There is no way around it, COVID-19 is impacting our daily lives. For those of us who work in the hospitality industry, travel for a living, or rely on blogging as an income, we are entering uncharted territory.
The current pandemic is nowhere near the greatest tragedy we have endured as a world, but it is certainly one of the most collective. As we have become increasingly connected and mobilized around the world, we have become more susceptible to both widespread disease and widespread panic. So what can we do as a travel community to help the situation?
One of the first things we can do is continue to share facts. It is essential we stay updated on the situation and refrain from posting regurgitated info on our social media. If you have a large following, you have a responsibility to stop the spread of false information. Our knowledge about the virus is evolving every day so it is best to refer to reputable sources that are updated regularly:
As tempting as it is to take advantage of cheap tickets and continue traveling, we should think about the repercussions of our actions. As someone working in the hospitality industry, I understand the economic impact of staying put, but there are still ways we can support the economy without endangering others. Postpone your travel plans instead of cancelling them outright and wait for updates from local and federal governments before making new plans.
Most importantly be kind to those dealing directly with the fallout. Be empathetic to the hospitality workers assisting you with travel changes. You may be worried about the loss of your vacation deposit, but they are worried about the loss of their job. The same goes for interacting with retail workers who are continuing to work so that you have necessities. It is a time to focus on being kind and generous with our resources.
Reconnect With Your Travel “WHY”
Perhaps our biggest takeaway during this collective downtime is the opportunity to reconnect with our “why”.
Sadly, traveling has become centered around Instagram pictures and social media clout. We have always been vocal about why this is dangerous for your mental health and for our environment, but we are hoping everyone takes this time to pause and re-evaluate the reason we travel in the first place.
If you travel to connect with people, now is the time to reach out to others. See how they are doing and check on people who might be quarantined. With restrictions on visiting nursing homes and hospitals, use this time to reach out via phone and FaceTime in order to spread some cheer.
If you travel to learn about other cultures, dig into a good book written by someone who comes from a different walk of life than you do. We can still continue our journey for knowledge and learn from people who see the world differently than we do.
If you travel for the food, use your time at home open to attempt a new recipe from that cookbook you never use. Taste the world and whet your appetite for the adventures to come!
If you travel for the history and art, catch up on those documentaries you’ve been queuing up on Disney+ or Netflix! There is so much to learn about the places we take for granted and when it is time to travel again, we will have a sense of appreciation we’ve never experienced before.
The threat of a pandemic is not something we expected to face coming into this decade, but it is something we can get through together. By being educated, mindful of others, and connected to our passions, we can usher in a new generation of what it means to be a global citizen.
Sending safe and healthy wishes to all of our fellow travelers!