There have been two big groups of travel creators during the Covid-19 pandemic: those who talk about how they can’t travel and those who have kept on traveling. The problem are the content creators who sit right in the middle of what’s said and what they’ve done. Mask-less YouTubers, Instagram models, and bloggers have carved out a niche of continuing to move while ignoring the main travel story of the past 12 months.
In case you need to be reminded: coronavirus.
I Can’t Travel…
Plenty of travel creators have been in Mexico, Portugal, Albania, or Turkey (countries that were generally open during the pandemic) lamenting online that they can’t travel. As far as I know, if you’re visiting a country you don’t live in for the purpose of I feel like it, that’s traveling. The fact that you might not be able to eat indoors at a restaurant or go out on weekends doesn’t mean you’re not currently traveling.
Photos on Instagram tell another story of cafe life, aerial yoga classes, and lots of group selfies in some place that also happens to have a high number of Covid related hospitalizations and deaths. It should all be called out for what it is: disregard for the people and places who’ve taken the pandemic seriously.
Very few creators want to talk about travel shaming and pointing fingers so let’s not call out any specific people. The travel industry and online community is especially vanilla, avoiding any strong opinions so as to appeal to the masses (and the potential money they might bring).
And the pandemic has become a political issue.
Consequently travel influencers are generally (or at least publicly) liberal leaning. On the topic of the pandemic though, for many, their movement to places where they can get away from the rules tells another story. Not that they’re conservative but that Covid is getting in the way, so let’s go around it.
Unfortunately science doesn’t work that way.
Not That Big A Deal
Away from the public however a lot of travel creators will tell you that coronavirus isn’t that big of a deal. Many will also not tell you they’ve had coronavirus and picked it up most likely at a large social gathering. Just check their Instagram. How many other people, including locals, they’ve infected? You won’t see that on TikTok.
None of this is to say any of us are perfect or that this is every travel blogger-vlogger-creator out there. Only that not many are talking about the disconnect between the posts and the reality. To me, that’s the real travel story of the past 12 months. Being upfront about it is a bit less glamorous but a lot more useful to the people following. So live as you want, just tell it like it is.
Trust me, it’ll be authentic.