After reading this interesting article on travel shaming, when travel bloggers, influencers, and other restless souls receive backlash on social media for their posts about international travel, I recalled some of the ADV inmates’ comments on my own recent post about riding Ecuador. So, is travel ethical right now, or should we all stay put till further notice, and if so, just for how long?
My own personal take aside, it seems that more and more people are taking to the road right now, and overland travel differs wildly from packaged holidays and mass tourism. For some riders who have weathered the worst of the pandemic stuck in foreign countries, it’s hardly a question; when you literally live off your bike and on the road, staying home isn’t exactly an option since you either don’t have one, or have no means of returning. Some of my friends who got stuck in South America, Asia, and Africa tell me they have slowly started moving again, adhering to local regulations, but venturing out nonetheless. For me, not traveling isn’t an option, either; it’s my life and my work.
But even if you aren’t a permanent nomad, should you postpone your plans or travel now? Little by little, as countries open up and there are local rules and restrictions in place, often requiring negative PCR tests or at the very least, safety measures like distancing and wearing masks, perhaps this is a step towards the normal – or some sort of a new normal. Perhaps we’ll simply learn to travel differently, in smaller groups or solo, slower, and well-equipped with hand sanitizers and masks. Perhaps we’ll need to test for COVID more often, and when there’s finally a vaccine, provide proof of immunity.
Yet, whatever 2021 brings, riders all over the world are on the move again. What’s your take on traveling now?