How 9 Travel Bloggers Are Navigating Their "New Normal" & Career Goals
Not far into the coronavirus pandemic, the world started to shut down. Museums stopped accepting guests, restaurants and bars closed indoor seating, international flights were canceled, and travel restrictions were rapidly put into effect. Many of us prepared to work from home until everything was back to "normal." But for many travel bloggers who explore destinations for a living, it's been a real challenge not having the entire globe as their "office." If you're wondering how travel bloggers are navigating their "new normal" and career goals, you're not alone.
Elite Daily asked a bunch of your favorite bloggers exactly how they're navigating this unprecedented time, and what has changed for them when it comes to career and lifestyle. Surprisingly enough, some noted they've enjoyed slowing down their pace a bit and developing other avenues of their business. Some have found bliss in meditation, new ventures, lifestyle-related content, or polishing their editing skills. Others have used this time to reflect on what they want to do next and how they can take a road trip safely in the future.
Although the world is far from "normal," they're giving themselves time to reflect, appreciate, and adapt. Here's how these nine travel bloggers are working through the pandemic and the changes they are facing in their lives.
1. This Blogger Is Using The Extra Time For New Things, Like Learning Japanese
I'm taking things a day at a time. I used to travel once or twice a month. I got so used to taking spontaneous trips, whether it was for work or play. Looking back, I'm really glad I did, and got a lot of the travel bug out of my system.
Quarantining has really shifted my priorities. I'm more focused on the future and my long-term goals. I'm also starting to do a lot more things that I've always said I would do. Learning Japanese, catching up on podcasts, and cooking a lot of new recipes for me and my fiancé. I'm also enjoying my apartment more these days. I used to never step foot on my balcony, but now I spend most afternoons out there reading or doing my own gel manicure (which I learned in quarantine!).
We also just got a puppy! My fiancé and I were both traveling a lot for work, so I didn't think we would be able to get a dog for a while. Now that we're both working from home, it was the perfect time to get one! He's literally changed our lives.
Moving forward, I don't think I'll be traveling as much as I used to. I'm focused on not taking those little life pleasures for granted, and asking myself how I can be better every day. Some goals for the near future are to get married, buy a home, and prepare to start a family of our own!
2. This Blogger Is Learning How To Be A More Mindful Traveler
Last year, I traveled to countless countries, states, and places all over the world, and I am so thankful to have seen so much of this planet with my own two eyes. Travel is something I will always be passionate about, but in all honesty, after flying almost 75,000 miles in one year, I was pretty burned out. This year, I have been able to focus so much more on my own mental health, by getting into a healthy daily routine of mindfulness practices. I have found so much more gratitude and peace in my daily life.
Moving forward into a time where travel is normalized again, I want to be much more intentional with my trips. Even now, taking socially-distant little road trips around the West Coast, I have found that I am able to truly enjoy my experiences, and the people I am with, instead of rushing to always see or photograph the “next thing” on the trip.
— Allegra Rose B. (@allegraroseb)
3. This Blogger Is Brushing Up On Her Editing Skills
My career goals have not changed much, but rather some just have been postponed. During this time I have had the time to go back to my old photos, work on my editing skills to provide better quality content to my audience, and that has helped to maintain people’s interest in my content and continue receiving offers from brands. I am hoping to get back to working with companies in the travel industry when traveling becomes safer, but for now, I am focusing more on lifestyle content.
— Elīna Kalniņa (@elinaabroad)
4. This Blogger Is Taking On Gardening
To start things off, I know it's been really hard for many of us, but I'm very fortunate to still be able to secure some small projects here and there. The most important thing for me now during this pandemic is that I'm able to spend time with my family and to be able to slow down from what was a fast-paced life. My travel work is on pause, but now I’m able to give more time to things that are important to me but never had the time for, like gardening and small scale urban farming. I'm using this time now to learn — about the environment, and the different movements that have come to light in the past few weeks. I don't know where the future leads but I'm taking things one step at a time.
— Kimi Juan (@kimijuan)
5. This Blogger Is Thinking About Future Goals
Lockdown has put a lot of things in perspective for me. My friends have found it a little weird when I’ve said I’ve actually enjoyed the time to regroup. When you look at how hard some people have had it during this time, how much opportunity there was, and things that you previously may have been doing that were taking you off track, it gives you the opportunity to recalibrate.
Being in quarantine allowed me to catch up with things I'd been wanting do. I took a step away from Instagram, took an SEO course, started creating on TikTok, updated my site, and wrote a ton of new blogs. I put a lot of thought into the way I want to travel going forward and how I want to share my story. I’m just hoping that all the hard work will start to show sooner [rather] than later as the travel industry opens back up.
I don’t know the last time I was in one location for more than a month let alone almost four! My goals are pretty much the same, just refocused on my original destination and the journey I want to take to it. Now more than ever, I want to provide the most value possible to readers. The blogging and influencer world is still relatively new and adapting to the current climate is part of the job!
As the rules started to ease up I decided to go on an East Coast road trip. I am currently visiting destinations such as the Carolinas, Georgia, and the Finger Lakes — my first trip in months!
The trends look like, and I personally I think too that, people will want to do road trips and domestic travel initially, maybe for quite some time. I’m working on getting useful information out as quickly as possible to assist travelers with planning those types of trips.
I will definitely be considering social distancing and cleanliness as priorities when I travel, though, also realizing a huge part of why many people, including myself, love to travel is to engage with others and meet new people. I think we just need to be smart with it.
I already love visiting places in their off-season and on weekdays verse weekends so I will definitely continue doing that.
6. This Blogger Is Building Up An Online Community
Honestly, the break has been very necessary. I've taken this time to work on other aspects of my business, like redesigning my website, getting audience feedback, strengthening my online community, and sharing a different side of myself.
Everything [has changed.] Haha. My day-to-day looks completely different and my work as a travel blogger has definitely changed. Prior to the pandemic, I was constantly on the go. I didn't have a chance to breathe, but quarantine life has been exactly the opposite. Although I find myself getting antsy at times, it's been nice to slow down and refocus my priorities. I've been able to work out, meditate, and work on other projects consistently — which I hadn't had the time or headspace to focus on before. When it comes to my career, I've been focusing on lifestyle content and encouraging a travel mindset — whether we're at home or on the road.
I'm still waiting things out. I do have a hope that travel will begin to pick up over the next few months, but there's no way to know. For now, I'll be focusing on local and domestic travel. We don't have to stop exploring altogether, but I do believe that we must simply change the way we think about travel. Nature will always be there and road trips are still an option! How can we continue to step outside of our comfort zone, get outdoors, and have new experiences all while social distancing?
— Ciara Johnson (@hey_ciara)
7. This Blogger Is Taking Things One Day At A Time
This time has been the longest and the hardest to sit still in one location for me. I think traveling nonstop for six years, this is a good wakeup call to take time to relax at home, feel more settled, and focus on other projects for work. So, currently feeling productive and happy to be settled for a minute.
I think just [our] lifestyle has changed as we stay home more and still focus on work but don't go out and create outside of the country as often. I would work with locations such as transportations and hotels, and since that is out of the line, I find other things to focus on for work.
Happily being content at home with my kid is simple for me and taking each day, day by day. Hopefully things will roll back into gear soon.
8. This Blogger Is Launching New Products
I think at first [this time] was a bit of a shock. I've hardly sat still for the last two years, so being forced to stay in London and not leave the house was a bit daunting to start with. But as time went by, I started to think about how I could offer my audience more. I've since launched two digital products and started offering mentorship to like-minded women. I've also started appreciating slowing down, and I think going forward I'll be traveling and living slower, really appreciating what life has to offer, and the privilege travel is.
I plan to continue traveling, but in a different style. Instead of fast-paced trips, I'll focus on longer trips where possible, more road trips. I just spent some time in Croatia living in a van and it was a very different way to see a county. We were able to minimize human interaction and enjoy waking up at a destination rather than a hotel. Although you do lose out on the people, which to me is so important when visiting a new destination, ultimately, everyone's health has to be a priority.
— Ashlee Major Moss (@ashleemajormoss)
9. This Blogger Is Appreciating The Freedom That Comes With The Job
As travel is a huge passion for me and always has been, I have had to use this time to find a new passion. I have shifted my focus from physically traveling to virtually traveling, by starting a homeware and apparel company that sells items from around the world. Starting this company has allowed me to stay connected with the stunning aesthetics of foreign lands, whilst being stuck in my home in the middle of London. Having said that, I have also utilized my time by learning new tips and tricks on how to gain followers and increase interaction. By adapting my feed so it has become more cohesive, I have been able to focus on developing a specific style which in-turn has allowed me to gain followers even during lockdown.
Planning for my next trip abroad has always been the way I live my life, so not much has changed in that department. However, I have gained a tunnel vision type approach in the way I see my goals and how I might achieve them. Starting a business and becoming my own boss has given me that freedom that I never wanted to lose.
I feel a sense of freedom and independence in knowing I can earn money from anywhere in the world. Developing my social media as a travel influencer will only add to this. I know many influencers are able to build a career around travel, and, to me that has always been a dream, but it is slowly starting to seem like it could be a reality. All that needs to happen now is for me to book my next ticket.
I think the end is definitely in sight now. Borders are beginning to open up in Europe, so a short trip to Europe is 100% something that will happen in the near future. However, once lockdown has completely eased and we are covered by insurance again, my first stop will be back to Asia for a short two to three-month trip. I don’t intend to go back to a 9 to 5 and lose the ability to travel freely whenever and for however long I want.
— Summer Crosse (@summermoanna)
Some responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.