Just nine months into our full time travel life (or being digital nomads), we have already spent over three months in lockdown thanks to COVID-19 and all our plans for 2020 have been disrupted and thrown of the window.
Since partially back on track, we started to tentatively look at the future again, wondering about our next movements. Then we realised it is impossible to make solid travel plans due to the prevalent Coronavirus, fitful border control policies of each country and ever-changing flight schedules of all airlines.
From a full time traveller's perspective, naturally we are looking to go and stay in places and countries that have low COVID-19 cases and high medical capacities. After identifying those locations, we then need to find out if we are allowed to go there because most countries have shut their borders to foreigners.
In our case, we've been keeping a close eye on the border control policies of a few countries in Europe. Typically the Schengen visa block moves in lock step, but at the moment each country is doing its own thing and is negotiating border access with individual countries. From our perspective this seems more politically driven than practical, for example many countries only allowing nationals of certain countries to enter instead of looking at where they have been. Also countries that decide to open their borders one day may shut again tomorrow. For example, Slovenia was on our visit list, but has just done this flip meaning we have stalled any plans to visit.
As mentioned in our previous post, it took us five attempts to get to Croatia within a three month period. We've spent dozens of hours on the phone speaking with airlines and travel agents to try to get refunds. We are totally sick of doing that and don't wish to add more to our already long follow-up list. With the newly adopted erratic personality of airlines, it's not a good idea to book any flights, period! Otherwise it's pretty much like ordering nightmares as dessert.
So, the natural conclusion of how to plan full time travel is to not plan and to stay put as long as possible!
That's why we have extended our stay in Croatia to the maximum three months visitor limit. Croatia fits into our criteria in terms of Coronavirus case number and medical capacity. Split makes a very liveable city with the massive Marjan park for exercise and pleasure and green & fish markets for fresh food. Although personal space here has a different concept to what we are used to, not to mention social distancing and face masks are non existent, we can still do our part to avoid risking catching Coronavirus. It's far safer than travelling on plane or bus to another country.
Quite often I still feel the sudden anger of all the changes in this new COVID-19 world. How I wish the world went back to normal again! Our full time travel life will have to adjust to the new norm at some point as it's no point crying over spilt milk.
Fellow full time travellers, how are you planning your full time travel life?