Being on the move and recording her travel experiences for her many followers on YouTube and Instagram comes naturally to Janet Newenham, a travel blogger from Ireland. With travel restrictions coming into the play, she was forced to spend her time indoors. We talk to her about her lockdown learnings, post-Corona travel plans, and more. By Bayar Jain
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1. Where were you when the lockdown was announced?
2. How has your life been during the lockdown?
My life in lockdown has been pretty boring and slightly stressful at the moment. I work almost seven days a week and set up a few new business ventures. Halfway through the lockdown, I fell down some stairs, broke my foot and had to be rushed to the hospital!
3. How did you spend your time during this period?
While in lockdown, I made a YouTube video almost every single day. I connected with my friends on Zoom video calls, took online quizzes, and even watched a lot of content on Netflix.
4. Which is the first place you’re planning to visit right after this?
Right now, I plan to continue staying in Ireland and tour around my own country. At the end of summer, I would like to go to Georgia, South Africa or Bali.
5. What changes do you anticipate while travelling in the post-Corona world?
I don’t think people will travel as much as they would have earlier, especially for short trips. I feel people are not comfortable with travelling or flying yet. Instead, I think there would be a lot more staycations and road trips.
6. How has this pandemic impacted your life and your work?
It has affected my work and income quite a bit. I run a few travel blogs, and since no one was searching for travel articles for the past three months, my websites didn’t make too much money. Moreover, my paid partnerships and campaigns have either been cancelled or postponed until 2021.
7. Do you think conscious travelling will take centre-stage post-Corona?
Definitely! I think people will start looking for more eco-conscious travel options. I also feel people will take lesser flights and spend more time outdoors with nature.
8. What was your reaction to learning that you won’t be able to travel for a long time now, and how did you cope with it?
I haven’t fully accepted it as yet. At first, I thought it would last just one month. Then, I believed it would last only three months. Now, it has been over four months and I have not left my city! In fact, I don’t think I’ll be getting on an aeroplane for about six months, which – when you think about it – is crazy.
9. What do you miss most about travelling?
I miss the sunshine and meeting new people.
10. Any learning that you’ve arrived upon during this time?
I’ve learned that I actually needed this time to slow down and evaluate my blog, my business and my passions. I needed this time to work out which direction I am going in, and what changes need to be made.
11. Now that travel restrictions are gradually being lifted, is there anything you wish you would have done during the lockdown which you didn’t get around to doing?
Nope! I’ve been very busy and productive during the lockdown, and I am happy with all that I have achieved.
12. When choosing your next destination in the post-Corona world, what are the various factors you would keep in mind which you wouldn’t have earlier?
I have two main factors now: where my friends are or whether they would want to travel with me to some destination; and finally ticking off my bucket-list destinations such as Central and South America.
13. What are some of the additional items you would be packing while planning a trip now?
Hand sanitiser, a mask and very good travel insurance!