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Travel Tips + Resources

10 Pandemic Perspectives from World Travelers

April 21, 2020

With so many elements out of our control during a global pandemic, it’s important to remind ourselves what we do have control over. One of the most powerful tools we possess is the ability to shape our pandemic perspectives. Beyond travel planning and things to do in quarantine, we have the choice to decide what lens we view the world through during these times. I’ve asked some of my favorite jetsetters to share their thoughts. Here’s 10 Pandemic Perspectives from World Travelers:

1. ADVENTURE IS EVERYWHERE – Sarah Arnoff

 

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I truly believe that what you put out into the universe you get back. If you put out true love, passion and curiosity, you will receive it back in abundance and I did that very thing. I have loved animals since the day I was born. I am not sure where it came from but I just knew they were my happy place. In addition to anything fluffy, feathery or scaled, traveling and adventures were a close second in my most favorite things to do. I have had the honor of visiting over 70 countries and working with my idol and mentor, Jeff Corwin for the last 6 years. One of my biggest takeaways is that you can be on an adventure no matter where you are or what you are doing. Adventure is out there and it is everywhere, you just have to be open minded. These times are difficult as we are all adjusting to the new normal but it won’t be this way forever because the only constant in this universe is change. If you can live in the present moment and see everything as an adventure the world becomes a more thrilling place. 

You don’t have to be in Africa to go on adventures. Taking a walk around the block to enjoy the beautiful spring flowers, finding a new vantage point to watch the sunset, watching the hummingbirds whirl around your feeders, doing those crafts you always wanted to do, starting a small botanical garden in your own home or finding a new neighborhood to bike around can all be super fun! I make sure I have one new adventure planned each day and that keeps things exciting. Right now, I am off to go tie-dye all those boring white clothes in my closet. Stay positive, keep laughing, keep up that curiosity to explore our beautiful world and always have a little fun! 

2. GET TO KNOW THE INSIDE – Rachel Rudwall

 

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I HAD COVID-19. THIS WAS MY EXPERIENCE.

As I acknowledge the vast unknowing that all that of us face, I encourage everyone (yes—even YOU) to stay home if you’re not an essential worker. To get to know not only the inside of whatever building you’re calling home, but also the inside of your mind, your heart, and the wide expanse of space that is Not Knowing. To ask yourself what you feel today—every day a new day for asking—and grant permission to yourself to experience whatever natural, beautiful, and challenging feelings this whirlwind may ask of you.

3. TRAVEL GRATEFULNESS – Kinga Philipps

 

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I would definitely say that travel gratefulness is a big part of my what’s keeping me sane among my pandemic perspectives. Not being able to go anywhere has allowed me to revisit the magic in all the places I’ve been blessed to go… down to the details. I’ve spent time looking at photos of the past few years of my travels and really digging into what made those spots and experiences so unique and extraordinary. It’s also a way to project forward the things I love most into future dream trips. My most memorable travels consist of animal encounters and warm water… so I’m already thinking ahead to swimming with sperm whales in Dominica and tiger sharks in Tahiti. Purpose has also come up for me. I feel more aligned with my conservation missions now more than ever. Seeing nature thrive while we’re locked away is as sad as it is beautiful. I’m even more eager to support the outfitters and orgs that do right by the planet and her inhabitants.

4. ACCEPT & SURRENDER – Laura Lawson Visconti

 

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A decade ago, I was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare degenerative eye condition that’s slowly rendering me blind. I haven’t driven a car in 10 years. Trust me, I know a thing or two about letting go of control, and choosing to surrender in order to allow myself mental clarity and peace. Like so many things in life, this surrender is a choice. To be okay. At peace. To accept. Choose to see the silver lining. The delicate balance of being a human and allowing oneself to grieve and process, alongside genuinely choosing acceptance is not easy, and is a tightrope walk I’ll forever be honing. And while I don’t wish for global pandemics nor boredom on the couch nor degenerating blindness, I can accept this is my new normal right now. And with that acceptance comes the lack of desire to control it in the first place.

5. CHOOSE GRATITUDE – Mike Siegel

 

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As a person who has traveled professionally and for pleasure for nearly 30 years, my main takeaway from my pandemic perspectives has been gratitude. I’m grateful I made the choice as a young man to make travel a priority in my life. I looked at my father, who thought he could wait until he retired to see the world, but poor health made it difficult, and then, impossible. He died at 67, always encouraged me to travel if I was able, and knew how difficult it can be as we get older.

John Lennon once sang, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” Well, life has just slapped us all upside the head. This is global, not the problem of just one avoidable country or region. We are all seeing how privileged those of us from wealthy Western countries really have been all this time, jetting off to anywhere in the world, widely accepted passports in hand and cash and credit in our wallets. I know how lucky I’ve been. As I ride out this lockdown dreaming of far-away places I’ve been and still yet to see, I’m all the more grateful for what I have.

6. THE IMPACT OF TRAVEL – Rebecca Holland

 

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It’s very weird right now to be a travel writer who is unable to travel, but also a good time to reflect. I’ve been thinking a lot about the impact travel has on economies and the environment. I am encouraging others to do the same through their pandemic perspectives. It’s never been more obvious that tourism is important for restaurants and small businesses around the world. But with air pollution down and the clear canals in Venice, among many environmental side effects of coronavirus, it’s also never been more obvious how destructive tourism can be for the planet and places we love to visit. I’m grappling with how to travel better in the future. If you’re interested in conversations about these issues, subscribe to my Be a Better Traveler newsletter.

While we’re not likely planning any trips, there are still plenty of ways to get inspired for future travel. I’m taking this downtime to read more travel essays and memoirs. The Best American Travel Writing series is a great place to start, or online magazines like AFAR’s essay section, travel stories on Longreads, or my own Curiosity Magazine. I’m definitely going stir crazy, but reading about travel and cooking food from around the world is helping. I keep remembering that the sooner we all stay home, the sooner we can all travel again. I can’t wait. 

7. REFLECT, RETHINK & REIGNITE – Kristen Kellogg

 

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I believe in spreading positivity in times of crisis. And the best way you can start is within yourself. While we are all forced to stay indoors, take this time to reflect, rethink and reignite, specifically around your career or business.

I’m the owner of Border Free Media – a content creation agency working with brands and destinations around the globe from film production to marketing execution. Every single one of our agency projects was put on hold or cancelled through the rest of the year. Instead of sulking in the loss of over more than $60,000 in 2020 revenue, I have chosen to reframe this as an opportunity to work on how to pivot – how to make our brand even stronger than before for when this is all over and how I can continue to serve my community through this tough time we are all going through.

8. DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY – Angel Castellanos

 

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What’s one of my top pandemic perspectives? Dig deep into what makes you happy and what is missing from your life. Focus on the positive things and work on the things that will help you grow once this is over. It’s different for everyone. I’m walking my dog a lot longer these days at the same time each day for the routine and a break from being inside. Virtually travel from home by feeding your wanderlust through books. I recommend “Baghdad Sketches” or “A Winter in Arabia” by Freya Stark, “The Great Railway Bazaar” by Paul Theroux or “Walking the Nile” by Levison Wood.

9. DON’T COUNT QUARANTINE DAYS – Sarah Dandashy

 

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I don’t believe in counting quarantine days.  There are a few reasons, but mainly I think it’s unhealthy. Normally when we count days, we are counting towards an achievement. For example, how many days in a row of yoga, or not consuming sugar or coffee. These are generally things we are willingly challenging ourselves to do. Quarantine or staying at home isn’t a challenge, it’s a mandate. We don’t know when it’s going to end. Normally when you count, you’re keeping track towards an end goal. There’s no goal here. And there’s no definite end… sadly. Also, everyone started on different dates depending on where you are, what you do for work, etc etc. So it’s not even like we all began at the same starting point.

Instead, these are things you should keep track of:

  • Fitness goals.
  • Books that you read.
  • How many new recipes you tried—that were a success. 
  • Days you go without smoking or drinking. 
  • Days that you meditate or journal. 
  • Basically, anything that leads to a positive push, be it professional or personal. 

10. RECOGNIZE NEW OPPORTUNITIES – Justin Walter

 

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For the first few weeks of quarantine my pandemic perspectives were focused on the idea that coronavirus stripped me of my passions including travel, human interaction, working out, nature and work. It wasn’t until my Instagram Live Travel Chat with Rachel Rudwall that my perspective began to shift. During our conversation I started to recognize that there is so much beauty among all the hardship and it’s up to us to decide whether or not we own it. Over the next few days I had an internal shift in my perspective. I began also recognizing the new opportunities that exist due to this global pause like a new connectedness with family, weekly travel chats with friends from around the world, creating an at-home talk show with two of my travel idols, developing a travel game show, not punishing myself for actually relaxing, the list goes on! My previous mentality of doom and gloom has been replaced with excitement and hope. I now choose to see the pandemic through this lens. Sure, I’ll have “bad” or “low” days on this rollercoaster and it’s important to live in and feel those moments, but to not be guided by them.

For the latest on the Covid-19 Pandemic visit the WHO and CDC TRAVEL

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1 Comment

  • Reply 9 Things To Do in Quarantine from World TravelersAround the World with Justin April 22, 2020 at 10:04 am

    […] a few of my favorite globetrotters to share their coronavirus thoughts beyond travel planning and pandemic perspectives. Here’s 9 Things to do in Quarantine from World […]

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