Well, social media has really proved itself in the last two weeks hasn’t it?
Looks like we’re all on the video calls. My Instagram feed – once populated with beaches, cocktails and epic mountain views – has turned into a non stop feed of screenshots of Zoom chats.
I guess it’s the most fun we’re all having now.
– The weekly Traverse Travel Pub Quiz, I’m top right!
Social media is finally being used as a social tool. And rather than a way for us to show off our lives to the online ether for likes, it’s time to actually share them with our friends and family for love.
I’ve signed up to House Party, I now expect Whatsapp video calls and have mastered the Facebook voice call. It’s been two weeks of social isolation and I’ve video called my parents more than in an entire year when I was travelling.
– Never seen a more accurate Tweet
The thing is, none of us are really doing that much, physically, but we’re all bonding in our slow and monotonous parallel lives.
In England we’re still allowed one trip out a day – for exercise or food – and most people are working from home.
Thing is though, I don’t really feel that cut off.
Life before social isolation
To be honest, my life at home now is pretty much the same as before social isolation. Just, no restaurants, no coffee shops, and no travel planning. I already worked from home, forced myself to leave once a day for exercise and read the news religiously.
Living in Southsea, on the south coast of England, I didn’t see friends IRL in London and the Midlands that much anyway. In fact, I feel even more connected now with all the video chats.
My latest find… ? pic.twitter.com/cNvkQ48UWp
— Kirstyleanne ✈❤ (@kirstyleanneuk) March 29, 2020
But how do I run a travel blog without travelling?
Things have slowed down on vickyflipfloptravels.com. I’ve decided to write one travel post a week, and then one post like this one. A record of what’s going on in this crazy time for me to look back on.
This age is the most unstable time to live since I was born. We will look back on this in the future and compare stories, study it, and spend many years recovering from it. My generation – the dreaded millennials – have never lived through anything like it.
And I hope we never will again.
So, I want to update my blog every week with the events, to remember this crazy and unique time.
I won’t be travelling for the next few months. It’s not possible, and I don’t want to. I do still have flights booked to Albania on the 28th June, but I’m doubtful they’ll go ahead. There’s no benefit cancelling them now so I’ll wait.
Like many industries, bloggers and social media influencers have been hit hard by the #coronavirus pandemic.
I spoke to travel writers @globalhelpswap and @VickyFlipFlop to find out how their blogs had been impacted by travel restrictions. https://t.co/fl7cgyia8r
— April Roach (@aprilroach28) March 26, 2020
Last week I was interviewed by the London Evening Standard about the effect of Corona Virus on the travel blogging industry
“Really we need to promote people staying in. I won’t be writing about travel because I don’t want to people to travel right now.” – me!
In short, my income is down. Massively. As it is for many others in my industry. My advertising partner – Mediavine (look for the ads below and above, can’t miss them) – has even told us not to write about Corona Virus for fear of scaring advertisers. Right now though, my income is so low, and it’s hard to think about anything else, that I feel compelled to.
Personally, I’ll be alright in all of this (fingers crossed / touch wood / insha allah).
Our Chancellor of the Exchequer, Dishy Rishi, announced support for the self-employed last Thursday, which means I’ll come out of this ok. I’ll have definitely lost out hugely financially, but so will have most of the nation.
Please, I hope, that’s all it will be.
And for once I’m grateful that some of the clients I’ve worked with over the last few months had a ridiculously long payment processing time. As long as they come through.
My social media in the age of social isolation
I won’t be very lively on my social media. Seriously, I have nothing to share. The biggest excitement of the week was my yellow sticker M&S haul. I mean, that’s as fun as it gets round here.
And, isn’t it annoying to see people posting about travel when you can’t do anything about it?
Instead, apart from the video calls, I’ve spent a lot of time scrolling Twitter, retweeting the lols and catching up on news. I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my favourite Tweets of the week in this post.
Comedy Tik Tok videos on Twitter interrupt the repetitive sanctimonious Tweets – funny to watch some Tweeters passively aggressively declaring themselves better social isolators than everyone else.
I feel like everyone’s just trying to get through this time as best they can though, and we should leave them to it.
Love, strength and strategies for our new normal
Got this update from my wee granny? 93 and still going strong ❤️ pic.twitter.com/SEjCwLZ8Ww
— islaanne? (@islaanne1) March 31, 2020
We’re all just finding a way to deal with this new normal.
As the numbers in the UK rise every day it’s inevitable that our lockdown rules will become stricter. My friends Janet and Lisa in Ireland have already been told they’re not allowed further than a mile from their homes.
I said in last week’s post, on the Rules of Lockdown, how friends of friends are getting it. Well now, it’s friends. If I think about it too much, it’s terrifying. Don’t even have to turn on the news for depressing stories, they’re on my Whatsapp.
Back in the travel blogging world – the world I know best – and travel blogger friends are quickly diversifying to keep busy, and stay entertianing. Jayne’s writing about how to entertain your toddler, Chloe on ways to travel from home, and Monica’s got her challenge to blog every day.
Everyone has their coping strategy, right?
– Me going out on a bike ride during social isolation
My coping strategies include:
1. Ignore the productivity guilt. I do not need to keep up with everyone else.
2. Park thoughts of my former life of travel.
3. Be honest with the friends you can be about feelings, and be there for them too.
4. Watch all happy videos and read all happy news that come my way.
5. Let myself do what I want to do for work, rather than what I think I ought to do.
6. Video call mum and dad every day.
7. Go outside every day for a walk or cycle.
8. Do Joe Wicks videos or yoga videos as much as possible but if I haven’t done it by 12, don’t beat myself up about it.
9. Glass of wine a day keeps the neggy thoughts away.
10. Keep my bubble positive. Thanks to the whole isolation thing, we are now all living in bubbles of our own creation. It’s up to use what we let in.
11. Cadbury’s Creme Eggs.
This summer is going to SUCK. No festivals, no holidays, no friends, no joy. But, we can stay in, hibernate and get ready, for what’s going to be an EPIC 2021.
Can you imagine it?
Next year, when we’re all back in the restaurants, able to get a chicken from Tesco no question, and we hear about something different than Corona Virus at every turn?
And, we can travel again!
But for now, let’s focus on what we have.
My house has never been cleaner, the love for my family and friends never stronger, and my appreciation for the outdoors, never better.
I hope you feel the same.