Before I dig too deep into this post, I want to take a moment to acknowledge my privilege in even talking about this. We are still deep in the midst of a pandemic and there are many pivotal things happening right now. From social justice to politics to COVID-19, there are a lot of more important things going on in the world. Believe me, I know.
This post exists because, well… I really miss travel.
It’s funny – four years ago, this would have been normal. Vacations were a thing we didn’t have the time or funds for. In the last few years, my husband and I have been so lucky and privileged to be able to grow and explore, particularly in our travel. Now that I have a taste for far away lands, I want more. I look forward to it – in fact, our precariously planned vacations are the grounding point that gets me through my daily frustrations. It’s one of the reasons I brought our adventures into my blogging space – there are so many incredible things out there in the world and I want to breathe in it all.
If there was no coronavirus, right now I would be in Europe. My husband and I planned a Baltic Cruise to celebrate our fifth anniversary. We’d fly into Denmark, the visit Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Russia, and Finland. We’d planned a Romanov-themed guided tour in St. Petersburg and were going to visit a concentration camp in Germany. Obviously, I am not in Europe. I think we will be very lucky if United States citizens were welcomed in other countries by next summer.
Beautiful landscape views in the Azores on our 2018 Transatlantic Cruise.
Throughout the community, I’ve seen people doing different things this year, and I know Nicole @ Thoughts Stained With Ink mentioned her heartbreak over cancelling a long awaited trip to New Zealand. My husband and I cancelled the two major vacations for this year, and we’ve also cancelled a trip to New Zealand and Australia in February 2021, so on some level… I get this.
It may be privileged, but it’s still difficult.
Still, I’m a stubborn monkey, so I’ve been looking at alternate travel options within the realm of possibility and safety. So, if you’re a person called by the clouds and sea and adventure… what to do during a pandemic? Or recovery from a pandemic?
Also the Azores during our 2018 Transatlantic. Honestly this is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.
#1. Don’t travel.
I wanted to open with this because it is, simply, the best and safest advice.
This is, of course, the most obvious thing. Stay at home. Inside your house. Don’t go camping. Read books and find your adventures through other means. This is a lot of what the people I see on social media are doing and I agree it is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the safest way to proceed. Sacrifice and wait and hope that other people will smarten up and do what you do.
#2. Use YouTube
Okay bear with me here for a second.
Technically speaking, this still falls under “don’t travel”. But if you are missing the sights and sounds of places other than your house/grocery store/job… there are some really excellent travel vlogs, tours, and walkthroughs online! This content is just about all pre-COVID, but there are also people who are still out and about in their local areas and filming. My husband and I were watching Resort TV 1 down in the Orlando area for a while on their livestreams, and we keep up with Mickey Views for the latest Disney news. Additionally, if you are a Disney fan, SoCal Attractions 360 has awesome ride through videos at Disney and non-Disney parks all over the world – I particular enjoyed their Shanghai Disneyland ride through of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Obviously, there are other cool videos that visit locations than theme parks that you can experience as well! I don’t have any in particular to recommend, but they are definitely out there.
#3. Take a Private, Guided Tour
A college friend of mine used to be a tour guide, and I saw a couple months ago that she’d taken a tour of Berlin with WithLocals. Because I trust her implicitly when it comes to travel as she is a person with excellent taste, I had to check it out. As it turns out, this service is pretty cool. Pre-COVID you could meet up with a local tour guide to see the best and secret parts of a city and glean their knowledge. During COVID-19, these guides are keeping their tourism thriving by inviting you to sign up for a personal private virtual tour of their city and/or local historic sites.
Since this is a personalized experience, it does cost a little, but you can get a group of friends together and all chip in to “travel” together. How cool is this?
#4. Stay Local
If you must, must, must go somewhere, I beg you to stay local. Explore the countryside or city sights in your nearby areas. Please do not cross state or province lines, and definitely do not cross country lines. Choose something outdoors you can see, while still maintaining the safety guidelines set by WHO, the CDC, and other health organizations. Wear a mask – yes, even outside. Keep six feet apart. And keep any visit brief. Do not put others in danger because you wish to travel.
And in this statement, yes, I am including camping trips and trips to the beach. I’ve seen so many people treat these locations as special bubbles where being outside means the guidelines aren’t necessary. Masks and distancing are definitey still necessary when you’re relaxing outside in a public place, so please do yourselves and those around you the courtesy of suffering just a little for the sake of the many.
These are my suggestions for dealing with wanderlust during the pandemic. Even though it’s a major privilege, I know it can be really difficult to see things we were all so excited about fade away. In my experience, the travel companies have been really lovely about issuing credits and refunds for future use, but I am sure not all have been so lucky.
Remember, we all want to get back out there and have more adventures. But health and safety comes first. Whatever you do, follow the guidelines so we can keep everyone (and ourselves) safe during the pandemic, and we can look forward to many, many more epic adventures in the future. It may seem like it’s taking forever right now, but the future will be here before you know it.
So sit tight and be safe everyone.
Are you itching to get back out there in the world and travel? I am so looking forward to my next adventures, and I want to hear about yours! Tell me all about the next vacation you’d like to take post-COVID in the comments.