When we asked you to share your experiences of life in a world with the novel coronavirus, your responses confirmed something we already suspected. We may be separated by borders and isolation orders, but we share the same sun, moon and love of travel – and these things don’t change.
Many of us are upset at being separated from friends and family, others by the forced cancellation of longed-for trips. Changes to our freedoms that are sensible but beyond our control are troubling to many. But most of us are trying to keep our spirits up with thoughts of trips planned for later in the year, nurturing friendships on-line, and making the most of where they are right now.
“Patience, optimism and cultivating a sense of connection will help us through this, together.”
Here are 10 first-hand accounts of what are our fellow travel buddies are doing and feeling around the world. Add your experience to the conversation in the forum now.
- Jill: “I am hanging out in Gran Canaria. I rented a place for a month as I have been traveling since November and needed a rest. I didn’t know I was going to get this much of a rest! I rented this place for another month or two. Hopefully this will be over by then and I can continue my travels to the Camino and Portugal. My Schengen visa will be up but I think they will understand when I leave over my time. I have internet here and thank goodness. That makes all the difference. I don’t feel so alone as we are supposed to stay in our houses and not go out. Glad I have all of you!”
- Jane: “I’m in London. We’re only just starting to feel the bite, it hasn’t felt real till now. I teach at a huge East London school..I was planning to visit family starting in Hobart Tas, then Melbourne Aus, then Sidney, but that’s all on hold. I’m only glad I hadn’t bought flights yet, a friend has spent 3k on tickets to Bali and now doesn’t know if she can get a refund. It’s all so bleak. But today I played a ‘sleep’ video of marine life on a coral reef to my year 7 class. We talked about the colours, shapes and sizes of the animals and plants, about how warm the water is, what the sand feels like ... I talked about what I saw last year in the Maldives and passed round a piece of bleached coral I’d found in the surf. Then I left it playing quietly in the background while they did a piece of creative writing. It was wonderfully peaceful and they produced some really thoughtful work.”
- Eithne: “I am a school administrator in British Columbia. Schools are closed until at least April 20. I was to begin a medical leave next week for needed surgery (have been waiting since Dec) however, looks like all but emergency surgeries are being cancelled. I will have to just turn up at the emergency if my condition becomes problematic! Neighbours have just been tested for COVID19 and awaiting results. I was supposed to be on a plane to the UK last Friday to visit my aging parents and that had to be cancelled. Totally understandable however I am a bit sad as I am unsure of when I will be able to see them again.”
- Myman: “I am due to travel to Marrakech at the end of March and still plan to go but am checking the government website and intend to take precautions. Also I have a trip to Turkey booked for the beginning of May and will follow guidance on the U.K. government website. I carried on travelling to Sharm el Sheikh when they stopped flights from the UK after the Russian aircraft came down a few years ago, and had to be inventive going a different route/routes, namely via Istanbul and Milan in the past, but fortunately they have reinstated the Manchester to Sharm flights this year. Coronavirus (Covid 19) will not stop me travelling unless there are specific instructions about certain areas from the government website.”
- Genziana gem: “I was going to travel to Morocco for the first time but I think will not go. More out of apprehension than the Coronavirus. The virus though it also makes me reflect a bit. So in the uncertainty I will not go.”
- Mwelu: “Had planned to travel to NYC in April, but I'll postpone my trip and wait it out to probably a later date. Staying put...”
- Danielle-in-UK: “I'm keen to travel if things are still open, (attractions and borders) but now until at least the end of April I am accepting sadly that my travel plans are off. TUI cancelled my April holiday and refunded me. I have 4 other trips planned for the year next one in June and last in late October. Not cancelling anything except my pre-trip excitement (for now). Surely it will settle down a bit soon.”
- Wattleflower: “On a whole, Australians have been told by our prime minister not to travel internationally as of last Sunday. Anyone who does come into the country are requested to self-isolate themselves for two weeks afterward. I believe the self-isolation rule also applies to New Zealand. We can still travel within our own country (people's opinion on this varies), but remote travel is being highly discouraged so that the virus doesn't get to the more vunerable communities. Depending on the state/territory, different group size gathering are restricted. My state has a maximum group size of 100. The May Singapore convention I was planning (with a T&L friend) has been postponed to August. I currently hoping that my friend's bus travel can be moved to August. Optimistically my November/December plans (Germany & Surrounds trip posted here) should be okay to go ahead by then. I have refundable flights booked for that, so I am not too worried at the moment.”
- mlhmb: “Even cancelled trip within Scotland starting Friday though was able to postpone the booking to October. Cancelled almost 4 week trip to Belgium, Normandy and East Sussex in April. Hope to be able to do this trip in the autumn. Further trip planned to Islay last two weeks of June - I so want to go and hope I don't have to cancel. Desperate for a trip :-)”
- Carlita: “I am trying to carry on as normal and fly to Ireland and the UK in a few weeks but I am worried about places being closed or events being canceled as they are here in Seattle. That wouldn't be much fun! But my destinations have very few cases and deaths from COVID-19 as of now.”
We want to know where you are, what you’re doing and how you’re feeling during these challenging times. Let’s keep talking to each other and keep our community strong.
Add your experience to the conversation in the forum, or tell us what’s going on in your world in the comments below.