Travel lessons from two pandemic years in Sydney - Rusty Compass travel blog

Travel lessons from two pandemic years in Sydney

| 04 Feb 2022
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04 Feb 2022

Two pandemic years have wiped out international travel for much of the world. Those of us who have lived a life of travel for decades have been forced to stop and think about what it all means and how we can be better travellers at the end of the pandemic.

When I landed in Sydney in February 2020, it was to be a visit of six weeks visiting family and friends.

It happened to be the beginning of the COVID pandemic in Australia.

Two years later, as I write this, I'm still in Sydney, I have COVID (triple vaxxed so a mild dose it seems) and I still don't know when or if international travel will resume on a stable footing.

Sydney has been a good place to be stranded during the pandemic - it's my home and it's a pretty good place to be anytime. I haven't lived here properly for 30 years so it's had its challenges - especially professionally. I've had the privilege and curse of being an outsider in the town where I was born.

Being a stranger in Sydney has provided rich opportunities to explore the city with fresh eyes and to think about travel. From the early days of the pandemic, many of us were talking about the kind of travel industry we hoped for after the pandemic. We didn't expect to be still thinking about a post-pandemic world two years later.

I'm finally feeling optimism that some kind of post-pandemic outlook might finally be taking shape.

In this video, I think aloud about some of the travel lessons I'll be taking out of the pandemic. I plan to hold on to them when the world finally reopens. A lot of the learning about travel during the pandemic has been reinforcing things we already knew about slower, more engaged travel. The pandemic has forced these issues and provided a great opportunity to live by them.

Blue Mountains, New South Wales
Photo: Mark Bowyer Blue Mountains, New South Wales - soothing powers in a pandemic

I make the point that while I've barely set foot on a plane or stayed in a hotel over the past year, I have still travelled - mostly on foot and often simply exploring my neighbourhood. Turns out there's a lot to be said for neighbourhood exploration as a form of travel.

I've thrown myself into learning about Sydney and created a new Sydney history walking tour at Old Compass Travel. That's been exciting and enlightening and I'm looking forward to sharing the tour with visitors to Sydney in 2022. You can check out our Sydney heritage walking tour here.

Your travel plans will have been disrupted by the pandemic like ours. There's a fair chance you will have made some similar discoveries about simple travel pleasures during the pandemic too. Enjoy the video and hope to see you on the road somewhere!

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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