How Covid-19 could kill our Travelling Lives

How could Covid-19 kill off our travelling life? A question that looms large currently and that we are asking ourselves constantly at this difficult time. It may sound a little dramatic to suggest the pandemic could stop us travelling but there is good reason to worry.


Forward Planning

Our nomadic lifestyle means that it’s necessary for us to plan our lives well in advance and to make sure that we dot the i’s and cross the t’s with regard to organisation. Every single day has to be planned with accommodation being at the forefront of our minds constantly. We obviously can’t leave a single day blank as we need to be sure we have a bed for the night and somewhere to lays our weary heads.

Generally we try and plan our lives at least 3 months in advance, preferably 6 months though. Anything less can be a bit stressful as we then find that we are under pressure just to find somewhere, anywhere, to stay and part of our philosophy is that we like to choose which direction our lives are taking.

We published a post at the turn of the year called ‘Solving the Housesitting Puzzle‘ which described in detail how we fill our calendar with various bookings and trips and what the process looks like. We have a combination of options that we have to choose from;

  • Family visits
  • Housesitting
  • Meeting friends
  • Backpacking trips
  • Overseas trips
  • Life chores (doctors, dentist, storage, etc)
Lists

Friends and Family

The most important thing in our lives is seeing our three boys and their wives and arranging to connect with them is the first thing on our minds whenever we start looking into future arrangements. It’s not easy unfortunately as they have busy lives and we always want to arrange to get together on dates months in advance which doesn’t always suit the way they organise themselves. Plus we don’t want to be the type of parents that just turn up and hang around for too long overstaying our welcome.

We also have a couple of brothers each (and sister-in-laws of course) along with elderly Mums who we determinedly try to see as often as possible although once again it’s not always easy to arrange so far ahead because of their busy lives.

The coronavirus pandemic situation has meant that we have had to cancel so many meets and stays with family this year and still makes it tough going forward. We don’t feel as if we can just ask to stay at their houses now as we are constantly on public transport and travelling and it certainly brings an element of risk. It’s the same with friends that we have previously stayed with. Doesn’t feel right to impose ourselves in the current climate.

Leaving Tenerife
“Time to go”

Housesitting Opportunites

Housesitting has been the framework for all of our travelling plans over the past three years where we have organised housesits in various locations and then worked to fill the gaps with visits to family and friends or with backpacking trips. It has worked perfectly so far.

The number of housesits available on our chosen site TrustedHouseSitters has dropped through the floor unfortunately and that is completely due to the coronavirus situation. The people that we housesit for are generally going away on holiday and that usually means overseas. With travel totally disrupted worldwide those potential housesits are no longer available and we have had virtually every sit cancelled this summer that was previously booked. It obviously isn’t the hosts fault as I’m sure they would much prefer to get away on holiday but it makes planning ahead very difficult.

Making it even more perilous is the constant changing in quarantine rules regarding different countries. With France added a couple of weeks back and now Croatia and Austria it means that every newly-booked sit is a potential cancellation.


Transport Arrangements

With a lack of housesitting stays and visits organised the planning of transportation becomes almost impossible. We travel almost exclusively by train in the UK and always book well ahead to make it financially viable. That is becoming extremely difficult to do at the moment. With the chance of cancelled sits at the last minute we have to be careful about laying ourselves open to losing money on any train or bus bookings.

Overseas Trips

We love the UK and could spend weeks and months exploring and enjoying every aspect that it has to offer but we also like to venture abroad at regular intervals for little adventures. These types of trips are not at all possible currently with the risk of quarantine being added with minimal notice and us having nowhere at all to go for that quarantine.


The future of JWalking

We have a couple of housesits booked and a couple of trips away organised but beyond the first week of November we are struggling to find anything. We check new housesits every day and keep our eyes on international travel opportunities but it just feels far too risky to book anything overseas at this stage.

We were so very lucky to have been able to stay down in Devon when the covid-19 crisis exploded (Social Distancing across England) , and we were equally pleased to be offered our current 7 week housesit in Hove in East Sussex. These two stays have covered nearly 6 months and got us through the worst of the crisis but who knows what the future holds. The talk of a second wave is extremely concerning.

We are hoping that we will be able to find a few housesits to see us through until the spring when hopefully the pandemic situation will be more manageable and people will be confident in booking overseas trips once again. If not then we could be in trouble.

Pause button
Let’s hope our travels are just on pause …..

25/08/2020


51 comments

  1. Hi there – it’s a difficult time. When we returned to Australia from India in March we initially thought we’d continue travelling in Aus. However, even faster than the UK, travel was restricted and housesits dried up. We recognised we were going to have to suspend our travels. I was fortunate to obtain some work and we moved to Melbourne. Ironically, we’re now in some of the strictest lockdown restrictions in the world, but I can work remotely. We’re not really expecting to resume our vagabond lifestyle until 2023 at the earliest. However, we’re safe, have each other and once lockdown is lifted, will be enjoying living somewhere new. Jane has had the opportunity to develop her artwork and set up an online shop, Dandelion and Frankenstein, during this time. All part of the journey.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sounds like you’ve adapted to the situation really well Andy and been fortunate to be able to settle somewhere. Glad you have work to see you through and remote working is definitely going to become the norm now. Hope the online shop goes well and takes off.

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  2. It must be extremely hard for you at the moment at least you are actually living in the moment! I’m sure next year will be a busy one for you possibly with you having too many choices, let’s hope so anyway

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hopefully things will slowly get better and people will start travelling more but who knows when that might be. The world still seems to be really messed up so it could be a long time before normal returns.

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    • It’s changed our lives completely making planning ahead very difficult. Hopefully the world will start getting back to some sort of normal next year but it could take a while. We may just have to fly by the seat of our pants a bit more!

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    • I’m sure we’ll be okay, it’s just that we will have to adapt the way that we do things now. Not plan so far in advance maybe and organise more UK based trips.

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  3. Very uncertain times Ringo. Almost a triple whammy for you with no fixed abode or permanent jobs. Is volunteering an option? There must be plenty of companies out there running volunteer programs with one NGO or another.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tough times all round for everyone Mayo. I’m sure we’ll figure a few things out and see some options but currently the world looks a little dark and empty.

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  4. One of the most difficult things of this virus is not knowing what the future will look like. Sometimes that future can be as close as tomorrow. Who knows what our world will be like next year. We can be thankful that we’re not politicians and decision makers. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is that unknown that makes life so difficult for all of us ‘nomadic’ types isn’t it? Our lives are always slightly risky and undecided but this situation has taken that to a new extreme.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s seriously tough trying to look ahead and plan anything but we are keeping positive and trying to see it all as an opportunity rather than a problem. I’m sure we’ll find places to go but currently there is nothing anywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, that second wave is very worrying. We are feeling very safe in our WA bubble, pretty much sealed off from the world, and even the other half of Australia. Complacency will be our downfall though I feel, as people haven’t adapted well to the expected, ‘new normal’. Old habits like hugging and shaking hands are well entrenched. I suspect it’ll be a long, long time until there’s any clear light at the end of the tunnel, with a definite second wave, possible third wave, and even the possibility of re-infections. . Best of luck to which ever direction this topsy turvey world ends up taking you. I’m sure you Will both adapt to whatever is thrown your way. You are resilient, glass half full people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We like to think we’re glass half-full but it’s difficult sometimes when the media is so negative and full of pessimistic news. We try and ignore most of it and look on the bright side. I’m sure things will turn up and we will see some opportunities pop up. Glad you are keeping safe and well Chris.

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  6. I was wondering how you were faring Jonno, given your ‘planning in advance’ way of living. So thanks for this explanation and update. I do hope things settle down soon and you can return to your way of life but at the moment it’s just not possible is it? Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everything is still so uncertain with changes to quarantine rules every week and continual minor lockdowns everywhere. Very tricky to plan as normal but we are attempting to view it all as an opportunity and a challenge rather than let it get us down. Just part of life now.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It sounds like a very worrying time for you. Camping maybe a short term solution but not one you’d want over the winter months! Maybe some empty holiday homes will come up and owners will be happy to have someone use them during the colder, out of season times. Fingers crossed these terrible times get back to normal soon! Whatever that is!

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    • It’s the complete unknown that makes it so difficult especially as we usually like to plan well ahead. We are trying to view it all as an opportunity rather than a problem though, see how it goes.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Anabel, we try to stay as positive as we can which isn’t easy through all of this. Every cloud and all that. Trying our best to see the opportunities arising rather than the negative aspects.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m finding it a little frustrating not being able to travel, but I can imagine that Covid-19 must be playing absolute havoc with your planning! I hope things settle down soon and that you can carry on with your nomadic lifestyle…

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’re trying not to think about it too much Kate. Just attempting to see the possibilities and options that we have going forward. Avoiding the news and bad vibes out there and making our own optimistic visions. Who knows what is around the corner eh?

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    • Thanks Rosie, we’re keeping our eyes open for opportunities but they are few and far between. So many trips and holidays being cancelled currently and people are understandably nervous about going overseas still. Just trying to take each day as it comes. Hope all is good with you and you are keeping fit and healthy.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. How quickly everything has changed for you both and how quickly you have had to adapt! I really feel for you with all the uncertainty and not being able to plan ahead. Good luck for the future Jon and I hope you both remain safe and well wherever you go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The world has changed bigtime hasn’t it? It’s really upset our travel plans and made our lives very uncertain. However we decided not to stress or worry about any of it and just see it all as an opportunity. We’re just having to do things a little differently and it may cost us a bit more but that’s all part of the adventure.

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