Our response to COVID-19: Here’s how we’re keeping travel alive today

Just because the world’s physically in lockdown doesn’t mean that we can’t keep living our best travel life.

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It’s no surprise that we’re feeling somewhat uncertain, restless, jittery, stuck, devastated, now that our 2020 travel plans have just gone out the window. Travel has become a necessary part of our life and lifestyle. Enviously following our friend’s travel photos on Facebook, scrolling endlessly on Instagram for #travelinspo, jumping onto the next flight deals, and ticking off the next thing in our travel bucket list — hiking Machu Picchu, chilling on the Almalfi Coast, chasing the northern lights in Norway, taking in the cherry blossoms and all the yakitori in Tokyo — was often the thing that kept us going at work — knowing that we had a holiday to look forward to.

We’ve all heard the “I want an authentic, local experience — not the tourist traps” talk. Inherently, we look for a sense of adventure, discovery and wonderment of being in a new place. To find the hidden, unspoken gems of a city. To lose yourself in a place that is so far removed from the comfort and monotony of your everyday. To take in flavours that tickle your tastebuds. To meet new people and make new friends — regardless of language, culture, or geography. To observe new cultures and how people live differently. To realise and learn that the world is much, much bigger than just what is in front of you. For me, that’s what travel’s taught me over the years, and it’s why I cannot wait for my next trip.

It was precisely because Thomas and I were travelling in 2018 that we found ourselves overwhelmed and frustrated by the ‘planning and admin’ of travel, that we decided that there needs to be a better way to travel. It was sometime in 2019 and 100’s of research interviews later with friends and friends of friends (thank you) that we learnt first hand, how much travel meant to so many people, how much time, money and effort was put into the entire travel experience, and how broken this whole experience actually was — despite beautiful Instagram posts. Ambitiously (or naively), we decided to embark on this journey of reimagining the future of travel. Our goal at Travis is to make modern travel easy for the digital generation — so that anyone in the world can travel the world, their way.

Fast forward to today. Yes, the global tourism, hospitality and many more industries to come are suffering the relentless impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. And we are merely feeling our way through this crisis one step at a time. But amidst the panic shopping, anxiety-inducing growth in numbers, and 24/7 news coverage, what we really need is a sense of normality, community, humour, and hope. What I’ve observed on online communities is both confusion and collective disappointment over cancelled trips, but also a coming together to share, appreciate and celebrate the diversity and beauty of different places around the world.

So while it looks like we won’t be travelling for awhile IRL, we can bring together a digital community where anyone, anywhere in the world, can continue to share and discover new places from the comfort of our homes, from behind a screen. Most importantly, we already do this — online, and all the time. Say hello to a little project called #ARMCHAIRADVENTURES!

We want you to have fun with this. Share your travel photos, to help others discover new places and cities.

  1. 🛋 Find a cosy armchair. Or your favourite spot — bed, rug, beanbag, nook.
  2. 📷 Dig up your favourite photos. Of your recent trips, of the city that you live in, of places that were on your itinerary this year. They’re probably already sitting on your phones or laptops.
  3. 💻 Head to www.armchairadventures.club and create a new collection. Upload these photos, name the locations, tell us your stories.
  4. 📲 Share. Share on FB or Instagram with the hashtag #armchairadventures. Repeat as many times as you want.

Think of it as a way to keep your travel urges at bay while we’re all indoors because our #WFH and #netflixandchill dreams have become a necessary reality. And when we’re all ready to travel again we’ll have our travel collections ready to go!

In the meantime, our little Travis team is still working to build the future of travel, with a few changes to deal with the recent curveballs. If you have any further ideas or comments, please drop me a line at nicole@travistravis.co. I can’t wait to see what we can build together!

Nicole Tj

Co-founder & CEO, Travis

P.S. Check out my #armchairadventures collections here!

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