What a grand time to be a travel blogger, right? Just kidding. Borders all around the world have been closed, people are quarantined and in many countries there are forced lockdowns. Travelling is the furthest thing from most people’s minds right now – which in the current situation is exactly how it should be. Bearing this in mind, it’s no surprise that my readers have disappeared. So where does that leave this travel blog? Here are some thoughts about the current situation and how that affects my travel blog.
How Was My Blog Doing Before the Corona Crisis?
I’ve been travel blogging for almost a year and a half now. I make no money whatsoever via this blog. On the contrary – blogging does involve some expenses like for example web hosting. Most of my days are filled by my regular job working as a journalist. The amount of time I’ve had to invest in this blog has been limited, yet I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished.
Read more about how the blog was doing one year after the launch here: One Year of Travel Blogging – How Is Travel Jael Doing?
As I don’t make money blogging, I don’t feel I have money to invest in promoting my blog. The little time I have to spend on blogging is strictly reserved for creating content. So growth has been very slow, but it has been steady. The steady growth is something I’ve been really happy about. If I’m growing completely organically that must mean I’m doing something right.
In particular during the last three months there’s been a very promising increase in the amount of readers.
The Novel Coronavirus Hits the World
In other words, things were looking pretty good here on Travel Jael even as late as in February. Then suddenly, the greatest crisis since World War II hits the whole world.
The novel coronavirus from Wuhan in China started spreading like wildfire all across the globe. In just a few weeks it went from something people were shrugging off as just another kind of flu to a global pandemic, killing tens of thousands of people.
All over the world people are being urged to stay at home. Country after country has closed its borders. Even within most countries travel is no longer recommended. Many countries have even shut down the worst affected areas. For example in Finland the Uusimaa region, with the largest number of Covid-19 patients in Finland, was made a quarantine zone the 28th of March.
How the Coronavirus Affected Travel Blogging
When no one travels, the need for information about different destinations and travel tips suddenly diminishes. Nobody cares about, let’s say, how to do the Amalfi Coast on a budget, as the whole of Italy is in complete lockdown.
Needless to say, numbers have taken a serious dip these past few weeks. In fact, it looks pretty much like the plummeting stock markets when I check out my site statistics.
Of course all this makes me think, what’s the point of this blog right now?
The Future of Travel Blogging
Nobody knows how long this situation is going to continue. And what’s perhaps even more relevant is that nobody knows what kind of a world we’ll wake up to once this is over. How long will it be until people travel within their own countries? When will people start travelling abroad? Or will they ever do that?
Even now writing this post, it does feel pretty pointless to continue – why spend time on something that nobody needs? Needless to say, with all this going on, I’ve struggled finding motivation.
But here’s why I’ll continue, at least for the time being:
- First of all, I really think the day will come when people will travel again. How far away that day is only time will tell, but the day will come, of that I’m sure.
- This blog is important to me and if I can share some inspiration or a chance to escape virtually with even one person out there, well, then it’s worth it.
- In Finland at least for the time being we’re still allowed to explore the great outdoors. My trip to Spain this spring might be cancelled, but there’s plenty to enjoy by my doorstep and I can share that with whoever’s interested. In fact, now that our usual routines have been turned upside down this is a great opportunity to discover all those fantastic spots that we don’t notice in normal life (while still maintaining a safe distance to other people).
- Virtual travel feels more important than ever. When more and more of us are locked inside, reading a blog post about a beautiful destination – be it in Finland or Mexico – can provide a welcome escape.
- Social media, including blogs, can also give us an important glimpse into life somewhere else. I’ve learned a lot about the every day aspects of life during the corona crisis in all kinds of countries across the globe thanks to people sharing their daily life on social media. I think this is important as it helps us realise we’re all in the same boat as well as appreciate what we do have. For example, watching my friends Instagram stories from Barcelona, I’m pretty happy that in Finland we’re still allowed to go hiking.
- Last but not least, I’m continuing to write for future inspiration. The longer this stretches on, the more itchy feet there will be once this is over. I think it’s important to focus on the future and allow ourselves to daydream about life post corona. For someone that’s fantasising about a trip to Tulum, for others it might be a visit to a local museum or a great hike near home.
Isn’t It Irresponsible to Travel Blog Right Now?
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear. I’m absolutely not encouraging anyone to travel now! On the contrary, I’m strongly discouraging you from travelling.
Right now all of us need to stay home, stay safe and follow any instructions and rules our governments are asking us to. By doing that we can do our bit to help flatten the curve and help our health care system cope with this pandemic. We can’t afford being selfish; we all have to make sacrifices to overcome this crisis.
What I write here will be in accordance with whatever current recommendations the Finnish government is giving, as Finland is my country of residency. Remember to keep up to date with the recommendations of your own country, as things are changing rapidly.
In summary, for the time being I’ll continue to share inspiration and the possibility to join me on virtual excursions. On my Instagram stories you’ll also get snippets of information about what life during the corona crisis is like in Finland.
For those in the Uusimaa quarantine zone – or anyone else wanting to join virtual adventures – I’ll also be sharing tips on where you can enjoy the outdoors in a safe way within this region.
Stay safe everyone!