Catarina Mello was in Finland when she first realized that COVID-19 may have a huge impact on her life.
Mello, a 30-year-old whose home base is San Francisco, was used to her life taking unexpected twists and turns. In 2017, she had been dutifully checking off boxes of success, working in marketing at Google, but she found herself feeling restless. After taking a trip to Indonesia, she started her Instagram account, @professionaltraveler, determined to reignite some passion in her life.
It turns out, even digital nomads can be brought swiftly back to reality by a global pandemic. In 2020, travel bloggers, like all of us, were grounded, confined to their homes, and unsure how to keep their businesses running. Their partnerships were canceled, and they had to scramble and innovate to keep their head above water. Many spent long nights wondering how they would survive. When they did tentatively resume their trips, some dealt with travel-shaming from their followers (and others dealt with hate for even acknowledging the pandemic) on top of their own fears about safety.
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