Travel Blogging in a Post-Pandemic World - Part II

Travel Blogging in a Post-Pandemic World - Part II
Many bloggers say that when the world starts travelling again, travel writing will need to be rooted in sustainability Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In the second instalment of our two-part series, we catch up with travel bloggers in India to find out how their work has been impacted by the pandemic, and how they are adapting

Karan Kaushik
June 30 , 2020
13 Min Read

Siddhartha Joshi is in no mood to travel in the near future. The blogger is using his platform to raise awareness about the pandemic. Earning revenues and promoting tourism is not on his mind for now. Before the pandemic, he used to take ten to fifteen trips every four months for his blog and clients. He is hopeful that his clients would return but the nature of the projects maybe different now.

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Stepped after what feels like eternity today morning and it felt good. Needless to mention, followed all guidelines - mask (and gloves), social distancing and so on. Passed a few people fishing, working out or just out for fresh air. . Limited number of people wore masks, but the crowd was thin. Some sat in groups (mostly without masks) while the rest were busy by themselves. . I guess this is the new normal. There’s no option but to embrace it I guess. . Thanks @itsmihir for the pics ðŸ˜ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂŽ . p.s. my beard is completely out of control currently 🤦🏻‍♂ï¸Â

A post shared by Siddhartha Joshi (@siddharthajoshi) on Jun 23, 2020 at 3:11am PDT

Speaking about his plan to cope with the loss of income, the popular blogger says that he is focusing on building alternative skills and diversifying within photography. Joshi has spent most of the lockdown working. “I have been attending webinars, learning about softer aspects of photography and storytelling, and history,” he says. He feels that family travel will increase, and travelling in groups of friends will decrease. “Religious travel might come down. Unplanned travel might also reduce and staycations will catch up,” he adds.


Read: How Travel Photographers Are Coping in the New World

He thinks that travel will continue to be severely impacted in the months to come and bloggers will have to rely on older experiences and stories. “I feel that the world has changed a lot and stories without current context won't resonate for a long time. However, old stories do allow the users to escape the challenging times, so there will also be space for those,” he says. As a content creator, Joshi would like to do a balance of the two.

Mariellen Ward has been publishing or updating blog posts on her site concentrating on stuff that works during a lockdown. For instance, posts about books, movies, food, and recipes. New times call for new strategies and innovation. Ward will soon be launching a digital marketing company that will help market domestic destinations, hotels, resorts, etc., through the use of effective storytelling.

Ward during a trip to Lucknow

The Canadian travel writer and blogger, who now lives in Rishikesh, was heartbroken when she had to cancel a trip to Assam. She had been planning it for five months before the lockdown happened. When asked about how the travel industry would change in the new world, Ward says that travellers will now move away from mass tourism. “I hope people will stay away from flocking to the same Instagrammable, over-touristy sites."

Read: How The Virus Will Change The Way You Travel

Shivya Nath is hopeful that this pandemic will make people realise how their travel choices are adversely impacting the planet. “Both in tourism policy and as individual travellers, we are likely to become more inclined towards slow, meaningful, low impact, sustainable travel that supports local communities and minimises our impact on the environment,” she says.

Before the pandemic, she was learning about the way of life of remote tribal communities in Chhattisgarh. Nath opines that travel influencers need to rethink their values in terms of how they promote destinations, reduce their individual carbon footprint, and support local communities and businesses. “When we emerge from this crisis, we need to ensure we don’t walk into another one. It’s high time we make travel choices that are not just more ethical, but also better for our own survival,” she says. “ I have the feeling that travel influencers who aren't willing to rethink these values, risk becoming obsolete."

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LOCKDOWN LIFE 👩🏽‍ðŸÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ’»â£ ⁣ Well over a month into this lockdown, just popping by to share a bunch of little things that are helping me stay sane:⁣ ⁣ 👣 Working out. I’m consciously alternating between functional training and yoga - for physical and mental health respectively. Yoga with AJ on @primevideoin is my go to. Aprajita teaches @theyogahousemumbai and is a fab teacher. Those endorphins seriously make it easier to get through the day.⁣ ⁣ 👩🏽‍ðŸÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ’» A movie / mini series a day. It just helps to take my mind off. I’ve been watching a LOT of period dramas - and finding hope in the fact that the west has come a really long way in terms of women’s rights in just a few generations. @unorthodoxnetflix, Art of Loving, Dangerous Beauty, The Other Boleyn Girl, Alias Grace are all based on true stories and worth watching.⁣ ⁣ 📖 Seriously wish books were “essential” enough to be available. Anyway, it’s been helpful losing myself in Murakami’s world with Kafka on the shore - though I must admit I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. Now back to non-fiction with Everyone loves a good drought (borrowed from a neighbour).⁣ ⁣ 😋 Never imagined food could be therapeutic! Been experimenting with delicious yet healthy vegan dishes - raw double chocolate brownies, nut butter, fermented cashew cheese, quinoa stir fry, beetroot patties, baked falafel etc. Anything more than 5 ingredients is usually scary for me but found plenty of easy recipes by @healthnut_india @vinitacontractor @sharanindia @minimalistbaker ⁣ ⁣ ðŸÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂŒ± Other things keeping me sane: Working on my blog, reading poetry in the Urdu script on @rekhta_foundation (slow but so satisfying), the occasional webinar, the sunset sky (despite all the construction around), sleeping in on some days (so there’s less of the day to get though!) and knowing somewhere within, that this too shall pass.⁣ ⁣ What about you, how are you staying sane? Any recommendations for films, shows or vegan recipes? ⁣ ⁣ PS: These mountains - so near yet so far 😭

A post shared by Shivya Nath (@shivya) on Apr 22, 2020 at 10:10pm PDT

Nath’s blog traffic has been dwindling, ongoing projects have been put on hold and potential assignments postponed indefinitely. To cope, she has been posting a mix of content on her Instagram and blog altering between past travel stories and lockdown inspiration. She doesn’t have any concrete travel plans as of now, considering the uncertain future of both domestic and international travel. She has been receiving updates from her friends in the responsible tourism space in India, on the devastating economic impact of India’s lockdown on local communities. “Even as nature seems to be healing without human activity, tourism jobs and wildlife conservation efforts are at stake. That makes me long to not just explore the incredible beauty of remote corners of India, but also to support and promote responsible tourism in the region,” she says.

Nath is of the view that when the world will start travelling again, travel writing – especially the kind that’s rooted in sustainability – will become more important than ever. The blogger has promised herself that when this pandemic is over, she’ll rush into the world and cry tears of joy.

Read: Travel Blogging In A Post Pandemic World Part 1


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