It’s been a while since the first news of the pandemic and the first wave of lockdowns that brought the travel industry to a standstill. Almost a year on, we’re not much better off: international travel still isn’t anywhere near where it was pre-Corona, and it’s tough to plan travel now when uncertainty has become the new normal. However, #travelsomeday is still very much a thing: it may be impossible to set exact dates right now, but it’s more than possible to start prepping for the next big ride, whether it’ll be next year or the year after. If you’ve already decided to go on a RTW, an odyssey along the Pan Am Highway, or an expedition along the Silk Route, now isn’t the time to go – but it is the time to plan.
Here’s what you can do to make the big ride happen, step by step:
If Corona has taught us anything, it’s that people can and do work online. A lot. Most office jobs, it turns out, do not really require an office; reduced hours, remote work, work from home – all of that has now become possible, or even essential. If you’re among the workforce that has been asked or told to work from home, can you make it permanent? If you’ve lasted a few months working online, can you ask your boss to leave you working online for good rather than returning to the office? If you can work out a deal where you’re allowed to work online permanently, that can be a fantastic way to fund your trip while on the go. Finding a steady internet connection and a quiet place to work (hotel, AirBnB, co-working space) s now possible just about everywhere in the world, so this could be a great opportunity to try out the nomadic lifestyle in the future.
Right now, as the travel industry is in a mess, most airlines and shipping agencies offer great deals to incentivize travelers. Even if you aren’t planning to leave in the next few months, why not book your flights or set up your bike’s shipping right now and change the dates later? That way, you can save a lot of costs on travel expenses when you do finally take the leap. and if it turns out you’ll need to postpone your adventure even further, you can still use the flights for a fly and ride or ship out your bike ahead of time so that it’s already waiting for you on another continent when you feel comfortable to travel.
Time to Research
It’s frustrating to have to postpone your departure date further and further, but can you use this time to do more research on your routes, places you want to see, and countries you want to visit? Doing a little more research may reveal some hidden gems you’ve not heard of before, gather up some useful recommendations from other travelers, and browse blogs and forums for some local tips. Learning a language can also be a huge added bonus for those future adventures.
Corona has had us reshuffle our priorities and rethink our needs versus wants. If you’ve re-evaluated what spending is essential and what isn’t, maybe now is the time to fatten up that savings account for the big ride. And it’s not just about canceling a few subscriptions or foregoing a few lattes; you can rethink the way you shop, consume, and spend quite drastically and see what you can change to save more for your travel budget. Let’s face it, no one is going anywhere much for the foreseeable future, so perhaps now is the time to cut back and plan better.
With more time on your hands and the winter in the Northern Hemisphere cutting our days shorter and making the rides colder, this is a good time to work on some of the bike mods you’ve been meaning to do. Maybe your luggage rack has seen better days, or perhaps it’s some new crash bars you could use; whatever it is, spending some time tinkering in your garage might help prep for the big adventure better. Checking all your bearings, going over the cables, spark plugs, and fuses, ordering some spare parts, cleaning the carbs, and adjusting the chain might go a long way once you hit that road. Shuffling some tools and spares around to see what you’re still missing or what could pack better is also a good way to spend some garage time so that everything’s organized and ready for that trip ahead.
Connecting With Others
Nobody has time for social media, sure, but reaching out to other travelers, especially the ones currently in countries you want to visit someday is a productive way of spending the time. You can ask them some questions you don’t see on their blogs, ask about their experiences, and maybe even agree to meet on the road someday; the world may be in a pandemic right now, but it’s still a relatively small place, and you never know who you might run into on your future travels.
Are you planning to #travelsomeday, and how are you prepping for the big ride?