20 March 2020

Oh 2020... Life In The Travel Industry When Times Are Bleak

The great year that was supposed to be 2020 has come to a crashing halt. For the first time in history, New Zealand's borders have been closed and only letting in New Zealand citizens and residents. The entire world has come to a standstill and is in lockdown. And this is only the beginning.

People really don't need or want to hear another travel blogger's opinions and misinformation. That's not what this is about. I just felt like writing something personal. As someone that works in the travel industry, this is an extremely hard time, as it is for anyone.

I'm not much of a sharer. But I know there are so many people in my situation. For this entire week, I've had a writhing pit of snakes in my stomach as the world around me has come crashing down.

Like many, I began this year with the hopes and dreams that this was going to be the biggest and best year of my career yet. And it actually was, for a moment. I didn't get to travel anywhere because I was working so hard and saving my butt off. I finally landed my dream job, I was finally getting paid a good income after four years of pitiful freelancing, I was promised worldwide travel, offered tourism board collaborations, I even had an opportunity to work with Singapore Airlines for goodness sake.

And now... I'm preparing to be told I'll be losing my job next week. An absolute nose plummet. But that's okay. I'm not having a big whinge and a moan, just sharing my experience. I feel so much more for the businesses that won't be able to bounce back like I can. The workers that solely rely on tourism just to feed their families. The hard-working people that have sunk their life-long savings, blood, sweat and tears into their dreams only to have it taken away from them in a matter of weeks.

[Edit - I was told the news I was expecting only an hour after posting this blog.]

It's a scary time. And no one knows when this will end. All we can do is be there for each other, listen to the advice of our governments and WHO. It's hard to stay positive, I know that. But we have to try. This will end eventually. The world and our love for travel isn't going anywhere, it's just put on hold. We just need to be kind, make an extra effort to call our loved ones, check in on people. Most importantly, take care of yourself. It's a huge challenge mentally to self-isolate. But we can do it. We are resilient.

I'm grateful that I recently got to see one of my favourite bands play in Auckland, I got to have a great weekend exploring Wellington (hence the header photo - one of my few photos from this year!) and I got to spend a good amount of time with my family and best friends.

In the meantime, I'm going to be dreaming and planning an epic adventure for when this has all ended... I was meant to be going to Japan in May which is no longer happening. But if this has ended (my god please) by the end of the year, I might be lucky enough to visit some dear friends in Latvia and have my first white Christmas and New Years in Europe. I'd also visit neighbouring countries Estonia and Finland which would be amazing.

Enough from me. Take care, and feel free to reach out via my social media or email if you ever need someone to talk to.

Kia Kaha,

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