Despite Current Events, These Bloggers can’t Wait to Get Back to Traveling
By Matt Martella
COVID-19 has put an unexpected and indefinite halt to nearly every kind of “travel” throughout the world, but rest assured, it will eventually go away. What will not be going away anytime soon is “travel fever.”
In light of this unprecedented time, we’ve asked travel writers these questions:
1. What sort of activities do you gravitate towards while traveling to a location you’ve never been before? Is it hiking, food tasting, sightseeing, or something completely different? What do you look for first?
2. With the outbreak of COVID-19 restricting traveling, for the time being, has your perception of going abroad changed at all? Where would you like to travel to first once the travel restrictions are lifted?
Without a doubt, they are all eagerly anticipating returning to their passion for exploring once things come back to normal.
Dana Vento from DanaVento.com
“There’s something about traveling that motivates the ‘Curious Georgette’ in me! Traveling allows me to borrow some of that sunshine, and culture of the place I am visiting.
“I’ve made ONE huge discovery about travel: I have MORE friends all over the world than I do in my own city! Don’t you think that says it all?
While I don’t go to locations to find their ‘hot spots’ I do go to find hidden gems: Restaurants and experiences top my list.
Sightseeing by walking, and exploring allow me to capture the destination. However, the bigger story to me is always about the people I encounter along the way.
Without people what would a destination be? People create so much of what I enjoy when I travel from food to lodging and everything in between.
The outbreak of COVID-19: We are ALL in this together. As soon as travel bans are lifted, I want to go to St. Maarten – Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, to see my friends and celebrate moving through the really difficult times we just experienced together while apart. Then, Europe, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, and Paris.
I can’t wait to explore them all! Look out because I am gonna see you too!
Dana can be found on her:
Paul Johnson, editor of A Luxury Travel Blog
“With teenage children, we tend nowadays to focus on destinations where there is something fun and exciting for them to do.
“Our last family trip was to Switzerland where we did everything from hiking to glacier walking to riding Europe’s highest Alpine coaster.
When travel restrictions first begin to lift, it is likely that we will travel within the UK initially.
I think it is important to support our local tourist industry where we can.
We will probably look to travel somewhere fairly remote still – maybe the Isle of Skye in Scotland – so that we can still practice a degree of social distancing until things settle even more.
Paul can be reached by his:
Ed and Jennifer Coleman from colemanconcierge.com
“We travel experience and adventure first. We look for things to do outdoors, from hiking and biking to scuba diving and kayaking. Once we pick our destination, we look for delicious food and unique places to stay to round out the trip.
“Our perception of traveling abroad hasn’t changed. We still believe that travel is a powerful tool to unite and transform the world for good. However, there are compelling reasons to travel locally.
First, we feel that local travel restrictions will lift first, and by focusing on more local travel, we will provide better service to our readers. Secondly, there’s the old adage think globally but act locally.
“Our local businesses and destinations need our support. We hope that we can provide more service to them with frequent road trips and articles than spending a significant amount of time and resources on air travel.
The first place we want to return to is the gulf coast of Florida and Alabama because they are road trip gems. Many Americans can make a weekend run to the snow-white sugar sand beaches, spend a couple of days diving, and still make it home for work Monday morning.
Ed and Jennifer can be reached by their:
Jessica Festa from Jessie on a Journey and Epicure & Culture
“I live in NYC, so when I travel I love immersing myself in nature as much as possible. I almost always do at least one hike when I go somewhere, and if possible a bike ride.
The tagline of my own blog is “Taking you #BeyondTheGuidebook,” so I’m also always searching for things that may not be the obvious tourist attraction upon first glance.
“My long-term perception hasn’t changed, though I adamantly believe nobody should be traveling right now while we figure things out. I am excited to get traveling again though once this is over.
My fiance and I are supposed to be getting married in the Finger Lakes of New York this July — which I’m praying daily still takes place. Our plan was to go to Tanzania in August for a honeymoon, which I’m still hoping may be possible, if not in August then by the end of the year.
Jessie can be reached by her:
Dana Freeman from danahfreeman.com
“When I arrive in a new place, the first thing I do is go out for a walk. Wandering around on foot gives me a good sense of a new destination. Getting a little lost is even ok. Relying on a map or a local for help is a great way to learn the layout of a city as well.
“The next place I go to is the local market. There is no better spot to meet the locals at taste the flavors of a place. By striking up a conversation with shop keepers, I often pick up some of the best insider tips for where to eat while I am in town.
COVID-19 hasn’t changed my passion for travel. If anything, it has heightened my desire to get back out on the road. The first thing I want to do is go on a cruise. I was scheduled to sail on Regent Seven Seas Splendor, their brand new ship, in mid-March. Unfortunately, the trip was canceled due to the outbreak. I am hoping to cruise on her as soon as it is safe to travel again.
Dana can be reached on her:
Janna Graber, editor of Go World Travel Magazine
“I like to see a little of everything when I visit a destination. I love spending time outside, so I look for soft-adventure opportunities like hiking, kayaking or diving. Then I seek out cultural opportunities where I can meet
“Most of my travel is international, so I have a huge list of places I want to visit as soon as the travel restrictions are lifted.
This is the longest I’ve been in one place for a while, and I’m getting itchy feet, so to speak. It’s frustrating to be cut off from places and people that I love.
“Still, if we all stay home and do our part, hopefully, this will pass and we can travel again soon. First on my list of destinations to visit? I had been planning trips to Germany and Australia, so I’ll pick up those where I left off.
Janna can be reached on her:
Victoria Yore from followmeaway.com
“I love going to see epic nature! Whether it is a mountain range or gorgeous waterfall, that is what I will look for and learn about the people who call this destination home. And of course, who doesn’t love trying new cuisine? It’s fun to find small restaurants and talented local chefs when you travel.
“If I am going to a city, I look to see the most popular and touristy things first to check them off my list, then I will gravitate towards lesser-known things to do!
YES, my perception of going abroad has changed because I appreciate the ability to do it more than ever before. I always appreciated the fact that I could travel, but being forced to stay home has led me to appreciate it even more!
The moment it is safe I will be re-booking a ticket to Iceland and will leave within 1 week.
I had my May trip canceled and the small lodge I was staying with is out my month-long booking. I still plan to support The Garage Apartments in Iceland for an entire month when this is all over!
Victoria can be reached on her:
Ketki Gadre from Explore with Ecokats
“I am a nature enthusiast so I love planning my trips around places that have an abundance of nature – hiking opportunities, waterfalls, lakes, and wildlife. I conduct many weekend trips in India (where I am based) to national parks to see and photograph wildlife in their natural habitat.
“If not nature, I love to explore the architecture in the new places I go to – forts, palaces, temples – anything with an intricate carving and history to it.
My perception of going abroad has not changed due to COVID – 19 and I am sure there will be a cure soon, thanks
to the highly evolved healthcare system across the world. I would love to travel to Kenya once the travel ban is lifted. It has been a dream destination for me photographing the wildlife of Masai Mara.
Ketki can be reached on her:
Nathan and Sarah Sado from Live Dream Discover, Fit living Lifestyle
“We are full-time travelers and as such, we do not really have a home base. We tend to focus on balanced travel and enjoy mixing a bit of adventure, culture, and fun into our destinations. Even though we write various article topics on destinations we always try to find a unique experience for ourselves and our followers.
What makes this destination different from somewhere else and why should people put it on their list of places to go?
“As full-time travelers, we were obviously traveling as this began to unfold around the world. We were in Sicily when things started going badly and decided to leave before the country locked down.
“We headed to Budapest and rented an apartment where we put ourselves into self-isolation and have been isolating ever since. We did have multiple plans of traveling within Europe while working with destinations and brands.
Many of these have obviously been canceled or postponed. We are not sure what the future holds but we are hopeful that eventually things will get back to normal and we can continue to travel and promote amazing destinations.
We were really looking forward to some time in Greece and exploring Scotland in June and if thing go back to normal, that is where we would be going.
Nathan and Sarah can be found on the following websites:
Heather Johnson from www.thefoodhussy.com
“When I travel – it’s all about the food! I literally plan out my meals before I get there! I want to know all the best places and scope them out — basically creating a map of what to eat and when for my entire visit! I have some starter rules when visiting a new location:
– No chain restaurants –while I love me some Olive Garden — if I’m in a new city, I’m not eating those breadsticks!
– Ask the locals – I do a lot of pre-planning but when I hit my hotel – I always ask the front desk – where’s their favorite place to go? If they say a chain restaurant – I look for another grittier local! hahaha
– Walk around – some of my best finds have been accidental! In Juneau, we were walking around and one place we were set on was closed – so we ended up somewhere else and it was one of our favorites of the trip!
Yes – a bit. I recently went on my first cruise and took some heavy-duty disinfecting wipes and my roommate mocked me – not so funny now?! I just think
that it’ll be a while before I travel abroad – although Greece is definitely on my bucket list! I think at first – I’ll probably to one of my favorite domestic locations – Gulf Shores in Alabama. I love the beach, and the food there is amazing! (photo attached)
Heather Johnson can be found on her:
John Roberts from In The Loop Travel
“Every time we plan for a new destination, we try to find something active to do that incorporates at least some aspect of learning about culture and history, as well. This usually means we will find something like a fabulous hike that takes us to a special view over the Old Town or to a castle.
“Or, we’ll design the day to do the hike or run or bike ride so that our route takes us past some cool sightseeing. Then, we’ll cap our day with a stop at a pub or two to grab a meal and try the local beers while interacting with residents. Trying new beers is always a priority.
“I am as excited as ever to keep on traveling once it is safe to do so again. However, I also expect that security and health measures might add some layers to the process of crossing borders that didn’t exist before.
We’ll have to see what various countries do on that front. I plan to get to visit some of the great places in Southeast Asia that I have yet to see, such as Malaysia, Laos, and Thailand.
John can be found at his:
Lora Pope from explorewithlora.com
“I gravitate towards places that have a lot of outdoor adventure activities, particularly those that have good opportunities for diving, hiking, and wildlife sightings. These are my favorite types of activities and the main topics I write about on my blog.
“When I’m visiting a new place, I always look for ways to explore it through these activities. I also love to research and discover any unique outdoor adventures that a destination may have. I recently went kick dog sledding in Yellowknife, Canada which was so much fun!
“My perception of going abroad hasn’t changed much for the long-term. Of course, for the time being, I am staying inside my home in Canada until it becomes safe to travel again. But my desire to go abroad has only become stronger during this period, I miss traveling so much!
I was actually meant to be traveling in Italy and Spain right now, so when it’s safe to travel again I would love to resume that trip and support the recovery of the tourism industries there.
Lora can be found on her:
Stephen Bugno from Bohemian Traveler
“If I’ve just arrived at a new place I want to go out for a walk and explore my immediate surroundings to learn as much as I can. I would want to find a local market as soon as possible, not only to buy food but to meet people, get an idea of prices in the local economy, and see what kinds of products, fruits, vegetables, etc are available here.
“If there is street food available, I might also go for that — I’ll meet someone new, support a small business, and probably get some really tasty food.
“I think it will be a few months until we can travel safely again. Personally, it will take longer for me to recover financially from this because I work in the travel and tourism industry and we have been hit hard.
I have a long list of places I’d love to travel but Pakistan and Iran are high on the list. Also, Ethiopia is fascinating to me. I’ve spent most of the last 20 years in Asia and Europe.
I’ve never been to sub-Saharan Africa so many of those countries interest me at this time in my life. This April I was supposed to go to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea, and all those are places I have been before and would go back to any time.
Stephen can be found on his:
Lesli Peterson from 365Atlanta Traveler
“During these trying times, we’ve traded exploring for planning. When we’re visiting a destination our priority includes exploring the natural world – beaches, mountains, icebergs, volcanoes.
“After that, we are suckers for quirky sites, usually depending on Reddit or Atlas Obscura to help locate those gems. Finally, if there is time, we love taking a history, cultural or walking tour with a local business.
“COVID-19 travel restrictions have not changed our perspective about travel abroad, except maybe to place a higher emphasis on it. The second the world is safe, we’ll be heading to Eastern Europe. Budapest, Vienna, and Lungo Mare are on the agenda – a trip we had previously planned for late Spring.
Lesli can be found on her:
Ayngelina Brogan from BaconisMagic
“I travel for food. Really it’s the only thing I look for. Food is the gateway to culture, history, politics, and family. So before I visit a spot I will write a list of all of the traditional food I want to eat and read a bit about it.
“I love sharing these with readers because sometimes I really dig deep. I recently wrote a post about drinks in Mexico, and while it had cocktails, most people commented that they were excited to try the street vendor drinks that are often from the Mayans and include everything from fermented bark to palm leaf sap.
“Although people love to chase Michelin stars it’s not my first choice. I love a decadent tasting menu and I may go to one or two during a visit I really live for local spots. I start with the street vendors, talk to them about how I have a list of food. They usually ask to hear what I have on it and tell me where to go. Sometimes they’ll have more things to add to the list. Just having this exchange with strangers, who are both so excited to talk about food makes my trip.
“I see this as a pause. Although I am Canadian, when I’m not traveling I’m based in Havana. Unfortunately, when the pandemic reached Cuba I had to come home.
“So right now I’m working every day, taking the opportunity to share the places I’ve traveled. I just posted about my favorite Havana restaurants and I’m excited to share so many other tidbits that I know after being there two years.
As soon as the restrictions are limited and traveling is safe I’ll be on one of the first planes. My first flight will be back to Cuba. They will take a huge economic hit without tourism and so I’d like to support the country by reminding people how wonderful it is.
I have a special spot in my heart for Latin America. I had to cancel my April plans to revisit Nicaragua so I’ll want to head back there again. And finally, Mexico is always a place I have loved so much I’ll probably retire there.
You cannot beat Mexican food or its hospitality. The country is so large and the culture of food is strong throughout. I have been there many times and feel like I only understand a small part of it.
Ayngelina can be reached on her:
Daniel from Dan Flying Solo
“As soon as I arrive at a destination it’s bags dumped, and getting straight into soaking up the place, for me that is heading out on a walk, jumping on the public transport, and grabbing a coffee and people-watching in a neighborhood cafe.
“I try to arrive with little expectations now, and only a couple of key activities set out, it’s also important to me as a photographer to spend some time getting to know a place before seeing it through a viewfinder.
“On day one I’ll happily spend hours walking around and hunting out little side streets where often I’ll find spots to eat or visit, that I wouldn’t have found on the ’top travel lists’ we research from online. From there, I’ll plan out the rest of the visit based around what I’ve discovered, and hopefully some local suggestions I’ve picked up on the way.
“To a certain degree yes, it’s made me want to get to know my home countries better I think, and I’ve started to appreciate the smaller things a lot more. I’m from the UK but live in Portugal, and I think in the next year I’ll certainly be shifting my travel focus to visiting my family, and thus exploring more of their local areas, and getting to know Portugal a lot better – at this stage, even just taking a road-trip along the local coast where I live seems like such a privilege.
“So I won’t be rushing to any far-flung lands anytime soon and will try to focus on the smaller, more local things while supporting the small tourism businesses here in Portugal that will need as much local support as they can get until tourism resumes as normal.
Dan can be found on his:
Nedra McDaniel from Adventure Mom Blog
“When I visit a destination for the first time I seek out unique adventures and experiences that I can’t replicate somewhere else. I want to know what sets the destination apart from other places ranging from their local food to attractions. I love to sample a little bit of everything when I visit with a variety of experiences from extreme adventure, street art, food tours, outdoor adventure, and roadside attractions.
“I would still love to travel abroad but I also want to support local communities closer to home. I think that a lot of families will be looking for destinations that they can drive to that are budget-friendly when the restrictions are lifted.
“Our family will be visiting family in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We have a trip planned this summer and we love spending time at the beaches along Lake Michigan during our visits.
I also had trips scheduled for Gatlinburg and Las Vegas for outdoor adventures that I hope to reschedule in the coming months too.
Nedra can be found on her:
Tom and Anna Faustino from Adventure in You
“When we plan our trips, we definitely seek out two things. Adventure and food! We both love going on hikes and usually try to scout this out prior to arriving at a destination.
“We usually plan our experiences according to what that specific place or country is known for but also scour the web for off-the-beaten-path trails that we can go on ourselves.
“When it comes to food, I usually research beforehand and markdown places we want to eat at in Google Maps. We also make sure to seek out local recommendations on where to eat as they are usually the best!
“Our perception of travel has not changed but in fact, has made us more appreciative of the little things. Now that travel is on a standstill, it has made us even more grateful
for the times where we could hop on a plane without much thought of border restrictions, or when we could hike freely, and of course, interact with locals.
“We are currently in Mexico and as soon as the world has settled, we look forward to traveling and eating our way around the country!
Anna and Tom can be found on their:
Andrew and Brenda from Dish Our Town
“As a family, even before running a food and travel blog, we always put food at the forefront of any of our daily travel plans. To us, nothing speaks to local culture more than the food scene and the cuisine of the country/region.
“Once we’ve planned out our eating destinations, then we plan our site’s destination which always includes either the city’s main museum or church, both usually serving as the cultural center of the town.
“The COVID-19 restrictions to travel hasn’t changed our perception to travel, other than to say that we miss it. We aren’t deterred from one day visiting a country (again) because it had a bad strain of the virus.
“I’m from New York City, today’s epicenter of the pandemic. I can’t imagine people staying away from my town after the borders open again.
“As for borders opening up again, we have always had an affinity for Rome, Italy. With what the country has gone through with the pandemic, we wonder when would we see it again.
“We have many different towns around the world which we love, but during this episode in history, we found that the one place outside of our own city we could not live without is Rome.
:The small cobbled pathways of the old city, the spires of the Basilica, the squares filled with sounds of clinking and clanking cups from the cafes, chatter filled with gesticulations, and of course the food.
This eternal city would be our first stop, and when we do visit once more; we will find a way to embrace it even harder.
Leigh McAdam from hikebiketravel.com
“As I get older I prefer to spend less and less time in cities and more time exploring the world’s wild places, preferably on foot. I like the combination of great exercise, usually in a stunning mountain environment, the mix of new cultures and food –lots of it after a day outside.
“I’m looking to history and the Spanish flu so I have concerns about a resurgence of COVID-19 come the fall. I’m hopeful as soon as we can resume normal life that I can enjoy a smattering of Banff area hikes along with a two-week canoeing trip on Reindeer Lake in northern Saskatchewan.
“I feel like my 2-week trip booked to hike the Kungsleden Trail along with a hiking time in the Lofotens in late August may still not come to pass.
“I’ve got my fingers crossed as fall above the Arctic Circle with the birches ablaze in yellow is supposed to be magical.
Leigh can be found on her:
Katja Gaskell of Globetotting
“There are three things that really make a destination for us: amazing scenery, cool cities, and great food.
“As a family travel blogger, more often than not, I travel with my husband and three children. I’m a firm believer that you can — and should! — take your kids everywhere but there are certain places that work better for us than others.
“We love to visit places where we can spend a lot of time outside whether that’s walking, swimming or skiing. Similarly, we love to explore new cities; places that really allow you to get to know a country and its people. And as for food, we are always on the lookout for good, authentic local food.
“As someone who travels for a living, the outbreak of COVID-19 has seriously impacted my work. Not only that, but it’s also had a profound effect on the thing that we love to do most as a family: travel. For now, we are very much staying home but we can’t wait to travel again.
“Our first trips will probably be UK-based and will revolve around spending time with family and friends. We have a trip booked to France for mid-August, which I very much hope will go ahead.
“We plan to go to a family surf camp near Bordeaux and then drive to Northern Spain before catching the ferry back to the UK. Fingers crossed!
Katja can be reached on her:
Stephanie from Consistently Curious
“The activities that I gravitate towards changed once my daughter came along. While prior to her arrival I was always interested in the food scene, unique attractions and outdoor activities now it is based around family activities that she can participate in.
“Our adventures almost always include interactive museums, zoos, parks or beaches and hunting down great food in a kid-friendly environment. The first thing we also look for first is ice cream! It is how our family kicks off every trip!
“While the outbreak of COVID-19 is scary it has not changed our perception of traveling aboard. If anything it has strengthened it.
“Seeing how life can change so drastically and quickly reinforces the mindset that life is short, go make those memories. Staying at home for extended periods of time gives us a new sense of appreciation for travel.
“It isn’t until you can’t travel anymore that you realize some of those trips of a lifetime may not come to fruition. Once the travel restrictions are lifted and it is safe to travel again I just want to go ANYWHERE outside of my own house!
“A few places that are at the top of our ever-growing bucket list are Ireland, Great Britain, and a Disney Cruise.
Consistently Curious can be found on their:
Wanna add your take? Please leave a comment below with your link, blog and your story!
Matt Martella is a writer living in Worcester, Massachusetts and has written for the UMass Daily Collegian and GoNOMAD. He has an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He loves to travel and has lived as a student in Dublin, Ireland and Oxford, England. He looks forward to exploring more parts of the world (specifically in Europe and Asia) and aims to make a profession out of writing about his experiences.