Showing posts with label Travel Thoughts During Pandemic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel Thoughts During Pandemic. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Travel Musing 2021 And Why I Don't Have Plan To Go On A Trip This Year

January 26, 2021 0
That's when it is safe to travel again

The year 2020, where travel industry really bled to death, has gone. We're now in a year where hopes and many possibilities are greatly anticipated. 


The world slowly springs back to life, businesses are reopening and airline companies are offering low deals on its flight rates. Pretty enticing isn't it?


But is it convenient to travel? Is it really time to start fixing our travel goals and plan a trip once again? Is it safe? 


No one can exactly tell when the pandemic will end but one thing is certain, we are still in the uncertain times. We are still not out of the woods of COVID-19 despite the roll-out of the vaccines. 


Everywhere, the number of infection is surging, and measures to curb the disease are still very much in place.


We need to cooperate with the world's effort to combat the surging cases of the virus. Leisure can wait. When all these inconveniences are over, we are free to hop in for adventure but the first six months of 2021 is simply not ideal to start kicking off travel plans. 


Add to this uncertainty is the newly discovered strain of the virus reportedly started in the United Kingdom and South Africa and now quickly spreading everywhere. We need to be mindful with this health alert and as much as possible, stay indoor.


Not yet the time for adventure


Clearly, this year is not yet the right time to embark into an adventure. Even if we want to. Yes, we are fed up, we are emotionally and mentally exhausted with the longest quarantine period, we want to escape, we want to enjoy the sun, we want to experience life in another place.


But it is not just the right time yet. 

Armada resort, Magalawa island, Zambales


First, the environment is still not totally "cleanse" from the virus. Second, there's a new strain of coronavirus. Third, we are not helping the world to curb the disease if we go outdoor, we might be a super spreader instead. Fourth, so much inconveniences of travel with tons of complicated travel documents, then there are government rules to follow like wearing face mask, face shield, health protocol and social distancing. 


A hell of discomfort awaits us. I would never enjoy the trip, and it is just a waste of money and time and effort.


Everyone is exhausted with life in home quarantine


Yes, everyone is scrambling to get out and escape somewhere. After all, it has been a crazy year of isolation, long period of home quarantine, we have been pushed to the edge of life and we cannot wait to be on the beach or the island or the mountains. 

Jomalig island, Quezon province


It is an innate character of humans never to be trapped at home. We want to see the other side of life in a different place. We want to explore and discover life beyond our station!


But unfortunately, we are still in the time of pandemic. Despite local tourism slowly opening to tourists, it is not just safe to be out there. 


Traveling in the time of COVID-19


For passionate adventurers whose travel plans for 2020 were snapped by lockdown and long home quarantine period, this year, 2021, is the start of bouncing back to the road.


With the availability of the COVID-19 vaccines and the easing of travel restrictions locally, travelers are now eager to book a trip, never mind if there are complicated travel documents required by the authorities and resorts. We need to escape!


But wait, is it really convenient? After all, traveling means a leisure trip, enjoying the moment exploring a new place, new destination, new view, but how can we do that if there are too many restrictions and threat of catching the virus?


In the Philippines, vaccine jab has not yet even started. The public has been left in the dark when it will be rolled out. No schedule has been released. And that's something really worrying, something that discouraged me to go on a trip this year. 


With the inept action of our government officials to procure vaccines and their very slow response how to control the spread of the virus in the country, planning a trip, even locally, sounds crazy at the moment. 


I would not take any chances. I would not sacrifice my safety. Even if local tourism assures guest of safety and cleanliness, I will never enjoy the trip due to many restrictions and rules to follow. It defeats the purpose of adventure and the thrill of travel.

Torres Farm, Cavite.


It is still not safe. That's a glaring fact. Maybe in the last quarter of this year. But for the first six months of 2021, it's not really convenient to hit the road for a leisure trip. So better stay at home while herd immunity is not yet developed in the country.


When can we travel again?


Local destinations are now accepting guests, albeit, reduced capacity, provided they will present necessary documents and will strictly follow health protocols imposed by the authorities.


Resorts, travel agencies and airlines are offering tempting low rates. But whether we will be having a comfortable trip experience, that's a different story. Definitely, a leisure trip is out of the questions this year. 

White Beach, Puerto Galera

It is uncertain when can we travel again normally. Even health experts cannot provide an exact timeframe when these inconveniences and threat of catching coronavirus will be over. 


One thing we need to do is stay safe and stay indoor while the world is still in the process of healing. Fun of adventure can wait. Remember that we need to cooperate and help the environment stop the spread of the disease. 


The need to travel


Traveling will never be the same again post-pandemic, that's certain. There will be major changes the moment we hit the road again. Strictest protocol for sure will be imposed.


Nonetheless, we still need to travel. I mean, the idea of going out there, exploring the world, discovering new places, enjoying the beach and nature and road trip. Having fun in the sun, watching sunrise in another place. It's a human desire. 

Enchanted river, Hinatuan, Surigao del sur


It is an innate character of a person to escape and go somewhere else to breathe, to relax, to de-stress. Our emotional and mental self needed it to find our balance. Life is not meant to be spent in one place, worst, at home. We need to go out and enjoy the outdoor view.


It's part of our nature to connect, to socialize, to explore, to see the other side of life, be with friends, have some fun. These are part of being human and no virus-threat could ever stop this human desire. 


Traveling is a therapy. It heals emotional wounds and mental anxiety. It bridges the gap of connection and fun and excitement. It is a great escape from a tedious life. A liberating getaway.


However, timing is everything. 


Since traveling or going out on a trip somewhere is a kind of leisure and adventure that we are supposed to be enjoying, convenience and comfort must always be considered. 


The first six months of 2021 is not really an ideal time to travel. Perhaps in the last quarter. We can start planning a trip. But not now.


Why I am not thinking of planning a trip this year


I resolved to never travel this year. Apart from the complex travel documents need to present to authorities and destinations, I am mindful what I can contribute to the community. 


I might add to the statistics of infection. I might spread unconsciously the disease. The scare of catching the virus is all over my system. And I am afraid I might infect others too.

Island trip!

Staying safe, staying at home, faithfully following the social distancing and other health protocols are the best way to curb the spread of the virus. And for this year, that's all what I needed to do.


It can wait. Leisure can wait. My appetite towards adventure can wait. I am not in a hurry to explore the world and enjoy traveling once again. 


For now, staying out of the traveling wagon is the best way to help the world fight off the disease. I will just save this year for a liberating trip next year.


Triggering point


Just today, while taking a break from writing this article, I read a heartbreaking news published by Daily Mail UK, about a dying COVID patient, describing what his painful ordeal fighting the disease: "Absolutely terrible, It's very, very frightening".


He added, "If people would have taken a lot more care when this come out and had not ignored it, we would not be in such a mess we're in. We would not have had so many deaths, so many people who are critically ill".


The man, unfortunately, died a day after the interview. How devastating and painful it was. The man was full of hope he could recover. 


He was anticipating to get reunited with his wife and family. But he did not make it.


It hits me in the gut. I feel guilty thinking about travel when the rest of the world is reeling with agony, heartbreak and pain due to the virus. 


It's through these circumstances that I resolved never to travel this year until the virus is put in control. We need to cooperate and help get rid of this pandemic. 


We need to help our health workers who are already exhausted with the surging of COVID patients treated in the hospital. We need to be patient. Someday, things will get better and we can get over this misery.


Definitely, going out there for a leisure trip, won't help anything.  


Traveling for 2021


We need to ponder hard if we really want to go for a trip this year. Now is the time to never think of our personal pleasure but the situation itself. Now is the time to think what contribution we can really give to the environment. 


There would be inconveniences as resorts and hotels, even vacation rentals need to implement strict health guidelines. It would be a nightmare accomplishing requirements to adhere to health protocols.

This year, therefore is not really an ideal time to reconstruct our travel plans. The disruption of services, controlled mobility and complicated travel requirements to accomplish will give us a headache going somewhere for leisure.


Government protocol in traveling is still very much in place, though restrictions are slowly easing down, it is still not a completely free world to enjoy a trip.


Budget-wise, it would be an expensive adventure due to travel requirements. Reduced capacity in accommodation means high rates.


New Normal in Traveling


As the world slowly bounces this year from lockdown, businesses reopen also. Travelers are eager to spring from life. We've just came out from a very stressful year that our desire to go somewhere to relax and enjoy the weather and adventure with friends is very much in our system.


But it is not just safe yet to travel.

Wearing face mask is here to stay


Whatever in store for us this year, one thing is certain, traveling will surely change. The way we travel in the new normal will have a major shift.


Here are some of the major changes and inconveniences:

  • Strict security screening everywhere which may delay the trip and lengthen the travel time.
  • Lots of travel and health documents are required. 
  • Facemask and face shield are still required. Very inconvenient.
  • Expensive accommodations due to the level-up service they will provide and the reduced capacity of guests.
  • Restrictions and limited exposure in the destination to ensure everyone is safe during the trip/

The best time to plan a trip again?

No one can exactly tell when these inconveniences will be over but definitely the first three quarters of 2021 still not the best time to plan a trip.

Rates in accommodation or even flight tickets might be low, but risk would be too high. And yes, we are not helping to stop the spread of the infection, we are even making it worst. 


The best time to start planning for a trip might be this coming autumn. September to December 2021, the last quarter of the year. Hopefully, by then we can build a herd immunity with the vaccine roll-out in the country. And can finally start planning a trip.

I am thinking of just going home in the last quarter of the year, see my parents and be with them instead of going somewhere for leisure. I will just think of traveling again by 2022.

Stay safe everyone!

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Monday, August 31, 2020

I Wish I Have Travel Photos in 2020 That Are Not Throwback

August 31, 2020 0

It's the last day of August for the year 2020. And just like that?! 

Without even feeling truly alive this year? The last time I felt human and carefree was in March. It's crazy to think it's been eight months since then. 

Tomorrow begins the BER months. And in the Philippines, it starts to smell like Christmas. Yes, you read it right, Christmas holiday is just around the corner. Ugh! 

With the threat of coronavirus infection is still out there, it's still a distant phenomenon if we could ever trulyfeel the joy of the holiday season.

The year 2020 might just a time lapse. It will just slip away without anything remarkable to remember other than the moments of home isolation and the never-ending quarantine period that starts to sound like eternity.

Luljetta's Hanging Garden and Spa resort

Imagine, how long we've been home quarantining this year? It feels like forever right?! We've spent the entire year isolating at home, exercising the new normal of wearing a face mask and face shield and spraying our hands with alcohol.

But feeling grateful of not being part of the statistics of the pandemic. I guess that's my greatest accomplishment this year. That I'm safe and sound.
Magalawa Island, Zambales

Life has gone totally awry without anything to mark other than be anxious what happens next. 

This year is something I would never want to remember though. Time has stopped and human survival is at stake.

Traveling Sounds Like a Far-flung Planet

This year, all our travel plans were stalled. Flights were aborted. Borders were closed. Deaths are everywhere and millions had lost their jobs.

Life has totally stopped rotating.


The pandemic inflicted damage to the world like a dinosaur on the loose. Everyone is not spared with its wrath. 

Countries continue to bleed with the crisis as threat of infection still mounting to an alarming level. So the months just went through like snowflakes in winter. Uneventful and gloomy.

For someone like me who started the year with exciting travel plans, the pandemic sounds like a death sentence. 

It's crazy to think that we're now more than halfway of getting off the year. With nothing eventful to reminisce other than bled in isolation. 

It is still uncertain until when we remain in this kind of situation. Perhaps, a year, perhaps two years, or more. The pandemic completely altered our lives this year and changed the way we viewed society. And the way we treated human survival.

The Adventure That Ended At Home

When the year 2019 ended, I thought the year 2020 will be my year of exhilarating adventure, a period to chase my dream in traveling and the best time to spread my wings.

I thought this will be my year capturing wonderful moments in the road, discovering new places, snapping landscapes, exploring islands, laying in the beach sand, learning how to surf against the raging waves, and watching many sunsets along the seashore.

Home Quarantining is the new lifestyle for 2020

Alas! The adventure I dreamed just confined in the four corners of the house. Taking pictures in the garden, watching days gone by while sipping coffee.

Unlike most of the world's historic disasters, COVID-19 completely took over our lives and forced many countries to shut off borders.

Our travel goals completely vanished into thin air.

Sudden Death of the Travel Industry

The travel industry, the first casualty of the pandemic, still bleeding in darkness, shrouded with uncertainties, it is still a million-dollar question if tourism could be completely safe to reopen this year considering the fact that threat of infection is still high everywhere.


So as the world of travel continues to suffer in this period of pandemic, it might take more than a year before we could make travel plans again. To be safer.

And this means, we will just be contented with travel throwback, reminiscing our most memorable adventures and road trips.

When this health crisis nightmare is over, it's great to make travel plans again because life does not stop with the pandemic, life goes on. It has to move on. It is not meant to live in one corner. It should be explored. It should be discovered. 

Travel Throwback

For travel bloggers, this year sounds more than a nightmare. A disastrous event. An idea of adventure that ended in catastrophe.

Bayanan beach in Puerto Galera

I am forced now to just reminisce all my memorable trips, all the wonders I experienced of exploring other places, the beach trips I took, and the moments on the road.

And while the world still anxiously waiting for an approved vaccine to quell covid-19, I will just have to go through my travel photos and remember those happy trips I took and wish that one day, everything will finally go back to normal, without wearing a face mask, without wearing face shield and without undergoing social distancing.

I wish to see another bright day in another place. I wish I could chase waves again, lay in the beach sand and feel the warm morning sunshine. 

I wish I could still pursue my dream in landscape photography. I wish I could travel again.

Kanaway beach, Jomalig Island 

This year made me feel totally helpless, totally anxious. I wish none of these happened in my lifetime, but then again it happened. Perhaps, to give us a hard lesson how to value life in this world. 

Hopefully this crisis will be over soon. I cannot wait to travel again. And embark into an exciting adventure.

I am thinking of going local. Our local tourism industry needs to recover from this terrible nightmare. So perhaps going anywhere in the country is the best thing to do.

Target Travel Destinations

Philippines boasts so many beautiful spots to explore. And when traveling is safe again, and government restrictions on movements will ease, I would love to explore local spots.

I wish to go to Palawan, this province has so many stunning white beaches. Bohol is also in my bucket list, especially Panglao, known for its gorgeous sun-kissed beach sand. It's a scenic Philippine province with unique regional culture to discover.

San Vicente beach in Palawan
Panglao, Bohol

Other beach destinations I want to explore locally are Bantayan island in Cebu! So calm and relaxing and the beaches are similar to those in Boracay, sugary white, powdery, and with sparkling blue water.
Bantayan Island, Cebu

La Union beaches have been in my mind since the beginning of the year, in fact we're supposed to spend summer but it was already lockdown.

Traveling Solo

It's been years that I am thinking of taking a trip elsewhere solo but haven't got a chance to do it, perhaps when travel restrictions ease, it's high time to push this plan.

And where would I go? 😁

Magalawa, Zambales, January 2019

I am thinking of going back to White beach, Puerto Galera, the last beach trip I took in 2019, two months before the COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

Puerto Galera has beautiful beaches, a scenic atmosphere, spacious beach side, cheaper accommodation, ideal for solo travelers.

White beach, Puerto Galera

I am thinking also of traveling back home. Surigao del sur, my home province has so many stunning beaches and nature resorts.  Although we're very far from Siargao, which is already in the north of the Surigao province.

My home province boasts so many spots full of natural wonders, Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig city is one, and Britania, a cluster of many islands, is an exciting destination, just 30 minutes from our home town.

Tinuy-An falls, Bislig City, Surigao del sur
Enchanted River, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur

So many travel plans to get busy while waiting for the year to bid goodbye so that the world can move on to another chapter, so many trips to map, so many dreams of adventure to reconstruct. 

For now, I'll just be contented reminiscing my fun days on the road, soak in happy memories through my travel photos.

Aquaria beach, Calatagan, Batangas 

While the world is scrambling to find an effective cure for the coronavirus, I am hoping traveling can still rise to life once again.





Friday, May 22, 2020

How's Travel Blogging in the Time of Pandemic When You Cannot Travel? Here's Some Hacks

May 22, 2020 0

How things going on for everyone at this trying time? I know it's mentally exhausting already and we are on the brink of losing our cool.

In the Philippines, everything is pretty irritating. We've been locked up for nearly two months. We can't still go to work because community quarantine has been intensified and extended. The uncomfortable situation made even worst by the hot weather.

But everyone needs to stay sane and calm. So I am viewing the circumstances brought by the crisis as an opportunity to indulge in hobbies and writing, cultivating new passion like watching royal documentaries. And developing new skills, like video editing.

However, it's unavoidable to never feel anxious in a day, it is pretty normal anyway according to psychologists because humans are socially-inclined creatures not meant to be isolated at home.

So if there's anything worst to grasp in this time of pandemic, apart from deaths, it's the reality of being trapped at home, feeling helpless.

But this is the new normal we need to accept while the world is still scrambling to find a cure for the dreaded disease. The pandemic already made our lives turned upside down, making traveling a dead escape.

The timing is terrible since it is already summer in most tropical countries. The blistering weather that filtered through the living room already feels like hell.

So how's travel blogging in this time of pandemic?

Actually, it's a bit hard to blog about travel and summer destinations when we cannot really travel. It's pretty exhausting to think of any topic to post. And it gets even harder when you don't feel like writing. Basicially, blogging is about story telling. It is all about writing and sharing stories.

It's pretty easy for lifestyle vloggers because the main task is just to edit travel videos and post it in the social media, but in blogging one needs to rake the brain to squeeze out ideas what to write and post.

So this is a challenging period for most travel bloggers. There are social media pages and websites need to be updated despite the lockdown.

So here, I am crafting several travel blogging hacks to do while home quarantined. I am applying these techniques now and my website is pretty active. Just be creative in content creation.
Travel blogging hacks to adopt while home quarantined
1. Writing Featured Stories

This is one of the easiest content creation techniques to do during lockdown. Writing featured stories is like crafting a descriptive narrative in your autobiography. Just choose a specific topic to write, something you feel most interested. And something that perks up interest and excitement from readers.

Tons of topics to choose about beautiful places, travel destinations and food adventures to explore, Just utilize online resources. I have written several featured stories about stunning holiday destinations and food trips around the world since the lockdown and I have a great time doing the research.  
It's really a hard work but very fulfilling. You guys just need to be resourceful and resilient. Be specific which topics to delve on and you are on the go with this travel blogging hack. It is pretty easy actually to select a topic if you love traveling, eating and planning things ahead of the adventure.

2. Creating Video Clips

This is one of my favorite hacks in content creation for our YouTube channel, GOURMAND TRAVEL GUIDE, because I love editing video clips, it's a fulfilling pastime, so this is a great content creation technique while staying at home.


There are two ways producing video clips for past travels. It’s either, compiling a video slide by selecting photos from your travel albums, or creating a video compilation of your most memorable trips by getting clips from your previously uploaded travel videos.

I have done quite a few video clips out of my previous travel experiences, and it fills the void of having not traveled in the past months, and also being able to update our Youtube channel.

To help you accomplish this task, just choose a user-friendly video editor from the apple or google play store. Choose the apps that's free. I used the pix video editor in all my video uploads because it is pretty easy to use for someone who is not techy in creating videos.

3. Recreating Past Travel Stories

This is another easiest content creation when traveling is not possible. This travel blogging hack is like tripping down memory lane to your most memorable trips. Rehashing previous travel experiences and recreating it to another unique story is so awesome, exciting and creative.

I have recreated several posts of my previous travels and made it to another story, plus I have modified some travel tips based on the latest updates of the places I have previously visited.
So many untold stories to tell from the past travels, stories that were kept behind photos because it's either we were hooked up to our daily job or simply lazy to scribble those experiences, so now is the perfect time to write it down.

4. Roundup of Favorite Destinations

You can create a new post about the places you want to revisit when the government eases its restrictions on travel. List of places you have visited in the past that trully impressed you and inspired you to make a repeat visit.

It's like hitting two birds in one stone with this content creation technique. You are reminiscing your best moments in travel, visiting those places, at the same time providing insight to readers, inspiring  them to consider those destinations for their next adventure.

You can do this technique by selecting memorable places you have visited and narrate why the destinations made it to your roundup list of beautiful places to visit.

May it be the atmosphere, the view, the accommodation or simply you have enjoyed so much that you dream of revisiting the places some other time.

5. Roundup of the Best Travel Photos You Got Somewhere

You can write featured stories in your blog about the beautiful travel photos you got elsewhere. Try to do a research about the places and tell your readers why you love the places and why they should consider the places putting it in their travel bucket list.

You will have several articles now to write in your travel blog and your social media pages can now also be updated with those stories.

Yes, speaking of pandemic, this is really a terrible period for everyone.

It's sad never to travel this long but the threat of getting infected is still very potent, so better stay at home and wait for the crisis to be over.

For travel bloggers, we are never short of ideas and stories to tell, just rehash those past travel adventures and spin it to new articles or search for best travel destinations in the world and write a feature story.
Until next travel blogging hacks, stay safe everyone!

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