Sounds a bit dramatic doesn’t it but in these ever-changing times this is a question that every traveller, housesitter, backpacker and tourist is asking themselves. With the world locked-down the lack of knowledge about the direction our future will take is increasingly hard to handle. This obviously affects every single person with prospective holiday or travel plans but is a question that perhaps looms even larger in the minds of full-time travellers than most.
What’s the situation?
Currently the UK continues to be heavily locked down with a whole raft of restrictions being applied to our daily lives. These do appear to be slowly easing but with regard to travel the landscape is still completely unknown. The government have said that the hospitality industry, which includes hotels and holiday accommodation, may be open at some stage after July 4th. Websites such as Airbnb, Booking.com, and Expedia allow bookings from that date but they are conditional on an actual official decision. The same applies to camping and holiday sites.
How does this affect our lives?
Our JWalking existence consists of a combination of backpacking, housesitting, volunteering, and visits to friends and family. None of these are possible at the moment under the current Covid-19 restrictions. We have been unbelievably lucky to have been able to stay down here in glorious Devon in a self-contained apartment for as long as it takes due to the immense kindness of Rose and Jim.
On March 23rd we were completely booked up with a complicated calendar full of trips and housesits all the way through to the beginning of September. With flights and train tickets booked, accommodation arranged in Europe and Asia, and housesits organised we had so much to be excited about. Fast forward two weeks and everything had been cancelled.
We are not the only people affected by this situation of course and are thoroughly enjoying our Devon adventure but the shadow of an unknown future hangs heavily in the air.
Are we planning anything at the moment?
No. We can’t plan or organise a thing as we have no idea when we will be able to leave Devon let alone book any trips or housesits. We are both itching to restart our travelling lives but are having to be patient and just wait until a decision is made. We talk about the future all of the time and about places we would like to visit and things that we would like to do, but it’s all just talk. We have lots of ideas for mini-adventures both at home and overseas but once again they are currently just ideas.
Are we planning to housesit again?
Yes of course, and we do actually have a few friends and previous housesitting hosts that we have been in regular contact with that want us to return. They are all in exactly the same position as us of course with holidays and trips being cancelled but as soon as they are able to go on holiday I am convinced that we will be receiving a few emails asking for our services. More waiting though unfortunately.
A huge consideration for us is that even though we may be able to get to a housesitting location we would need to be able to book accommodation in Premier Inns or Travelodges for those odd days as we travelled. Without that option it just wouldn’t work out.
Will our travelling lives be the same?
I guess that we both hope that once the restraints are off we will be able to return to exactly the same sort of nomadic existence that we previously enjoyed but it may not be that simple. We have always hopped from one place to another meeting friends and staying with family on a regular basis but may have to accept that our lifestyle could make people nervous in our company in the future. However careful we are we completely understand that our heavy use of public transport and continual movement from one house or hotel to another makes us potentially risky guests in some peoples eyes. This is something we have to carefully consider and will become an important factor in our future plans.
I don’t think we’ll be going overseas in the next six months but that’s absolutely no problem for either of us because we love our country and there is so much of it that we haven’t yet seen. We have lots of mini trips in mind throughout England and Wales and hope that the housesitting world open up again to compliment those travels.
What are we waiting for?
Initially we are waiting for an announcement from Boris and the government on when UK travel will be possible. Rules regarding overnight stays public transport use, and visiting peoples houses will have to have eased before we can even think about moving on. We are in the process of drawing up a list of prerequisites that have to be met before we can move on. Requirements such as train travel being available, hotels being bookable, new housesits being advertised, and family being comfortable with us staying all have to be met.
Plus, according to Jo, the most important requirement for future travel ……….. coffee shops need to be open! And she wants her coffee in a proper cup too!
So will our lives be different?
Undoubtedly they will but there is just no knowing how different. Face masks whilst travelling and continued social distancing will become the norm with hand hygiene and avoiding face-touching part of our regular lives. Our nomadic lifestyle involves meeting and interacting with a lot of different people in differing locations and we desperately do not want that to change. If it has to though we are very adaptable and will change our travelling ways to suit the changing travel environment.
Hopefully this crisis is just a Pause in our travels and not a Stop.