Coronavirus-induced trip cancellations are a royal pain for anyone —but when the act of traveling is your livelihood, stay-at-home restrictions are more than your average waiting game. Like everyone else, travel influencers are finding themselves at a shocking standstill as borders shut and quarantine measures squash vagabond pursuits worldwide.
So, what’s a travel influencer to do when they can’t leave the house? We chatted with Instagram’s fave traveling couple Marie Fe & Jake Snow to find out.
Before the outbreak, content creators Marie Fe and Jake Snow shared daily updates from their adventures around the globe, ranging from dream-worthy destinations like the Maldives to bucket list classics such as the islands in Greece. Their 735,000-strong community on Instagram looks to them for insider travel tips, inspiration for creative pursuits, and a daily dose of positivity.
Nowadays, their feed is looking a little different. Jaw-dropping landscape shots have been replaced by creative at-home photo shoots with captions about quarantine. The duo has officially hunkered down in Bali to wait things out.
“We love it here, we feel safe, and will remain here for the foreseeable future until we are able to travel again,” Marie and Jake shared with Seeker.
Despite Bali’s mysterious relative immunity to the virus in comparison to the rest of Indonesia, local communities have suffered economically as a result of halted tourism.
Extending help might seem like an impossible task when you can’t even leave the house, but the adventurous pair has found myriad ways to encourage supportive acts among their digital community. “We continue to post on our blog and Instagram story about ways you can support local communities, and we hope this encourages people to do what they can, if they have the means,” they elaborated.
Marie and Jake shared their support for Crisis Kitchen Bali, a local organization dedicated to providing food supplies to families in need during the pandemic. A donation as low as $5 can provide 9 meals. “We absolutely love Bali and feel very connected to the community here,” they added.
Their effort began with providing 1,000 meals — and thanks to their followers on Instagram, that number has grown to over 10,000 — illustrating the positive, powerful impact that social media can have.
Everyone faces uncertainty right now, but those who work exclusively within travel top the list. As of early April, The World Travel & Tourism Council predicted a global loss of $2.1 trillion in revenue (and counting) across the industry. As Google searches shifted from dreamy wanderlust topics to fearful coronavirus inquiries, budgets were slashed. Despite complications, Marie and Jake are still able to continue parts of their business.
“We feel very fortunate that we’re able to continue working, although in a different capacity. Like many people in the travel industry right now, we have been impacted. We’ve had to change our focus, but we are continuing to work on different projects from home. We are trying to remain positive and use the time to do things we may not have had the time to do before,” Marie explains.
In the meantime, they’re reading more books and continuing to stay active around the house (with special thanks to their adorable new puppy, Leo, who they rescued several weeks ago). “While we all stay home, there are things we can do to still move forward, stay connected as a community, and make the most of this difficult situation,” she adds.
With CDC guidelines advising against all non-essential travel, travel creators have been put in a puzzling place with regards to their daily content. It’s hard to predict how folks will react, and even harder to tell who will take offense to what. Emotions are understandably running high worldwide — leading many to form their own conclusions without knowing the whole back story.
“There was some negativity in comments from people who may not have had the entire context or full story, but all in all, we have been very lucky to have loads of supportive followers from all over the world,” they told us. Navigating a rapidly changing situation is difficult for anyone, and even dicier when you’re in the spotlight of social media.
Regardless of a few bumps in the road, the duo (well, the trio including puppy Leo) remains ever-so optimistic and grateful for their global social media community, expressing their gratitude with unmatched enthusiasm. When asked about their future travel plans, they explain that they’re staying flexible and taking things day-by-day.
“Once it is safe to return to travel, we will. We may have to adjust the how or the when, but we are positive we can all bounce back eventually and continue doing what we love!”