Lately, with the threat and spread of COVID-19, many of us have seen our ‘everyday world’ become infinitely smaller…



Our days are coloured by the sunrises and sunsets we watch from our front doors instead of our windscreens; by the walls and garden fences we are ever surrounded by; by the colleagues, loved ones and friends we virtually greet; and by the stillness of our great cities that have, by and large, ground to a hard, yet necessary halt the world over…

And yet, despite our lack of freedom, nagging fears and the general uncertainty of life as we now know it – there is still space for dreaming. Ample room for hope. And yes, a need for true passion.
Past Memories and Travel Wishes for One Day…
In light of this, I have invited my fellow bloggers and travellers to share their last memories pre-COVID-19; their travel wishes for ‘one day’ when things are better (whenever that may be) – and above all, their individual perspectives on what life during the time of corona is really like.

Because although we still cannot travel – now more than ever, we can reflect and dream…
Disclaimer: Please note that all opinions, thoughts and feelings expressed in each guest feature – with the exception of the Editor’s Feature – are independent of Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust. All photos have been used with each guest’s express permission. This post is intended to inspire, uplift and comfort only. None of us know when we will be able to travel again… But, until we can, let’s share memories and inspire one another. All future travel wishes are entirely hypothetical at this time. I do not encourage any form of travel during COVID-19. For more on my views on this, please see here. Please respect and adhere to all COVID-19 guidelines and health and safety measures in your towns, cities and countries. Obey the laws and restrictions set out to protect yourself and those around you. Let’s keep each other safe, as we fight this virus together. Guest Post Feature: Maya Dajee, The Food Musketeer Photo by: The Food MusketeerClick Here to Read Maya’s Guest Feature 1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
I went to Turkey in August last year, hoping to go on a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia for my 40th – but we had freak weather both days so that I couldn’t go; I spent the rest of the time in Istanbul.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure or activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
I really want to go to Kruger National Park – or alternatively, a road trip to Cape Town.
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
I am locked down at home, working, for the past month. My company was proactive in asking us to work from home and have been pretty flexible with us.
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
Never take people or things for granted. You can plan well ahead – and your plans can change in an instant. Make the most of your life now, if you can.
To read about and see all of Maya’s food and travel stories, follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
 
Guest Post Feature: Di Brown, The Roaming Giraffe Photo by: The Roaming GiraffeClick Here to Read Di’s Guest Feature 1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
Locally, I was at the remote Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, experiencing their incredible Walking Safari.  COVID-19 had just reached South Africa, two cases in KZN and we joked about staying at Sanbona for safety. COVID-19 was not real to us yet.

I returned from Sanbona and had two days to prepare and pack for a media trip to Thailand. We flew out on the 11th of March; SA COVID-19 numbers were 3 or 4; still confined to the group from KZN. Thailand was deemed safe by WHO with just 70 cases.

We explored Thailand and initially forgot about COVID-19. Apart from compulsory hand sanitising and temperature checks entering and leaving shops, hotels and public places, it was life as normal. Some popular tourist attractions were closed and social distancing was practiced and we benefited from the smaller crowds.

Then, five days into our trip, we all received sobering Whatsapps from home. The President had declared  COVID-19 a national disaster and we read the rules and absorbed this news, feeling somewhat shocked.

Our hosts were fantastic and we were given the opportunity to return home – but being a bunch of travel writers, we chose to complete our planned itinerary. COVID-19 become a daily topic of conversation, with daily updates of the situation both at home and in Thailand.

Things escalated fast and our return journey home was eerie. The bustling airports in Bangkok and Singapore were almost deserted. Masks were compulsory, as was temperature screening.

Three days after arriving home, lockdown was declared in South Africa and in Thailand… Our timing was good.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
As soon as we can move freely, I will go to the beach. Just to walk in the sand, sit and watch the ocean – and take photos, of course!

I will also go up to the top of Table Mountain in the cable car and walk around on the top for hours, admiring the views and enjoying the wide open spaces.

As for travel, I will go anywhere to the bush for a total immersion into nature, to reconnect and marvel at whatever changes nature has made in our absence.
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
Life is good. I am very fortunate to be in a house, with a garden, in a quiet suburb in Cape Town. Lockdown for the middle class is a holiday compared to what most of the country has to endure.

I am enjoying being forced to slow down and appreciate how lucky I am; I have not had time to be bored.
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
COVID-19 has taught me that there are always opportunities in a crisis. We are all being given a chance to re-evaluate our lives and reset to something better than the madness that was normal in 2020, pre-COVID-19.

It has shown me how amazing the people of our country are and what we can achieve when party politics are put aside and we all work together.

I am excited for the future because I believe it will be better than normal, pre-COVID-19 life. It has taught us all to really look at ourselves, our country and our role in creating a better South Africa.
To read about and see all of Di’s travel stories and experiences, you can check out her blog and follow her on Instagram.
 
Guest Post Feature: Susann Deysel, Goddess Blog
 
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A post shared by Goddess Blog by Susann Deysel (@goddesscoza) on Feb 3, 2020 at 7:07am PST


Click Here to Read Susann’s Guest Feature1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
I went to Cape Town on business – and made time to:
go on a tour of the Winelands with Beyond the Vine; admire a sunset from Table Mountain; eat ice cream while walking down the promenade.Covid-19 wasn’t even beyond China back then. 2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
I want to go on a hot air balloon ride and go somewhere with my kids where we’ll get to use their fresh new passports!

I’m also hoping to visit a few local attractions in Gauteng, North West and Limpopo on a family road trip… Most importantly, I want to have my birthday lunch at Graceland Eco Retreat out in Limpopo!
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
I’ve been in self-isolation since 15 March with my kids in Joburg. It’s never been this quiet in my vibrant city – not even in December!

From my balcony, I can see a river and trees and sometimes I want to jump down, scale a fence and just go sit there. Going out to buy food or medicine is unsettling, with very few people out.
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
There is a hero in each of us – and South Africans have taken this pandemic and lockdown as a time to support charities and initiatives to feed the less fortunate and buy local (even if the delivery may only happen in a few weeks).

I am a proud South African and I believe that Africa can survive this.
To read about and see all of Susann’s travel stories and experiences, you can check out her blog and follow her on Instagram.
 
Guest Post Feature: Abigail Green, The Entertainment Journal Photo by: The Entertainment Journal Click Here to Read Abigail’s Guest Feature1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
My husband and I travelled to Bali, Indonesia in December 2019. I feel very lucky that we were able to do this… It was an amazing trip.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
I’d like to see more of Africa. I can’t wait to travel to Mozambique one day in the future.
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
I’m in Cape Town and things are fine where I am. Even with the extended lockdown, I can’t complain.  I work from home, Mondays to Fridays, so that helps to maintain a sense of normalcy.
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
The pandemic has taught me to be more appreciative of both the people and the things – like a safe place to stay; meals every day; and even church services via YouTube – I have in my life. It has taught me to be grateful.
To read about and see all of Abigail’s travel stories and experiences, you can check out her blog and follow her on Instagram.
 
Guest Post Feature: Nika Grizila, Nika Grizila Blog
 
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A post shared by Nika Grizila (@nikagrizila) on Mar 20, 2020 at 1:26pm PDT


Click Here to Read Nika’s Guest Feature1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 abroad?
Luckily, I had a pretty amazing travel experience right before the lockdown; I came back on 3 March and the lockdown began on 15 March in Slovenia.

I started my travels on 16 January: I travelled to Moscow and stayed there for five weeks working as a volunteer in a hostel (via Workaway). After that, I travelled to Saint Petersburg by train, stayed for five days and then continued my train journey to Lahti and Helsinki, where I visited a friend.

I was quite worried about my flight home because I flew to Venice – but fortunately, everything went smoothly.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
I’m planning on flying to Valencia, Spain, as soon as this is over. The reason is simple: my boyfriend lives there.

I’m not only in love with him – but with the city too. I can’t wait to walk on the long, sandy beach again, to swim, sunbathe and have tapas, sitting outside.
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
I live in a Slovenian coastal town, Koper. In Slovenia, we’re allowed to go out to exercise, as long as we’re alone or with members of our household.

You are not allowed to meet other people, sit in parks or hang out anywhere. Everything’s closed, except shops, pharmacies, hospitals and certain companies.

I’m doing okay; I feel lucky to be able to stay with my mum, whom I get along with very well.
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
Being able to spend time with friends, family and partners is everything.

Also, I’m not doing the things that I love, such as reading and writing, enough.

Otherwise, I think that the most positive thing in general is that we stopped some of the activities that are ruining the planet.
To read about and see all of Nika’s travel stories and experiences, you can check out her blog and follow her on Instagram.
 
Guest Post Feature: Brett Anderson, BrettFish
 
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A post shared by Brett Anderson (@brettfisha) on Jan 28, 2020 at 1:25am PST


Click Here to Read Brett’s Guest Feature1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
My wife and I got to spend two months in the Philippines (where she spent almost ten years growing up); one month travelling with her dad and the second month at a beach resort on Palawan Island, writing.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
To be honest, this is as simple as go to Durban for a few weeks. My younger sister and some of my best friends in the world live there and we were planning a trip there later this year before the ‘Homepocalypse’ happened.

So just getting to go and hang with great mates and have good laughs and experience the Durban vibe feels like the best holiday ever.
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
It is just me and my wife, tbV, aka the beautiful Val, staying in our rented spot in Diep River, Cape Town. But compared to the majority of people in South Africa and probably the world, we have it really good.

My work is all gathering related and so has stopped completely, -but her research contract has ensured that we will make it through this time more than okay.

And we have been finding enough variety of rhythm each day (baking, board games, gardening, series, Sudoku, puzzles, reading and writing…) to make it through.
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
I’m not sure that ‘taught you’ is the right phrase for us but more ‘shown you’ perhaps… And it has been the incredible nature of so many of the people we know to focus on those who are less well off than ourselves.

So my wife has been part of the local Community Action Network (CAN) helping to organise people in our community to make a difference and partnering with a less resourced CAN – in our case, Lavender Hill – to make sure that every need it covered as much as possible.

Some Improv friends of mine have created a YouTube channel for children called ‘Character Stories for Children’ that drops a new story every day at 15:00 pm and that young children have been enjoying.

And (we’ve) also been connected to a large group of people rallying to try and make a difference to the homeless people who were rounded up and dumped in Strandfontein in less than ideal circumstances.

So in the midst of a global tragedy, it has been so amazing to see how so many people have rallied to the various causes.
To read about and see all of Brett’s stories and experiences, you can check out his blog and follow him on Instagram.
 
Guest Post Feature: Julie Glück, One Stop Wanderlust
 
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A post shared by Julie Glück | South Africa (@onestopwanderlust) on Oct 22, 2019 at 7:23am PDT


Click Here to Read Julie’s Guest Feature 1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
Our last family getaway took place early March, just as the COVID-19 pandemic really started to erupt globally. We enjoyed such a peaceful, relaxing weekend away at Kwetu Guest Farm in Swellendam, blissfully unaware of the changes that lay just around the corner…

Wide open space to wander, starry skies and animals were just the tonic we were lucky enough to enjoy before going into lockdown together.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
Besides an escape, lying on a tropical beach far away, sipping Piña coladas and listening to the sound of crashing waves, I’d love to soak up the soul food that being in the bush provides.

My kids have never been to a proper game reserve yet, so this is very high on my list of wanderlust-worthy getaways to plan.

Local is definitely the most lekker for a bush break. Domestic travel will definitely gain traction quicker than overseas travel after this and SA is a spectacular place to explore.
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
Life currently involves lockdown in Cape Town with three young kids, hubby and three cats, including a new curtain-surfing kitten to add to the precarious dynamics!

It’s mostly peaceful, never boring but has also has challenges as one tries to juggle work, house chores, school programmes and draining the kids’ energy.

We’ve had lots of fun and also a few moments of serious frustration with each other. It can be tricky keeping the kids’ mute buttons on while dad sits on conference calls!
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
Lockdown life has taught me that our family has been able to manage being cooped up extensively together much better than expected.

Sure, the house has felt like the set of a wild west show at times, especially with two twin boys in the mix – but we’ve been able to do lovely activities together that the rat race of real life makes very difficult to fit in.

Real life will now be an adjustment, to be honest.
To read about and see all of Julie’s travel stories and experiences, you can check out her blog and follow her on Instagram.
 
Guest Post Feature: Chandré Friedman, Chandré Does Photo by: Chandré DoesClick Here to Read Chandré’s Guest Feature 1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
My last travel adventure was going from Pretoria to Port Elizabeth but stopping at the small towns and big towns along the way. It was a bit of a family trip, as my husband and my mother came along, and we got to see some of the beauty that is the Eastern Cape.

I would move to Graaff-Reniet at a drop of a hat if I could. The whole town just has something magical to it and the Valley of Desolation is hard to describe to people – but a bit of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Patensie has some of the best food stalls I have ever found; Eastern Cape Bobotie pie is just something that Pretorians have to dream about and take road trips to get.

My favourite place in the Eastern Cape has to be Addo National Park though. Even in a severe drought where the fynbos looks crispy it’s so dry, the Elephants are ninjas and suddenly appear out the growth.

I know these are not the usual places people from Gauteng tend to flock to – but there is something magical about the Eastern Cape that people need to explore.

Whether it is the beaches around Kenton-on-Sea and Jeffreys Bay to the historical district of Port Elizabeth and the small towns near all the national parks… It can take years to truly discover all of the Eastern Cape.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
We decided that, even though we love going overseas and had been planning a trip to Germany this year, we are going to be travelling in and around South Africa for the next while.

Our two biggest trips are Kruger National Park with family and friends; I have never been so very excited to get to go! I am attempting to get better at wildlife and landscape photography, so that makes me extremely excited.
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
I am in Pretoria, which is my home town. We moved back here from Joburg a year ago.

It’s nice being able to hear the birds in the mornings and overall, though I like being around town, being at home is peaceful and we are doing okay.
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
Life has done a 180 on me; I have had to learn how to work as a therapist online to see my patients. Things are a lot quieter and more peaceful for me. Income-wise, this has been a knock – but we will get through this.

I am enjoying spending more time with my husband and our cats and getting to sort out the cupboard that has been bugging me for months.
To read about and see all of Chandré’s travel stories and experiences, you can check out her blog and follow her on Instagram.
 
Guest Post Feature: Alma van As, Roaming Fox Photo by: Roaming FoxClick Here to Read Alma’s Guest Feature 1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
The last time I travelled was a road trip to the Kruger National Park and through the Limpopo Province, stopping off at various different bush camps and national parks.

We camped in the Magaliesberg at Mountain Sanctuary Park as well.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
Locally, I would love to go to the bush, the sea and the mountains – I cannot pick just one – but I would love to spend time in nature!

Internationally, there are two countries I would love to travel to but I am afraid those borders will probably be closed for quite a while still.
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
Life is continuing much the same. We live in the suburbs of Johannesburg and I am working from home, writing blogs.

There are some restrictions naturally, but overall, I am very thankful for what I have and where I am.
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
To me, family and friends are far more important than possessions. Good health is equally important, both mentally and physically. If you have that, you should consider yourself extremely wealthy.

I am very thankful to hear when my family and friends continue to stay healthy – not only during lockdown.
But, of course, I have to add that I would be very grateful when we can travel again.
To read about and see all of Alma’s travel stories and experiences, you can check out her blog and follow her on Instagram.
 
Guest Post Feature: Nicolette Peters, NikkiDiscovers
 
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A post shared by Nicolette Peters (@nikkidiscovers) on Jun 18, 2019 at 9:22am PDT


Click Here to Read Nikki’s Guest Feature 1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
The last place I travelled to was Bela-Bela in Limpopo, where I helped with a donkey outreach programme. I stayed at Zebula Lodge and even though I was busy at work, I got to spot some wildlife.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
Locally, I want to visit my friend in Mpumalanga and check out the waterfalls there.

Internationally, I’d like to visit my friends in Germany, France and the Netherlands.
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
The lockdown in Cape Town is okay for me so far.

I’m blessed to be able to work from home since I write research reports on animal welfare issues… I just miss walking at the beach.
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
I have discovered that I’m good at staying indoors. I have been reading, blogging, cooking and baking a lot to pass the time.
To read about and see all of Nikki’s travel stories and experiences, you can check out her blog and follow her on Instagram.
 
Guest Post Feature: Karen Marais, Mommy in Cape Town
 
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A post shared by Karen Marais (@mommyincapetown) on May 13, 2019 at 10:05am PDT


Click Here to Read Karen’s Guest Feature 1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
My family and I went to visit Greyton. I love the little town with its slow pace and unique feel. We try to stay in little towns when we go away for the weekend. You always find the quirkiest places and the best characters.

The week before lockdown, Emily (my daughter) and I went to the V&A Waterfront and did all the touristy things we usually can’t do because of long lines. It was wonderful being a tourist in our own city.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
I can’t wait to get back on the beach! I miss the ocean and our long walks on the beach with my daughter and dog.
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
My little family are in extended lockdown in Cape Town. We are incredibly lucky that my husband can work from home. I am “attempting” to teach my daughter from home – but we are mostly doing arts and crafts projects and baking.

It has been tough not being able to see family members. It has been toughest on my daughter. She doesn’t understand “why” we can’t see Granny or why she can’t go play with friends.
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
The lockdown has taught me to go back to basics. At the start of lockdown, I had a schedule for homeschooling, but it always ended in me shouting and my daughter almost having a meltdown. (I am not a teacher – those special people are saints!) Now, I’m more relaxed in our schedule. Maths is baking in the kitchen. We do something fun together and play in our garden.

Lockdown has taught me that we can survive and live well on less. I have started to bake more, pickled my own onions and started to use my kitchen the way it was supposed to be used. We sit down for meals as a family.

Spending more time with my daughter has made me see this amazing littler person up close; her personality is blossoming.

The COVID-19 has made me see how incredibly lucky and privileged I am.
To read about and see all of Karen’s travel stories and experiences, you can check out her blog and follow her on Instagram.
 
Guest Post Feature: Tamy Botha Photo by: Tamy BothaClick Here to Read Tamy’s Guest Feature 1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
Clarens in the Free State.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
Our Maldives holiday, which we were so excited about, was cancelled due to the COVID-19. So I can’t wait to start planning that again. I can see myself relaxing on a hammock in the crystal clear waters…
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
Just me and my husband in our household! We are in lockdown in Gauteng with our two pugs!

Everything is pretty good and we are taking this opportunity to reset from the everyday chaos and spend some much needed quality time together.
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
I realise that life doesn’t always need to be a rush! There can definitely be a healthy balance between making time for loved ones and work.
To read about and see all of Tamy’s travel stories and experiences, you can follow her on Instagram.
 
Guest Post Feature: Judy MacGregor, Fun Mamma SA Photo by: Mariede DesignClick Here to Read Judy’s Guest Feature 1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
We usually spend our weekends exploring local Cape Town attractions and our last outing was to Drakenstein Lion Park and Chimp Haven.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
I can’t wait to take my three-year-old up Table Mountain, to breathe in the fresh air and be surrounded by nature.
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
We are currently in Cape Town during lockdown, in our small flat with a tiny yard. The four walls are quite restrictive when we are used to getting out to enjoy nature.

But life during the week hasn’t changed much; we are still homeschooling and I work from home normally.
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
To slow down and be more intentional about my time.
To read about and see all of Judy’s travel stories and experiences, you can check out her blog and follow her on Instagram.
 
Guest Feature: Kat Milne, Travel Kat Tours Photo by: Travel Kat ToursClick Here to Read Kat’s Guest Feature 1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 abroad?
At the beginning of February 2020, I was lucky enough to travel to Romania for 10 days.  I flew into the capital, Bucharest and explored the city for a couple of days before making my way to the well-known region of Transylvania.

It is a beautiful part of the world, full of enhanced forests, medieval castles and walled cities. Of course I had to visit the famous Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle).

However, my favourite place in all of Romania was the fortress town of Sighişoara. Since I travelled in the off-season, the town was very quiet meaning that we could enjoy the quaint colourful streets on our own.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
When life returns to “normal”, the first domestic trip for me will be to travel back to my hometown of Keith in the North East of Scotland. I live in Edinburgh, the capital city, but my roots and family are up in the rural county of Moray.

The region is full of Scottish whisky distilleries, rocky coastal paths and Scots pine forests!

I cannot wait to walk through some woodland and maybe explore a castle. There are over 2 000 castles in Scotland; I’ve only seen a tiny portion of them!
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
Here in the UK, we are four weeks into a lockdown. The government recently extended the lockdown for a further three weeks. This means that we are only allowed outside for grocery shopping, pharmacy trips and for light exercise once a day.

Before the COVID 19 outbreak, I ran a successful business in tourism. My main focus was on walking tours in the historic old town of Edinburgh. However, because of the lack of demand and the lockdown rules, I have had to pause operations on my business until the pandemic dissolves.

To keep my bank balance (read: travel fund) topped up, I recently undertook a temporary job in a supermarket, where I work night shift.

The situation in the UK is scary and uncertain – but every Thursday evening from our front doors and windows we applaud and make noise for our National Health Service (NHS), who are working on the front line.

Hopefully when it is safe to do so, we will be able to spend time with friends and family soon!
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
To be honest, this is a difficult question for me to answer. 

I think one positive thing I am very grateful for is my happy home life. I live with my partner and we are fortunate enough to have a warm cosy home and a fridge full of food. I understand we are in a lucky position in comparison to others in this situation. 

I have also learned that I am destined to be a ‘free bird’ outside; one of the reasons I love my job as a tour guide is that I get to work outside in all weathers.

I have come to realise that I am fortunate that I have a career that I actually love and maybe before the lockdown, I hadn’t quite appreciated it.
To read about and see all of Kat’s travel stories and experiences, you can check out her blog and follow her on Instagram.
 
Guest Feature: Deirdré Gower, Accessible South Africa Photo by: Deirdré GowerClick Here to Read Deirdré’s Guest Feature 1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
We did a road trip to Knysna in June 2019 to participate in the Knysna Cycle Tour with a few of our Warrior On Wheels Foundation buggy teams. We made a weekend of it and spent time with our family in Plettenberg Bay and also visited the Knysna Elephant Park at the same time.

Before that we roadtripped to the KZN Midlands for a family wedding and mini-family reunion over the Easter weekend.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
The first thing I’m going to do is go for a horse ride in the wildlife sanctuary (I’m a horse trail guide for a living and I’m missing the horses, riding and the wildlife incredibly!).

I also can’t wait to go for a long bike ride with our buggy team and to go for a hike with my son, Damian, and just enjoy being in nature again.

Before the world went crazy, we had already bought plane tickets to the Seychelles for August this year to visit family and celebrate my niece’s baby’s first birthday – so I’m not sure if that is still going to be possible for this year – but if it is, that is something we would love to do, of course!
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
We have been in lockdown for three weeks in Cape Town and have two weeks to go. We are realising personally how fortunate and privileged we are to be comfortable during this time, as we know there are many families without food and basic amenities.

I am acutely aware of how many are struggling in our country at the moment with the lack of food, no income, and the fear of the future after COVID-19.

There are parents in our circle who have had no choice but to send children to family members while they carry out their essential services and duties to keep their children safe from this virus – so I get frustrated when I see people complaining about not being able to go out and run or cycle or walk dogs.
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
Gratitude for what I have has been the underlying feeling during this time – it could have been a lot worse (and may still get worse if this extends indefinitely) – but I am conscious daily that it is much worse for others and that right now, we are okay.

The months leading up to this were my busiest time of the year with very little to no time to rest, so this has created the opportunity to redefine what’s important, focus on the health of my son and my own and rediscover the things that contribute to our overall well-being and fulfilment in life.

I’ve had time to connect with friends and family and I’m exercising most days, practicing yoga and meditation again, reading and catching up with neglected admin.
To read about and see all of Deirdré’s travel stories and experiences, you can check out Accessible South Africa and follow them on Instagram. Guest Feature: Jayne McElwee, Love Camping Photo by: Love CampingClick Here to Read Jayne’s Guest Feature 1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
The last place we visited before COVID-19 lockdown (one week before actually) was Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. We camped at Richtersberg for four nights and then stayed at Tatasberg for three nights.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
We live on a farm in the Klein Karoo right beneath the Klein Swartberg mountains, so we are incredibly fortunate to still be able to get out and hike and feel relatively free and close to nature!

We do, however, desperately want to go back to Laos or do a camping road trip in the States mainly to visit Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and California.
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
In addition to the above comments, life here is very quiet and slow-paced but that isn’t too different to how it normally is. Farming activity is continuing around us, so it feels kind of normal.

We just plan our trips to the nearest town more carefully but admittedly, still try walk most evenings and hike in the mountains or hills on the weekends… Spoilt!
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
You have to make more time for yourself and all the other things you want to do. We live for work and pay cheques rather than ourselves.

As a freelance brand consultant, work has literally halted. While it is scary, it simultaneously relieves the pressure of temporarily needing to work, which means I can focus on other things. There’s a great freedom in that… well, at least until money to live becomes an issue!
To read about and see all of Jayne’s travel stories and experiences, you can check out her blog and follow her on Instagram. Guest Feature: Sara Essop, In Africa and Beyond
 
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A post shared by Sara Essop – Travel Blogger (@inafricaandbeyond) on Apr 16, 2020 at 5:18am PDT


Click Here to Read Sara’s Guest Feature 1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
I had an amazing holiday with my family in Spain, Portugal and the UAE in December. It’s so sad how Spain has suffered since then.

Locally, we were looking forward to travelling in some of the most beautiful parts of the Western Cape during the school holidays in March/April.

We were already in Cape Town and about to start our travels there, when the President announced the lockdown and we had to cancel the trip and rush back to Johannesburg.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
I want to go to the bush on a safari. It’s my happy place and where I feel most at peace… amidst South Africa’s stunning game reserves.
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
I am with my husband and two kids at our house in Johannesburg so it’s not so bad. I am still working from home, as I normally do and we just go out to buy groceries, occasionally.
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
I have learnt that tough ordeals in life prepare you for other difficulties, so it’s important to just hang in there – and remember: this too shall pass.
To read about and see all of Sara’s travel stories and experiences, you can check out her blog and follow her on Instagram. Guest Feature: Rozzie Allen, An Elephant in my Suitcase Photo by: An Elephant in my SuitcaseClick Here to Read My Rozzie’s Guest Feature 1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
We went to visit the Kruger National Park with a panel van full of furniture – and stayed there for nine months in 2019.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
I would fly into Munich and explore the fairytale towns nearby, then coach and train through Prague, (Czech Republic), Poland to visit the small, old towns and up to Vilnius (Lithuania), Riga (Latvia), Tallinn (Estonia) and into glorious St Petersburg and then fly home!
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
My husband and I are living in a small cottage in Durban and I am feeling cramped up, frustrated and concerned.
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
It has taught me help older friends living alone and made me communicate daily with my sister in Wales.
To read about and see all of Rozzie’s travel stories and experiences, you can check out her blog and follow her on Instagram. Guest Feature: Sonam Sareen
 
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A post shared by Sonam Sareen (@miss_sareen) on Feb 28, 2020 at 3:27am PST


Click Here to Read Sonam’s Guest Feature 1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
I was in Cape Town in February. Although it was my second time visiting the Mother City, I got to explore much more this time.
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
I need to go back to Cape Town; I have so much more to see and do.

I want to go up Table Mountain on a clear day. I want to travel the wine route and sample the country’s finest wines… Oh my goodness, I just have to visit Hermanus and hopefully see the whales!
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
I am currently confined to my home in Durban. I am working from home so there is no time to be bored.

I have not left my home or had any interaction with the outside world since the lockdown started… I really miss driving!
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
Being in lockdown has taught me the value of preserving necessities for tomorrow. I do not need those pair of shoes I saw online.

I value having the freedom that I had – the ability to wake up in the morning, get dressed in my finest and drive to work.

But most importantly, I value having a job through this tough time.
To read about and see all of Sonam’s travel stories and experiences, you can follow her on Instagram.
 
Editor’s Feature: Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust

Click Here to Read My Editor’s Feature 1) What was the last place you travelled to or travel-related activity you enjoyed pre-COVID-19 in SA or abroad?
My last travel experience before COVID-19 hit SA shores on a personal level was my birthday weekend. On the Saturday, my birthday, my good friend and travel partner, Alicia, and I went for lunch, followed by a wine and ice-cream tasting at Bloemendal Wine Estate in the Durbanville Wine Valley. It was a really fun, special way to spend my birthday… and in hindsight, I realise how lucky I was to celebrate my day like that.

Then, the next day, my parents treated me to lunch, followed by a memorable drive from the Northern Suburbs to Chapman’s Peak Drive. We spent some time sightseeing the whole False Bay side (a region I adore) and, just before heading home, stopped for some excellent ice-cream in Simon’s Town… the perfect way to cap off a glorious summer’s day!

It was a really special birthday weekend and arguably one of my best to date, especially when I think how the months have since unfolded globally… 
2) Hypothetical: Where/what is one travel adventure/activity you would love to do if and when the world contains COVID-19 or rather, life becomes more ‘normal’ for us again?
Honestly, I think I will be grateful just to walk around my neighbourhood again! I used to enjoy going for a weekly shop at my local shopping centre. It’s down the road from me (literally) so it is always a good way to get some fresh air and exercise while also handling my shopping.

Lately, I have found I miss the mundane things as much as the grand adventures… and that has surprised me because I’m always so impatient to travel, planning my next adventure, and ‘everyday life’ used to become stifling for me.

In terms of travel, one day when things are calmer, I really want to go for a hike, any hike. I just want to head into the mountains and forget about all the troubles we have faced in 2020.

I know that we can’t make them disappear and I believe everything you go through in life happens for a reason but truthfully – I just want to vanish into nature for a while and heal my travel-loving soul.
3) What is life like where you find yourself currently? Either in your province/city or wherever you are stuck/living.
In South Africa, we have been under lockdown since 26 March officially – but I have been at home since 24 March so it feels a bit strange at times to think I haven’t left my flat in so long.

I work and exercise from home now so that’s been helpful and a blessing, as many people cannot do this. Personally, I would hate to just be stuck at home with nothing to do… I am someone who needs to stay busy and goal-orientated even in a pandemic.

And I have a porch and patch of garden too so I am lucky because I can still go outside each day and get some fresh air and sunshine – but it is still odd when you stop and think about it. At the same time, I am glad I can isolate safely and that it’s just myself (and my Tom cat) to worry about at home.
South Africa’s Life in Lockdown
The SA lockdown has been extended until the end of April now so we will have to see what happens… but at present, Cape Town is quiet. I have seen photos of the busiest hubs, all deserted and devoid of people and traffic. It blows my mind because I have been on those streets when you can barely move for the crowds and now, thankfully, there is no one on them.

In a way, it’s also oddly peaceful, especially in the suburbs… I almost don’t miss the frenetic chaos. You barely hear cars or airplanes – the only sounds punctuating the air are children laughing, neighbours braaing (South African barbecuing) or fixing things in their homes and gardens and best of all, a wide array of birdsong.

And finally, I am just glad South Africans are, by and large, really taking this social distancing and lockdown period seriously. It makes me really proud.
4) What is one positive that the COVID-19 pandemic/life in lockdown has taught you?
I guess, weirdly, it has taught me that the things that I used to stress or fret about before were nothing in comparison…

Since I was a child, my mum has always battled with her health so I think I, more than most people, know that they are right when they say your health is your wealth. Nothing else matters when someone you love (or even you yourself) becomes gravely ill. Your whole life comes to a standstill and everything is turned upside down.

Above all, you realise how short life is and you start being grateful for the smallest things, like the sunset at the end of another day or the reassuring comfort of everyday routines, like cleaning, baking and cooking. Anything that grounds you and makes you feel safe and in control again, that is what’s most important.

COVID-19 has shown us that slowing down to enjoy life with our loved ones and pets is probably the greatest gift we will ever give ourselves… because even when fear and uncertainty surround us, we are strongest together.

 
A Word of Thanks
Thank you to every guest blogger and traveller for their valued contributions to this post. 🙂 I am so grateful for the chance to have collaborated with you all, especially in a time such as this!

This post has been a labour of love for us, a balm to ease our own travel nostalgia and one which we hope can, in turn, make these days a bit lighter for the readers, too.

As ever, stay safe – and stay positive!

The post Bloggers: Where We Want to Travel One Day After the COVID-19 Pandemic appeared first on Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust - Travel Writing and Photography.
#Laos #BrettFish #OneStopWanderlust #FunMammaSA #ValleyOfDesolation
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