the beginning of the year the news that a new virus appeared changed the course of my life. My income was slashed, nobody was interested in travel anymore and I canceled all my travel plans.
Why am I telling you all these things? Because I want you to understand that COVID has impacted me greatly, both on a business and personal level. I want things to go back to normal, I want to travel again but I want to do so safely.
2. Should you travel during COVID? My opinion as a travel blogger
Now comes the hard part. This is the question that’s been on everyone’s mind lately. Is it a good idea to travel right now? Is it safe enough?
My short, honest answer is no. I don’t think international travel is safe. I think now is the time to stop being selfish and start thinking about others. We are dealing with a sneaky virus. Some people have no symptoms at all while others get to the ICU. We cannot control it, no matter how much we try. At least, not yet. Not until we have a vaccine on the market or a treatment.
I know the travel industry is hurting. As a travel blogger, I know this too well. I know that 10% of the world’s population relies on tourism to get by and I know that it has been a difficult year. But promoting travel right now and encouraging people to travel to foreign countries during COVID is simply irresponsible.
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No matter how much I want things to go back to normal, I truly believe that traveling (especially international travel) should be postponed.
You never know if the people you come in contact with (hotel staff, waiters, airplane staff, airplane passengers) are healthy or not. Moreover, you can catch the virus and have no symptoms. You can happily travel thinking that you’re healthy, when in fact you’re spreading the virus.
Of course, there are several safety measures to stop the spread of COVID such as wearing a mask, distancing yourself from other people and washing your hands as often as possible. However, none of these are bulletproof.
As an avid traveler, it was hard for me to cancel all my travel plans. This year I was supposed to go to the Czech Republic, Georgia, Greece, Turkey, Germany and a few other countries. Canceling all these plans was heartbreaking but I know that good times will come. Things WILL come back to normal and we’ll all be able to fully enjoy travel again. It just takes a bit of patience.
And with a few vaccines already announced for the end of this year/ beginning of next year, we can already see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Meanwhile, I encourage you to travel locally. Explore new places near your hometown, go on day trips and you might discover some incredible places! Try and avoid busy places take walks in nature. Since the start of this pandemic, I visited wonderful places located just a few kilometres away from my home town that I’ve never heard about before.
As a final note, whether or not you travel internationally during this time, is your decision only. I don’t encourage travel shaming. Even though I decided not to travel, I’m aware that many people might not feel the same and that’s ok. We’re different and it’s ok to have different opinions.
3. Let’s look at the bright side of COVID
Wait, what? Is there a bright side to all of this? Yes, there is!
Canceling my travel plans meant more time to do stuff. I started learning Spanish and I invested even more time in this blog. I made some design changes, I wrote blog posts about awesome destinations and I prepared for when travel is going to get back to normal.
When is that going to happen? I honestly have no idea but hopefully, by the end of 2021 things will be close to normal. Meanwhile, you’ll find me in front of the TV, watching Netflix or in front of the computer, writing for this blog.
This is the year when we all have more time to do the stuff we love. You can play more video games, read more books, or watch the TV-series you always wanted to watch but never had the time!
Whatever you do, stay positive! If you ever need somebody to talk to, you can send me an email at [email protected] . We can talk about the weather, about COVID, tv series or anything that crosses your mind! I’m here for you!
From an environmental standpoint, I think that COVID was a breath of fresh air. Less air travel, fewer tourists in protected areas, less damage. I think that nature deserved a break.
When travel picks up again, we must remember that nature needs protection. Never litter, be mindful, and protect the animals!
4. The future of travel
I must admit before COVID sometimes travel felt like a burden. I always hated packing my bags and unpacking but now I’d give anything to pack my bags again and head to an exciting destination.
Now I appreciate travel more than ever and I feel privileged for having the opportunity to visit 40 countries in the past years. The memories I have are priceless.
As travelers, I think that we’ll appreciate more the experiences that travel offers us. We’ll live more in the moment, and we’ll enjoy every moment and every second of our future trips.
In what concerns the travel industry, I think that travel needs to change fundamentally. We should take steps towards more sustainable travel.
Travel will be back for sure but until then, we have to take care of ourselves. Stay safe!
Let me know your thoughts about traveling during COVID in the comments section below!
May the travel bug bite you!