I began my weekend virtual travel series on Easter weekend, as I was getting so many time hop reminders of my trip to Rome that I thought I’d share them. I had been a bit wary of sharing anything related to travel, especially at the start of the whole coronavirus saga for fear of it coming across like I was promoting travel when we still could, but really shouldn’t have been. By Easter weekend it felt ok though, and I was really clear it was about a past trip. Since then I’ve ended up doing a ‘virtual travel’ trip every weekend, and the response has been lovely.
It seems that people actually enjoy seeing places beyond their four walls and back garden, especially now we’ve emerged from the peak. At least the people that follow me do, and it’s actually been really nice to look over past memories. I’m not sure if it’s just a bit of escapism, or if people are beginning to think of future travel and where they want to go when borders open properly again, but either way I’m loving instagram and the people I communicate with on it.
Based on the messages I receive and conversations I have daily, I think it’s a bit of both, although there is a definite hesitancy to booking anything concrete. I know I’ve certainly started to plan ahead for next year and even beyond that, but I’m making sure I only book anything that has free cancellation.
What this whole travel ban and world on lockdown has really made me realise is not to put off trips and doing things you really want to do while you have the chance. And when I refer to travel for people like me, it’s never the long term, backpacking, who knows when you will return type travel, it’s always been to maximise your free time – weekends, bank holidays and annual leave.
I have my favourite places as we all do, and I love returning to them, but if you have a bucket list or dream destinations then as a general rule this has been a lesson to not put them off too long. I feel like we’ve lost a year of being able to see places and experience new things, and although I’m pretty good at making sure I go to at least one new place every year I will be more so than ever going forward.
That said, I think the familiar will be a big factor in how and where we book at first when travel opens up again, for this year definitely. I’m certainly looking at places I know and am comfortable with for the near future, with one eye on the bucket list destinations for a bit further down the line. Basically if anything happened, or second waves of infectious diseases decide to strike I’d like to be somewhere I know pretty well.
At least for now I’m not planning any abroad trips for 2020, even if we are allowed to. I think for the moment it’s just too soon, and I don’t want the anxiety of airports or packed in flights, as well as how different it actually still would be being on holiday and maintaining social distance. I’m waiting to see how it pans out and the money I’m saving is going on trips for next year.
It’s also really important to think of the people that live where you want to travel to as well, their communities and the risks to them too. Many places will open because they have to not because it’s safe to.
It’s a burden on the mind you have to be consciously aware of, and although I don’t make a habit of getting up close and personal to strangers on holiday, I want to experience a care free, relaxing break when I finally get it, and not have to spend the whole time wondering what all the rules are, what apps I need to have, extra airport checks etc. That, and I don’t have a spare two weeks to give up to quarantine on return to the UK.
There’s a lot of talk on staycations at the moment, and putting our money back into the UK economy which I’m obviously fully supportive of. One of the best decisions we made this year before all this was back in January when we got Arthur, we said let’s use our September holiday to stay in the UK and go somewhere we can take the dog too. We booked a week in the Lake District in a remote self catering lodge, long before Coronavirus was an issue.
I feel like this just really worked out well for us, now prices are skyrocketing for UK breaks I’m glad we booked when we did. September is a great month too as we will avoid all the crowds of the school summer holidays. I really hope we will be able to go and hotels and holiday homes will reopen safely soon.
Once it seems more reasonable to promote travel again, you can expect to see blog content around UK breaks, and also inspiration for Europe. I’m thinking short flights and ferries rather than long haul to places run by idiots – looking at you Trump. I’d have bloody loved to let loose in Vegas next year too.
For now my virtual travel will continue on instagram. I never tire of going back over places I’ve been, and it seems to be pretty helpful for people planning on visiting those destinations in future. I’ve tried to keep the posts informative, with the odd bit of nostalgia thrown in.
There have been a couple of moments where I’ve felt really sad, like reminiscing about jumping in the sea in Amalfi, or our day in Capri, or the TASTE OF THE PASTA in Florence. But I’m lucky to have experienced those places in the first place, and touch wood make it through this situation in a fortunate position where I will again. I’ve had a few requests for Palma, but I’ve avoided that so far as it was just a bit too close to home – we were supposed to go for Kieran’s 30th in June 🙁
It’s brought back a lot of memories of how incredible different places are for different reasons, and I really want to go back to some that I previously didn’t. Who knows how long this post will even be relevant, things are changing so quickly we may get to travel sooner than we think. One thing is for sure, I think we will all appreciate and make the most of any trip wherever it is once we can travel again.
For now, feel free to join my virtual travels each weekend on my instagram, let me know anywhere you’d like to see!
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