There are few terms which transcend language barriers, and are understood universally. ‘Hello’, ‘OK’, ‘Disney’. And now, ‘social distancing’.
Many countries are warning that the current social distancing measures are likely to be in place for anywhere between 6 – 18 months; planes are grounded, borders are closed, and the loneliness of being isolated at home is utterly depressing.
One of the best things about travel is the people you meet, and the friendships you make along the way; the characters you bump into in a bar, and the lifelong friendships you make with people who share your addiction.
But you can’t go out and meet people right now.
I don’t agree with social distancing. I agree with the concept, but I don’t agree with the terminology.
Physical distancing, sure. This is absolutely necessary right now, and I will gladly do my part to stay at home and remain physically separate from other humans. I don’t want the virus anymore than I wish to pass it on.
But I’ll never stop being social.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stay social within the travel community, and connect with other travelers, while adhering to social distancing.
How to Socialize With Other Travelers in an Age Social Distancing
We’re Going Digital
While industries like travel have been put on pause, and hospitality bans mean we can’t go out to bars, digital meetups are still fair game, and apps like Zoom, House Party, and Travello are absolutely blowing up.
Technology is the best way to stave off the mental effects of self-isolation, and even though we’re locked down in our homes, there’s some solace in knowing that it’s not just you.
We’re all in this together – everyone else is navigating this new world of social distancing too. But the ability to still have face to face conversations, and have live chats, share media, and visit museums around the world via virtual tours, is pretty phenomenal!
It’s tough for everyone being locked in their homes; freedom of movement is something we’ve very much taken for granted until this point. And for travelers who are used to having 195 countries to explore, restlessness, and itchy feet syndrome are spreading quicker than the virus.
Thank god we have technology. Because right now the only thing holding my sanity together are travel meetups on my phone!
Travel Meetups on Your Phone
Travel meetups on your phone (or computer) are the best way to curb your wanderlust, and stay sane throughout self isolation. Sharing your travel memories, and having genuine conversations with other people who share your passions is really key right now.
Yes, we’ve got FaceTime for face-to-face chats with our family, there’s Zoom for working from home, and House Party for friends, but as travelers, it’s really important to still maintain contact with other travelers.
These are people who understand what it’s like being locked down when you should be in Egypt right now. People who won’t make you feel like it’s selfish to grieve a cancelled trip, and people who will gladly share travel stories with you at all hours.
Travello has always been the app to use when you want to meet other travelers, and even though physical meet ups are on hold, the Travello community has blown up, with hundreds of thousands of travellers coming together to stay social, while social distancing.
The App Where Travelers Connect
Travello is THE social community of travellers and adventurers from all around the world. It’s a social network like Facebook, where you can share moments, and post your photos, videos, and stories. Except unlike Facebook, this social network is exclusively for travelers.
Also unlike Facebook, which is geared towards existing relationships, Travello is all about meeting new friends. It’s used in 180+ countries, and is the most mainstream app where travellers connect. It’s free, and has no annoying advertising or in-app purchases.
The concept of the app is about connecting with other travellers nearby, and you can tailor your results by nationality, age, gender, traveller type and location, enabling you to create the community you want, and connect with like-minded people.
For instance, maybe you’re a backpacker, a solo traveller, a digital nomad, or a photographer. You can connect with travelers who share these same passions, and normally, the point is to use the app to find each other, and meet up in person.
But ironically, it’s actually even more valuable a resource right now, when we’re craving community, and desperately trying to stay social. When you download the app, search for ‘Meg Jerrard’ and send me a friend request!
This is Travello
When Travel Resumes Again
When travel resumes, and it will resume again, keep Travello on your phone. You’ll have a massive community of friends by that stage to start planning actual meet ups with, as everybody rushes to get away from home (add a trip and Travello will show you other travellers heading to the same destination at the same time).
The feed uses a unique algorithm to pull in content from other travellers around you. So once everybody’s out and about again, you can automatically see what other travellers are doing in your city and what you might be missing out on.
And if you add an upcoming trip to your profile the Travello algorithm will start bringing in user generated content from where ever it is you are going. So you can explore your next destination through the eyes (or lens) of travellers who have already been.
The feed also has a ‘Map View” so you can quickly explore the other side of the world via pictures taken by other travellers. And you can also (naturally) search by hashtags and locations.
There are over 800,000 members already on Travello, and when you post your photos, videos, memories etc, the algorithm means an individual post can be seen by up to 50,000 people!
Eat your heart out Facebook!