Thursday, April 18, 2024

Travel Addict COVID-19 Update

Hello everyone. I wanted to just sit down for a few minutes and talk about what is happening here at The Travel Addict headquarters (AKA my house.) This whole experience has been quite surreal. I never imagined that my last flight about three weeks ago would be my last flight for a very long time.

Personally I have two businesses that have been severely impacted by this virus. I have an engineering consulting business and I am a photographer doing freelance work in music and entertainment for AP Images. Both jobs have required weekly travel for the past 20 years and now everything has stopped abruptly. I have gone through a series of emotions including, anger, fear, sadness, and thankfulness just like I am sure many of you have experienced.

This is by far the longest I have ever been home or even in one place for decades so it has taken some serious adjustment. The first week I just stayed glued to social media and I quickly realized this was not healthy. I needed to find something better to focus my efforts so I ordered a peloton bike and said out loud that now would be a nice time to learn how to cook.

Exercise and cooking have never been my favorite things even though the only TV channel you that’s on at my house is Food Network. I know, ironic right? I also started daily updates for my friends on my Facebook page to take them on my daily journey to becoming a housewife.

In week two, I learned that I knew people personally who had tested positive for the Coronavirus and I started to be more intense about the need for everyone to stay home.  At the same time, I also was going crazy at home because I wanted to be able to help others but I knew the best thing for everyone was to stay in place. So I started to brainstorm ideas on what I could do from here. I began to see my Instagram feed fill up with musicians and chefs doing at home concerts and cooking demonstrations to try to keep people entertained while encouraging people to stay home.

Music has given me a great sense of joy each day during this time. I have also seen incredible acts of kindness that make me so happy. I decided that I wanted to start to feature some of these friends old and new who are doing amazing things by conducting some interviews with them so others could see how to get involved or just be entertained during this stressful period.

This week I have reached out to hundreds of contacts through email and phone conversations to start bringing these conversations to you. I have had to brush off my interview skills. In the past, I did a lot of interviews when I worked for the weekly paper in Cincinnati but in recent years I have had my hands full with photography.

So far this process has been really fun and provided a purpose for my days to keep me busy and focused between peloton workouts. Many of these people are doing remarkable things in this time of crisis and some of the interviews have brought me to tears when they described how much community outreach is happening. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have and that you will take a few minutes to spread the word on how people can help each other during this crazy time.

Our first interview will be posted tomorrow with Chef Isaac Toups from Toups Meatery in New Orleans, my second home, and one of the hardest-hit areas of the virus. I was fortunate to be able to complete a lot of travel adventures in the months leading up to this lockdown so I will also be sharing new travel photos and stories from the road in the upcoming weeks as well.  

Our first new update is a series from a much happier and carefree time during Mardi Gras just a month ago. Please enjoy and feel free to share with your friends and family.

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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