An open letter to anyone judging me for traveling right now
Today, my fiance Kenny got a hater in his DMs questioning his travel habits during the pandemic, and, although no one has sent me any messages like that (thank goodness for the best community out there!!!), I did get one message curious if anyone had guilted me for traveling recently (we just took a business trip to Colombia, where we manufacture swimwear, and celebrated my birthday in Mexico) – and I understand that’s what a lot of people might be thinking as they see Kenny and I travel as we run our businesses these next couple months, so I figured I’d post openly about it!
First of all, I encourage everyone, this year, more than ever before, to please stop judging other people’s actions so much and ASSUMING THE WORST IN PEOPLE. Everyone’s life situation is different and YOU DON’T KNOW AS MUCH ABOUT IT AS YOU THINK YOU DO!!!!!!
I actually didn’t get any hate for traveling to Mexico for my birthday – since anyone who follows me knows I did so extremely safely (as far as the three friends that celebrated my birthday with me, we were all tested, and isolated in a villa — in case you didn’t thoroughly watch the stories, where all this information was already given, but I know sometimes people prefer to make their own snap-judgments so I’ll repeat it here.) We didn’t leave the villa at all and practiced all safe precautions that ‘the new normal’ requires. While it may ‘look’ or seem risky to an outsider, the truth is being there had many less risks than a given average weekend in the US going to restaurants, grocery stores, etc. We all decide what risks to take in our own lives given our own situations, and we’re all out here doing our best given the circumstances.
Ok, now that that’s out there. In case you missed it, travel is my JOB. It is how I make money. My trip to Colombia was an essential business trip, there is no way we would HAVE a swimwear business next year if we had not taken that trip to our factory. My other travels are because it is my job to help YOU – by showing you guys what travel is like right now, and how to travel safely into the future. It is also my job to help and support the travel industry and the many, MANY people who work for hotels, villas, restaurants, tour companies and every other tourism job that was absolutely rocked by COVID-19 in ways that many of us can’t relate to. And to do so safely!!!!!!!
By the way, Kenny and I have already had COVID, and stayed home over a 2+ week period of time, when we (thank goodness) were already completely isolated and weren’t around any other people the ENTIRE time, so we were able to recuperate quietly, with no spreading (yes, even in the days pre-symptoms). I didn’t share about it until now because honestly I was so out of it while I was sick, my head hurt like hell, and I couldn’t even fathom talking about it on social media, mainly because I didn’t want to hear from the peanut gallery – I just wanted to hear from our doctor, The WHO and the CDC to understand the facts and responsible recovery, not clickbaity news headlines or various people’s opinions. The CDC, WHO, and doc were good enough for me, thx. We followed all their precautions, and then some, and waited as our bodies (thank goodness) recovered fully. And we are of course still following every precaution as if we have never had it.
I hate that I even have to write all this but it’s the world we’re in right now. Kenny and I are both fully capable of making smart decisions that are right for our situation, and we believe that if you can travel safely, and it makes sense for you and your situation, there are ways to do that. By being safe, being kind, and keeping others in mind…
I’ve heard from you all that us traveling has helped you be more comfortable, and safer, while traveling, and has even encouraged you to go on your honeymoons, mini-moons, or other big trips, and to do so safely, while still avoiding large gatherings, which makes me SO happy.
There are ways to be safe, and ways to be even safer while traveling. Here are some main things I recommend if you are traveling, many of which I’ve specifically observed and experienced because of the traveling we’ve done in the past few months.
Get tested as close to your trip as possible, no matter if the destination requires it or not. The US surprisingly does not require this, but we should all be getting tested before any flight regardless (Walgreens has really easy insurance-covered testing nationwide, with fast turnarounds) if you’re not in as big of a rush for results, I also like Pixel by Labcorp which is an easy at home test.
Wear an N95 in the airport, and minimize connections. Direct flights are SO much safer, because it’s the airport that is dangerous, not the flight itself.
Avoid trams, trains, and buses, or connecting in airports that are known for those. Walk whenever you can, at a safe distance from crowds.
Consider staying in an airbnb versus a hotel. While some hotels feel BEYOND safe right now, a private villa is the ultimate in pandemic vacation safety (and I have tons of airbnb recs on the blog)
Travel on off days if at all possible, such as Tuesdays and Wednesdays or Saturdays versus Sundays. Flights and airports are WAY less crowded and airfares are cheaper. Also, consider flying an airline that is blocking middle seats (Alaska, Delta, and Southwest currently, but Southwest is opening them back up Dec 1)
Pack your own snacks, and try not to eat or drink too much on the plane at all, and avoid the restroom as much as possible.
Avoid human-instinct clusters, like crowding each other at the baggage claim, squishing each other in the aisle getting off the plane, boarding, etc.
These small safety measures can make a huge difference in not only protecting your health but those around you, so definitely keep them in mind over the next few months.