how-covid-has-changed-the-way-we-travel

Bloggers on How COVID Has Changed the Way We Travel

Last year, at the start of the global pandemic, I asked a few bloggers to share their thoughts on where they want to travel when the pandemic is over. Now, a year and a half later, life is still far from normal and we have all had to adjust to a new world, accepting that, at least for the time being, COVID-19 remains a part of it. In this post, myself and some lovely guest bloggers share the different ways that COVID-19 has changed the way we travel.

How the Pandemic Has Changed the Way We Travel

Some have found love and started blogs during the pandemic, while others have had to navigate being separated for months from their loved ones. One thing that seems to be true for all of us though is that we have learnt to how to travel locally and safely.

Disclaimer:

  • Please note that all opinions, thoughts and feelings expressed in each guest feature – with the exception of the Editor’s Feature – are independent of Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust.
  • All photos have been used with each guest blogger’s express permission.
  • Please continue to respect and adhere to all COVID-19 guidelines and health and safety measures in your towns, cities and countries. Obey the laws and restrictions set out to protect yourself and others.
  • Let’s keep each other safe, as we continue to fight this virus together.

 

Guest Post Feature: Yaren and Antoine, Bug In Our Bag

 

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1) How has travel changed for you during the pandemic?

During the pandemic, it has been impossible to organise spontaneous trips, even in the same country or for short distances.

For example, before, going to the Netherlands from Belgium would be extremely simple – but with the pandemic, there is a lot to plan: finding out where to get tested; checking the local measures; or deciding if it’s worth it to go or not.

On the bright side, when we finally make it somewhere, we appreciate it more and take our time, thanks to the effort that goes into planning the trip.

 

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2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?

Antoine is looking forward to having open borders in Europe again and he dreams of travelling to India.

For Yaren, it’s been a long time since she could go back home to Cyprus to see her family and friends so she can’t wait for that!

She also wants to visit several other countries – for example, Colombia.

3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are currently based.

 

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We are currently in Mexico. Life feels more normal in comparison to what we had before, as there is no lockdown here. There are many COVID measures, such as hand sanitisers everywhere and temperature checks.

After seven months of lockdown and measures that changed every other week in Belgium, we feel safer and less anxious here.

4) What is one positive travel lesson/insight you have gained during this pandemic?

We both feel like we have grown up a lot during this period!

Most importantly, we have learned to appreciate what we already had/have. During our travels, it has helped us improvise, adapt and overcome difficulties!

Blog Bio – Bug In Our Bag:

A couple of months ago – after meeting and finding love at the start of the pandemic – Yaren and Antoine, a French-Cypriot couple, decided it was time to leave their mutual home base of Belgium. The travel bug that they caught at different times of their lives influenced them to buy a one-way ticket to Mexico and start their travel blog, Bug In Our Bag!

Currently, they are writing about their experiences connecting with like-minded travellers, who enjoy activities that are off-the-beaten track.

To read about and see all of Yaren and Antoine’s adventures and travel stories, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Guest Post Feature: Mikhaela Adarve, Youthsoloartsy

 

 

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A post shared by MIKHAELA | (@itsmikhaela24)

1) How has travel changed for you during the pandemic?

I haven’t travelled a lot, as a result of contracting diseases accumulated here in my country. However, I have begun to think more locally and have taken time to research nature-themed accommodation for my next or future vacation with friends or family.

Additionally, I also want to make sure that every necessity I use gets cleaned within a day after going out for a few hours. I wasn’t that kind of person before; now, I keep doing it for safety purposes.

I have also changed my whole lifestyle routine; this has turned me into an advocate for minimalism. Reusable tumblers, food containers and utensils have been my top essential travel kit for promoting a minimalist lifestyle. In this way, we can do extra social distancing and slowly help re-heal the damaged parts of the Earth.

Due to the sustainable awareness, I have gained more knowledge on how to take care of the environment (within my control) and am showing others how to do the same. It has changed my reasoning, when it comes to packing personal things for travels.

Outdoor lodgings have also become my favourite so far. Places away from the city that give you a therapeutic travel escape in the meantime. (Regarding that, it naturally becomes a travel goal.)

During weekends, after working on my blog content, I keep looking for ways to de-stress. For the perfect, healing outdoor travel for everyone.

2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?

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When I first started my travel blog in May 2019, I kept getting this kind of question. There is a lot on my mind now. But this time, I would say car camping and snorkelling. Both have different concepts but they both deliver and tell a story during the experience.

As an adventure seeker, I prefer more balanced-themes for any outdoor activity. No matter how hard or soft it is, it still makes a difference. That’s how life works in terms of travelling.

Car camping is first because I personally think it is the perfectly designed vacation. You can road trip anywhere you want and experience outdoor lodging. Whenever you feel stressed, you can unwind for as long as you want with your besties and family.

The second one is snorkelling. On weekends, I was watching a Korean variety show named: 2 Days & 1 Night and I noticed how fun underwater activity could be. Seeing a school of fish under crystal clear water made me realise how beautiful our ocean is and why we should keep it unpolluted.

These are my favourite or most longed for leisure activities to try out once I am permitted to get my vaccination and work on my travel vlog series again.

Rather than waiting for the normal side of travel, I think it is more majestic if you plan the vacay/trip first, then make it happen smoothly without regrets (later on).

3) What is one positive travel lesson/insight you have gained during this pandemic?

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The positive insight that I have gained during this pandemic is to practice gratitude and have empathy for everyone. All of us are having a hard time. Many people have lost their jobs. Some are figuring out how to survive in terms of finances, battling with their strength or anxiety. All of that could be experienced by anyone.

During this pandemic, I have realised that we can stop relying on material things. Define your struggles or obstacles and use them to make you stronger.

As we live in this kind of reality, everything that we have are all blessings. Before, like a money-making machine, we would use all our money for personal desires or expenses. But, now, it isn’t the case.

The wonderful thing that I can share is to explore with small happiness. You gain more in return if you begin to shape a clear, yet simple mindset for personal growth, future investments and family. You can turn the upside-down of sadness, struggles into a happier life by using the act of mindfulness.

Mindfulness has helped me a lot during the times of lockdown. It is an act of allowing yourself to be free by turning negative aspects of life into a positive. Things like gratitude, meditation, a simple morning walk and cooking your quarantine meal – these are small things but each teaches an insightful lesson. You can do it slowly but surely.

If you live with small happiness like that, it also reminds you that every moment in time is worthwhile – and thankfully, having a purposeful life to share with others makes it even more worthwhile.

Blog Bio – Youthsoloartsy:

Mikhaela is a travel management university graduate, who hails from the Philippines. She now works as a DIY travel coach, freelance model and Korean language translator.

She loves to share insightful DIY budget travel tips, honest food reviews, while also promoting the importance of self-love and raising awareness on sustainable fashion.

Through her blog, Youthsoloartsy (a term coined to celebrate and focus on ‘the cultural diversity of the world we live in’) and social feeds – she shares all kinds of great travel-, sustainable fashion- and eco-conscious lifestyle-content.

To read about and see all of Mikhaela’s adventures, fashion/lifestyle content and travel stories, follow her on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

 

Guest Post Feature: Thirusha, The Roaming Taster

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1) How has travel changed for you during the pandemic?

It has afforded me the opportunity to try more outdoor activities, like game drives and hiking. During the pandemic, these two activities have been my go-to ways of safely exploring the outdoors.

I have had the pleasure of visiting a number of reserves to try out their self-guided game drives; this is an incredible way to enjoy the reserves and see wildlife with little to no contact with fellow travellers.

Hiking, meanwhile, has enabled me to get outdoors, sneak in some much-needed exercise and enjoy nature simultaneously.

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2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?

This is a tough one because experiencing a pandemic and having ‘limited freedoms’, particularly in relation to travelling freely during these past eighteen months, has simply fuelled my passion to travel more extensively.

I guess the saying “distance makes the heart grow fonder” is apt in this situation because I cannot wait for more ‘normal’ so I can get on a flight for a new adventure.

In 2020, I had a trip planned to Asia for my birthday but it was unfortunately cancelled because of the pandemic. So I would definitely love to visit Asia once life returns to some sort of normality.

3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are currently based.

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Living in Johannesburg has been rather challenging, especially during the last four weeks when the country was going through the third wave of the pandemic. Being placed on an extended hard lockdown and being unable to travel out of the province was difficult.

I have tried to limit leaving my household altogether unless it’s necessary and only when it is safe to do so.

Regardless, I am doing well and I am grateful that I have the ability to work from home. Hopefully we are getting onto an uphill motion towards recovery – and with time, things will get better.

4) What is one positive travel lesson/insight you have gained during this pandemic?

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The one positive travel insight this pandemic has highlighted is that you don’t have to fly thousands of kilometres in order to enjoy the beauty that the world has to offer.

It has given me the opportunity to focus on finding places in my hometown/country to explore and appreciate. And this, in turn, has allowed me to share these new discoveries with other avid travellers, which ultimately assists in boosting the tourism sector, who require this the most at this time.

There is always so much to discover and we just have to be open to finding these opportunities in our own cities.

Blog Bio – The Roaming Taster:

Born and based in beautiful South Africa, Thirusha is a lawyer by day with a never-ending sense of wanderlust; as such, she considers herself a true travel enthusiast.

In fact, as a result of her desire to constantly wander (rather than stay home), she is affectionately known as ‘roamer’ among her family and friends.

Through her blog, The Roaming Taster, she enjoys sharing her experiences learning about different cultures and experiencing exciting new things through travel.

Her biggest travel takeaway is that, no matter where in the world we are based, as humans, we are united by our love for both food and travel.

To read about and see all of Thirusha’s adventures and travel stories, follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Guest Post Feature: Rosanna Stevens, Rosanna ETC

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1) How has travel changed for you during the pandemic?

I’m in a long distance relationship and suddenly not being able to fly to see my partner whenever I want has been incredibly hard. I feel less free, less in control.

The travel bans have meant that I have felt trapped, apart from him, and the uncertainty of that situation is very difficult.

I think all for us can relate to the feeling of our choices being taken away and frustration at being separated from loved ones, no matter how far away they are. I will definitely never take that for granted again.

That being said, the pandemic also unexpectedly gave me the most amazing travel experience, as I sought to reunite with my boyfriend after so long trapped apart.

I wound up working remotely from Belize for two months and discovering a beautiful country that I now see as a second home. So it has been good and bad.

Caracol-Mayan-ruins-rosanna-etc

2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?

I don’t want to go back to normal! With travel, yes – but life as I knew it before, no. In 2020, I quit my job and set about making a new career for myself, from my passions and personality; I want to continue to build it and be more flexible with where I am based.

I want to like to go back to Belize and also work remotely in more destinations and I have a long list of places including Mexico, Croatia and Bali – and I can’t wait to get started.

3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are currently based.

Right now, I am at my parents’ house in the UK, in Surrey county. Things are about to open up further here and people are nervy, as infection rates are going up – but equally, we have done so well with the vaccine, so it isn’t having the same effect it was before.

I am now fully vaccinated, as are my family, which makes me feel safer – but there are still so many at risk.

4) What is one positive travel lesson/insight you have gained during this pandemic?

The pandemic has definitely jumpstarted a new chapter for me – but it has also taught me that the world can change in ways we could never foresee – and that it’s more important than ever to make the most of it.

Take opportunities, make the changes you want to make and live your best life now because if not now, then when?

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Blog Bio – Rosanna ETC:

Rosanna Stevens is a British writer and content creator, who enjoys making tasty food and finding beautiful places on her blog, Rosanna ETC

Her goal is to ‘inspire others to make every day an event with delicious recipes, new experiences and world adventures’.

To read about and see all of Rosanna’s adventures and food and travel stories, follow her on Instagram and YouTube.

 

Guest Post Feature: Shelby and Ev, My Colorful Wanderings 

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1) How has travel changed for you during the pandemic?

We learned that we love hiking and camping almost more than regular travelling to cities. It’s so peaceful and we’ve perfected the art of day hiking, which basically means just taking short day trips to clear our minds.

Somehow, even though life got less difficult in some ways, it became more difficult in other ways. We had more time and less time – but during those moments of more time, we found beauty and cherished our time together.

Short day trips to see a local waterfall and feel the crunch of pine needles beneath our boots somehow became more precious, more vivid and more memorable.

Kentucky is a beautiful state with hundreds of spectacular hiking trails but you’d never know that from social media. We aim to change that and help others in our region learn the beauty of our Bluegrass State!

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2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?

For Ev and I, one thing we’d love to do is go to Thailand. We were slated to go there before the pandemic and really hoping that by the time our trip rolled around – things would be settle. This wasn’t the case but we haven’t lost hope!

There are so many incredible beaches, food and boat rides we dream(ed) of. It’s the true backpacker’s paradise. You don’t need a big budget or even a ton of time to really experience what Thailand has to offer. (That seems to be a rarity these days where prices are increasing everywhere in ‘touristy destinations’.)

After Thailand, we really want to hop over to Indonesia and Vietnam. All of these countries may seem similar to the outside world – but there is so much to explore and discover. We want the raw feel of what life is like in these Asian countries.

3) What is one positive travel lesson/insight you have gained during this pandemic?

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The most positive lessen that we learned is somewhat generic – but rings true nonetheless: ‘Bloom where you are planted.’ We found ourselves planted in Kentucky with seemingly little to do. So what were we going to do during this time? Become experts in our city and state.

This led us to start a real estate business and now we’re in the process of creating epic Airbnb experiences in our city where they are certainly lacking! Not only do we want you to experience our gorgeous city – but we also want you to have an awesome place to stay!

Blog Bio – My Colorful Wanderings

Together with her husband, Ev, Shelby runs her beautiful blog, My Colorful Wanderings. The two of them are always in search of more adventures and they love exploring the world together.

The blog was born as a way of documenting their lives; when travelling, Shelby and Ev love trying new food, exploring the curiosities of the world around us and capturing all of their travels on camera to preserve the stories for future generations.

Their blog is dedicated to showing others how to ‘travel slow and live well’.

To read about and see all of Shelby and Ev’s adventures and travel stories, connect with them on Instagram.

 

Guest Post Feature: Elle Juliette

1) How has travel changed for you during the pandemic?

I’ve definitely slowed down how I travel. There was a time when I would be country hopping on tourist visas so I might only have stayed in a country for two weeks and try to pack in as much as possible.

Now I’m limited to exploring my current city and the occasional train or bus trip.

It’s made me appreciate how rewarding it can be to know somewhere inside and out – and how rewarding slow travel can be!

2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?

I really want to visit Japan, especially Tokyo. It was my plan to visit in spring of 2019 to see the blossoms.

It’s still on the top of my bucket list – I’ve never been to north-east Asia and I can’t wait to experience the culture first-hand.

3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are currently based.

I’m currently living in Paris and things have been opening up for the summer.

I feel very lucky to be able to go out and do things – but I do wish people would be more careful. I see a lot of huge crowds at festivals, where no one wears masks even when they’re not vaccinated.

It’s important to have fun but I do think people forget what lockdown was like until there’s a new one. But if we were all a little more careful, we might be able to avoid another.

4) What is one positive travel lesson/insight you have gained during this pandemic?

I’ve really realised how lucky I was to be able to travel like I did, when I did. I travelled from country to country for years just after I finished school. Because now young people have to wait – they can’t just run off to have adventures right now.

I do think the pandemic will change the way we travel. Especially with the backpacking industry; it might take a while to get back on its feet.

So the pandemic has taught me to have gratitude for what I already have experienced – instead of thinking about the travel experiences that I’m missing out on right now.

Blog Bio – Elle Juliette 

Elle is a luxury travel writer currently residing in Paris.

In addition to her travel writing and adventures, Elle also works as a copywriter and writes copy for sales pages, web pages, email campaigns or ads and more.

She can help clients as a copywriter, editor, marketer and more and is extremely passionate about her work and offered services.

To read about and see all of Elle’s adventures and travel stories, connect with her on Instagram.

Editor’s Feature: Tamlyn Ryan, Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust

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Photo credit: Melissa Gundry of Honeybee Photography

1) How has travel changed for you during the pandemic?

For me, travel during the pandemic has taken a forced backseat. During 2020, I was either home or at my workplace. Any other time I ventured out, it was for errands or appointments that I couldn’t avoid.

This was mainly because I couldn’t really go out. But also because I chose to be more socially responsible and stay home as much as possible. For the sake of myself and others. Because no one knows if they are asymptomatic or not – and I felt responsible for other, more vulnerable people around me.

Because of this, from March until about November 2020, I really didn’t travel at all. Anywhere. Not around my city, not beyond.

However, when cases started to ease up or I really had to get outside for the sake of my mental health and sanity – I shifted to safer, socially distanced activities and outings. Things like hiking up Paarl Rock or enjoying a relaxing, summer picnic with a close friend.

I didn’t really eat out at all either. This was probably the biggest change for me because I love finding new coffee shops and restaurants around me and exploring my local suburbs. On average in a year, I would usually visit about 15-25 new cafes/restaurants, indoor attractions and wine farms.

However, during COVID times, I’m not very comfortable being enclosed indoors (without good ventilation) or pressed up against crowds. So this has probably been the biggest, most conscious travel shift for me.

In 2021, I have explored more though. I’ve enjoyed several solo trips or outdoorsy outings with my friend. Sometimes, we have braved restaurants but only if the venue follows strict COVID-19 protocols and offers plenty of open aired spacings or well-ventilated indoor seating.

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2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?

Locally, I would like the freedom to see my parents more often (I saw them about twice last year – and about the same this year so far).

On an international level, there are a few countries that I am burning to visit. International travel was something I really wanted to do before the pandemic hit – but I needed to save up for other, more pressing life needs then so it wasn’t financially possible. Just as I was toying with the idea, the pandemic struck and all thought of passports and international travel was shelved.

Hypothetically, if I could go anywhere once life is more ‘normal’ again, it would be to Canada to see my brother and his partner, Lies; I haven’t seen them in years. I also think it would be fun to explore their outdoor playground in Vancouver and its surrounds. Especially as they are also travel bloggers and always find all the good places. 🙂

Somewhat closer to home (because Canada is literally half a world away from me), I would really love to explore Ireland or even Scotland. I feel such an insatiable call to explore those countries, especially the Emerald Isle. So I will definitely need to answer that in the next few years, if I can.

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3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are currently based.

At present, things are difficult in South Africa and in Cape Town, where I live. As I write this, we are in the grips of our third wave and even though our vaccination programme is slowly but surely happening, the situation remains grim.

We are currently under Level 3 lockdown and we are still advised to stay home as far as possible. (Even going into work is something you only do if you absolutely cannot work from home because there are too many cases around.)

It’s also been difficult because, for most of July 2021, restaurants were not allowed to operate normally or serve sit-down meals and there was another alcohol ban imposed. This meant that wine farms and other alcohol-related businesses were – and still are – struggling.

Basically, everyone is struggling a bit at present, in some way or form. But I do think there’s hope on the horizon – and I am clinging to that.

Being able to focus on things like work or my blog really helps me personally manage my fears and anxiety. Even simple household tasks and routines like exercise, baking or cleaning chores help maintain some semblance of normality and I really lean into those when we go through waves and scary times now.

4) What is one positive travel lesson/insight you have gained during this pandemic?

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Probably the biggest lesson that I have learnt is that travel isn’t just something I do as an escape or for leisure fun – it’s something that truly makes me tick. It’s something I need to thrive and function as a person.

When I don’t travel, everything from my mental health to my internal optimism tank… At the same time though, I have learnt to manage my travel urges better.

In the past, I felt I had to be exploring or doing something every single weekend. But, after spending literal months stuck at home, I have learnt that I can get by without travelling for weeks or months on end, if the situation asks for it.

Another lesson I have learnt again is that less is often more. I haven’t travelled as much these past two years but I would say, collectively, the trips and experiences I have enjoyed have been some of the best to date. When you cannot travel as much, you tend to become more selective about where you will go, who you travel with and what you do.

I think the pandemic has taught us the value of precious moments and experiences. Because of this, I really want my travel experiences (and those I recommend to others) to be good and positive as a result. More than ever before.

I have also re-discovered my love for outdoor spaces and gardens, where even just spending a few hours outside in nature or in the sunshine feels like such a treasure after months being cooped up inside my home.

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Blog Bio – Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust

Tamlyn is a content writer by day and a travel blogger by night. From her home base of Cape Town, South Africa, she passionately runs her travel writing and photography blog, Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust.

Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust is a South African travel writing and photography blog. It focuses on Tamlyn’s adventures in and around Cape Town, South Africa – and beyond!

The blog allows Tamlyn to share her favourite travel adventures and reviews, while also showcasing her writing and photography passions.

To read about and see all of Tamlyn’s adventures and food and travel stories, connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

A Word of Thanks

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Thank you to each featured guest blogger for their valued contributions to this post. 🙂 I am so grateful for the chance to collaborate with you all, especially in a time such as this!

To my readers and followers, I hope this post reminds you that – although COVID-19 has brought so much uncertainty, heartache and fear into our lives – it has also helped us to make bold, positive life changes; risk more for love; and find new ways to appreciate travel, both locally and internationally.

As ever, stay safe – and stay positive!

Author: Tamlyn Ryan

Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust – Travel Writing and Photography, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. Despite having a national diploma in Journalism and working as a content writer by day, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.

Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.

6 thoughts on “Bloggers on How COVID Has Changed the Way We Travel”

  1. Loved reading everyone’s responses on this post!

    It’s like a breath of fresh air from all the negativity surrounding travel and life right now.

    We totally agree that travelling is something that makes us tick. That itch to get to the next new place is so important!

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