12 May 2020

Travel Blogging in a Travel-Less World

It's been a while since my last post in March, back when this pandemic hit New Zealand hard and we shut our borders. Since then, it has been a long two months of strict lockdown rules.

But it paid off. As of this Thursday 14th May, NZ will move into level two, meaning all of our schools, restaurants and retail stores will reopen, and we will have the freedom to see other people and move around our country again.

I am so thankful that as a nation we complied, we stayed at home, followed the rules and kicked the virus in the butt (for now).

So what have I been up to for the last two months? It felt like that period lasted a year but then again, how are we already almost in mid-May? I wasn't very productive at all. I didn't learn a new skill, do any online courses (like I thought I would), or come up with some genius idea to set myself up better for the future. I didn't write the backlog of blog posts I've been meaning to or edit old travel videos like I could have.

For the first time in literally 15 years, I played computer games and got pretty addicted to it... I like so many others, went on a giant baking rampage and made all the cookies, cakes, slices, banana bread, crumbles and more. Actually, I made bread for the first time ever (and mastered it) so does that count as a new skill? Oh yeah, and I made proper Hot Cross Buns from scratch too on Easter Sunday. (I highly recommend Chelsea Winter's recipe).

I watched a whole lot of Netflix and rewatched the entire 6-seasons of Outrageous Fortune. Living out in the wop wops like I currently do (the middle of nowhere), I'm lucky to have a nice walking track with mountain views and a gorgeous river in my neighbourhood, so I found myself walking more than I ever have and listening to podcasts (current obsession - My Dad Wrote A Porno - it's really funny). I didn't miss takeaways as I rarely eat them anyway.

On a positive note, in my last post, I thought I had lost my job. Well, technically it was 'leave without pay' but my contract had expired so they very well could have forgotten about me until tourism picked up again. But a few weeks in, they surprised me by sorting out the government subsidy when they didn't have to, so I was extremely thankful for that. I picked up posting again for them a few times a week which I had sorely missed for those first few weeks.

There have been talks about Australia and New Zealand opening their borders to each other in a Trans-Tasman bubble, and I am hoping they will include the islands in this as well. The Cook Islands have remained virus-free and Fiji only had 18 cases total. These countries, along with many others largely rely on our tourism so fingers crossed they can open up to us as well. If that's the case - my husband and I would be on a plane in a heartbeat! We were meant to be travelling to Japan this month so we are a bit sad about that, and he especially is in desperate need of a holiday.

With little chance of wider international travel for 2020, we will instead do a bunch of local New Zealand trips to help boost our own tourism economy as well.

Moving to level two in a couple of days, the first thing I did was book myself in at the hairdresser for next week. I haven't been for more than six months so my hair is currently looking rather tragic. I've also locked in dates to visit my father-in-law in Greytown this coming weekend (he's been alone this whole time, poor thing) and I'll be travelling up to my hometown, Tauranga, to spend a week with my family and friends.

Wrapping up this little update, what does this mean for my future as a travel blogger? All of my planned trips and ventures with tourism boards this year have been cancelled and I currently have little motivation to write about travel. To be honest, since I landed my dream role last year as a social media consultant for three sister resorts in Fiji, my blog has taken a backseat anyway. So I'm not really sure yet. Perhaps I will get a sprinkle of inspiration to write a bunch of local New Zealand weekend getaway/short trip itineraries etc. Like many others, I'm just taking it one day at a time.

I hope you are all well, trying to stay positive and enduring the trainwreck that is 2020. Look after yourself and each other.

Kia Kaha,


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