This has been one crazy year when the world had to mend its ways. It has been the year of sanitizers, social distancing and the survival of the fittest. And this has also been the year when we were forced to be home-bound. If you have shed any tears over the lost year of travel, I bet you will understand the plight of those who swear by it. In this post we will see what my travel blogger friends have to say about the last few months, their coping mechanism, future plans of travel and pandemic.
Travel and Pandemic!
If truth be told, the year 2020 literally tested our patience with the worst days of stress, fear, unemployment, uncertainty and lack of travel. But it was also the year which gave us a lot of time to take solace in solitude, express gratitude and think about the past memories. It pushed us to form more than one perspective. And most importantly, it made us resilient enough to face some of the most challenging times. When the pandemic arrived, it hit us all but it crippled the travel industry mercilessly. It left us hapless. While everyone talked about business and entrepreneurs losing money, not much was said about the travel content creators. Well if you may ask now, I would say we all went through multiple heartbreaks. It really pained to be that kid whose most favorite chocolate was taken away.
So far, being home and dealing with upheaval of emotions in our own creative ways has definitely been the best idea. Also, everyone must be congratulated for echoing the same thought about keeping safe. And now when some travellers have started taking calculated risks, they are purely trying to help the industry. Travelling mindfully has been the unanimous motto. Let us check with some of them.
We may not be travelling per se but we are definitely doing lots around Travel!!
Arti from www.myyatradiary.com
I remember, it wasn’t until June that I ventured out of the house for the very first time. Even a short 10 minutes walk early in the morning felt exhilarating, liberating and highly refreshing. From the tiny hole in the wall shop chaiwalla in one lane to the local two storied grocery shop in another – it was like stepping into a new reality. This time, literally. Because, I was not just in a ‘new normal’ but also in a new locality. The world had indeed changed a lot in the pandemic, post marriage.
Slowly, my morning walk snowballed into safe zoned neighborhood excursions, with all the necessary precautions of course. In the evenings, we ambled about a peaceful, beautiful path thickly covered with long grass, mangroves and bushes, punctuated by a lake. Away from all the chaos and concrete, this pristine little stretch soon became our favorite hideout: the air was so fresh here. I could hear the birds chirping as they flew freely in the ever changing sky. The water of the lake sparkled in the setting sun highlighting the many small fishes that swam below.
Much recently, I ventured further, into the Gorai beach. I have been to so many beaches all my life but that feeling when I stood in the water facing the vast expanse of the horizon and arms wide open was akin to embracing a long lost lover! I am truly grateful for these little gems of heaven right here in my neighborhood that have helped calm my itching travel spirit in this pandemic. I am now hoping my neighborhood yatra continues to many more places in the world.
Dipanshu Goyal from duniadekho.in
For someone like me whose prime ‘job’ is travelling, it was difficult to stay at home. But I accepted the challenge and tried to find a new me during this unwanted/ unknown/ unfamiliar environment.
At the beginning, I thought this would be a short lived thing but as time progressed and the gravity of the situation began to hit, I found my ways. I left procrastination behind and started reading books. I went back to my bucket list, ordered them online and began reading. I am yet to finish all but I am definitely couple of books down a worthy list..
I also diverted my attention towards my blog and wrote a few articles on the current scenario, tourism and others. The time came in handy to be more technology-efficient and invested more on research and applied them in my blog to make it more polished and chic.
Looking at the current situation i think it will take another 5-6 months before things get back on track, especially in the travel world. And I am not in a hurry to step on the paddle !! But my future planning is on. I have made another bucket list of places where I want to visit after things get better. Can’t wait to travel AGAIN!!
Jyotsna Ramani of WanderWithJo.com
As an “almost” full-time traveler with no home base, no 9-5 job, basically no roots – it was incredibly hard for me to not do the one thing I built my life around – traveling. However, after a few months passed I realized it was time to stop sulking and start getting creative. Even if I was not travelling, there was so much to do around it. First step was to teach myself video editing so that I could relive my travels through my videos of the destination and also enhance my skills. Next, I started drafting travel posts which I always wanted to write – stories from the road, people I met, experiences and more. Things I never really had time for while traveling non-stop. I started going to parks and short drives to places near Gurgaon. Just recently, I gifted myself a car to make road tripping easier and ensure traveling safely with packed beddings. I finally have several plans for the rest of 2020 – a staycation, a road trip to the hills, and a trip to my favorite jungle – Corbett, is on the charts. Let’s ensure we break the monotony by traveling but safety should be our utmost priority.
Shrinidhi Hande of www.enidhi.net
I was lucky to have a short international trip to Muscat between Feb last week and March first week, before lockdown kicked in. During lock down months I was busy providing content to a state govt tourism department’s website. In June once restrictions opened, I rode to my home town (Udupi) from Chennai- about 800 kms on my bike. After completing the quarantine period, explored places of interest in Udupi and adjacent districts during July and August. This is the first time I got to enjoy the monsoon fully and spend a long time in my hometown. It used to be a short 2-4 days visit earlier. Thus I did manage to travel locally as much as possible in a safe way, faced my first road accident as I fell off from the bike during one of the rides, but have now recovered and resumed normal life. Have got a good job in my hometown and am looking forward to a more promising 2021. In summary, I took calculated risks, explored places I felt safe from Corona, took advised precautions and made most of the free time to spend time with family and explore local destinations.
VJ from www.travellingcamera.com
This year was about discovery with technology and I did make great use of it. I started getting connected with the travel world step by step and also worked on some of the ideas that needed attention like ‘Travel Blog strategy & explorations around other art-forms’ in relation with Travel.
Apart from that, I explored few new blogs & vlogs during this time to get constant inspiration. I also re-processed many of my travel photographs during this time and that activity took me back to specific travel experiences. I did some planning and explored some virtual tours. I also curated a list of selected virtual tours for my blog followers. I even started a new blog series about music for travel. Looks like I did a lot of stuff around travel. Lets be safe until we travel again.
Saurabh Arya from www.yayavaree.com
This pandemic has changed entire world of travel and we are largely forced to remain inside safe confines of home. So when travelling became out of bound, I found my sanity in reading and writing about travel. I believe a traveller should also read accounts of other travellers to see the same world with different pair of eyes.
During lockdown, I tried to invest the time in improving my skills. These days I am writing a book on travel which otherwise was not possible due to paucity of time. In short, reading a lot and writing a lot is my mantra. Now we are slowly learning to live with this virus but I am still not able to muster enough courage to go on family trips and stay in hotels or take flights. So, I am starting with backyard tourism. I have started exploring lesser crowded places in my own city Delhi. Visiting Lodhi colony streets for street art, landscape gardens, some museums and monuments are on my list. I will be writing about them one by one. Slow pace of life in pandemic has allowed me to appreciate local but ignored places. I am sure when travel will resume normally we all will be better equipped to enjoy and appreciate its charms.
Madhurima from www.orangewayfarer.com
I vigorously lived through my previous travel memories. As a content creator, I made the best use of this time to write several articles on the places I had visited and tapped into creating video blogs too. I wrote everyday. I spoke in podcasts. I set aside the pressure to feed into social media on a regular basis. In the process, I realised I have not even touched half of the countries I have had the good fortune to visit!
I experimented with various food and wrote in volumes about food memories as well. Experiencing different cultures through food used to be a huge part of my travels. At the wee hours of the day, I indulged in birding from rooftop. Spotting a few beautiful avian species at the start of the day could bring so much of joy, I had not an iota of idea! The prolonged summer sunshine also helped me rear a few plants on my balcony garden! The joy in creating as a pandemic menaced at the doorstep!
By the time I realised we won’t be able to make it back to Kolkata for Durgapuja, I took to painting. For three years my paint brushes and paint book was covered with a thick blanket of dust. They bestowed me with immense joy as I embraced them after a prolonged period of time, and created a few pieces of art. Art that played as a backdrop of homely celebrations.
More than anything, I lived through planning future travels. Hope is all we have. Hope takes us to places! I made itineraries for Sikkim, Rajasthan, Himachal. Curated a list of offbeat Indian destinations. Took a chance and huge leap of faith and finally made a 20 days trip to the mountains as well, with a baby born during lockdown! In his eyes, I sensed the joy of meeting the billion people of India for the first time! I realised once again how our previous travel experiences carry no value until we have a human connect in it!
Vipin & Abhishek from misfitwanderers.com
As travel bloggers our main concern throughout this pandemic has been, how can we not travel because we did not want to break the rules, advise wrong or do anything that was not safe. So we waited patiently and kept working on our blog till it was safe to take baby steps.
There were times when we will see our old travel photos for hours or plan for places we’ll go in future. On some days we just chilled with Netflix.
The thing is, we didn’t keep the spirit alive because it has no reason to die. But I believe when you know the purpose that ‘why do you travel,’ you don’t have to put extra effort into the spirit to keep alive. It’s an itching sensation that will never leave you for life. Simply because you’re curious and the world is too beautiful, big and wide. Even if you don’t travel, there is lots to do around it.
There were some concerns though, like creating more content for the blog. Our readership was growing continuously and we had to offer something interesting to our readers. We started to do backyard travel as soon as the government partially lifted the restrictions. We went to our villages. We went to places in the outskirts of Lucknow and discovered some gems. And as things are improving, we will do more of it.
Finally from Pendown
Well, I was stressed in the first few weeks of the lockdown but mostly because I was worried about everyone’s safety. It was only after a few weeks that I realised that travel would be off-limits for a long long time and then the disappointment did hit for a while. I love creating social media content on-the-go and I have definitely missed that part of my life but eventually this time turned out to be the perfect break from ‘always on the run’ kind of life. I loved going back to my three favorite things – Art, Books and Movies.
‘Travel and Pandemic’ do not shake hands at any point but blogging never stopped for me. I created lots of content around ‘Travel and Art’ and my ‘Europe trip’. Art served as an anchor for me and I surrendered to the craziness of colors. I also authored a book ‘Kaleidoscope of Cheer and Hope’ and enjoyed the response. I am still contemplating real travel but I have done some day trips around my city. I am glad the year gave me a chance to stop and cherish the beautiful trips that I have done so far.
I am sure you have something to say too about ‘Travel and Pandemic’. Do share your comments below.