Travel in the time of Covid...
Why I'm okay...no really...stop worrying
Many of you know that I made the leap to running Product and Engineering at travel startup, Tourlane, earlier this year. Six weeks into my new job, we went into quarantine to abide by Germany's restrictions. We've now been mostly home for more than 180 days (though we do have an office option and have seen each other a bit more).
When I talk to former colleagues and friends, there is often a hint of pity or worry in their tone. This week I was even talking to a recruiter friend and the entire conversation she was using what I call her "funeral voice.” You know it. It's the "bless your heart” “I am so sorry for your loss” "How are you holding up?” voice that we turn to when we are trying to ask hard questions to people we are worried about.
But here's the thing…travel is damaged, but travel is not broken. Down, but not out.
I know this because the industry is already seeing desire and noise from travelers. People who want to get out of their now smaller world and back to new adventures. "Revenge travel” is real thing and we are preparing for a crazy spike in travel the minute things are safe…or even manageable.
But what does that mean for me?
It means there is no need to get out your mourning clothes for me. My team and I are more motivated than ever. We know that the window is short to get new features built that enhance the experience for travelers all over the world. Whether "short” means 6 months or 18 months, we don't know. And we have no intention of slowing down.
To be clear…I wear a mask, social distance, am cautious about group settings, and try to follow all the restrictions put forward by the German government. And I also wake up every day eager and excited about what travel will look like in the future. Our mission is still to build the best experience in travel…anywhere, ever, the end, period, full stop.
I believe the world is a better place when humans have human experiences…explore new places, meet new people, and open up our worldview. When we can see through the eyes of someone else and not center our own perspectives, then as Mark Twain said,
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
In the meantime, stay safe and get ready to explore. There are so many beautiful things to see.