What Travel in 2021 Will Look Like for Me

Here it is – a new year after the stress and struggle that was 2020. I was very fortunate in such a devastating year to not lose anyone I love, or my job, or anything else irreplaceable.

But it was still a year full of fear, uncertainty, several different kinds of heartbreak, and of course, a complete change in my traveling life

As in, I pretty much stopped traveling. After I hastily left Albania in March to go back to Boston as we didn’t know what the future would hold, I still had hope I’d make it back to Greece sometime in 2020. That didn’t happen – and I still don’t know when it will.

Since Greece is my true love and my digital nomad base, as well as a place where I have friends and roots, this was a big loss (unrequited love too often is!). 

Greek island of Delos with a cat in the ancient ruins
Greece I miss you and your cats!

Finding a New Home Abroad

But instead, I landed in another place I’ve come to love – Croatia.

I spent three weeks traveling all over the country when I came here during my year of travels, and found it gorgeous and welcoming and full of great food and wine. So when it was one of the only countries letting Americans in this summer that I could actually afford to live in, I booked a flight from England and hoped for the best. 

Figuring I’d spend all my time writing in my little studio in Split within an ancient Roman palace or swimming in the crystal clear water, I took it easy my first month here. But soon I started developing fast friendships with other expats and locals. In a time where rules changed every week and no one knew what the future held, we got close fast. 

Kasjuni beach in Split, Croatia at sunset with a sailboat on the blue Adriatic Sea

Celebrating the holidays far from home together, debating our next destinations from a very limited list, and comparing notes on dealing with Croatian bureaucracy was a much-needed tonic in these strange times to be living abroad. 

My 2021 Travel Blog Plans

And that brings me to what’s next for me in 2021 – applying for temporary Croatian residency! I’ve actually been in the process of doing that for almost two months now, but things move slowly here. Once I’m approved, that means I can stay for four more months (I could have applied for longer, but making plans for a whole year in these times seems like too much!). 

That means, of course, that this travel blog will cover a couple less destinations this coming year than I’d hoped. I can’t even leave the country right now, and we just regained the ability to leave the county, so my travel plans are non-existant.

Hopefully once the world starts getting back to normal, travel will get safer as vaccines roll out more widely, and I’ll be able to take a couple trips around the Balkans at least. 

My current home has spectacular sunsets.

In the meantime, I’ll be writing more about digital nomad life – apologies in advance for using that terrible time so often in my upcoming posts! With all kinds of jobs becoming remote as a result of COVID, I’m thinking there might be a surge in people ditching their home countries to work from wherever they want, at least when more places open up. 

Plus I’ll be sharing a little bit more about how I started as a solo female traveler – if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that you shouldn’t put off anymore trips just because you can’t find the perfect travel buddy! It’s time to start planning how you’ll get out there to go anywhere you want once it’s safe to do so. 

And I’ll talk a bit more about life in Croatia too – what it’s like to live in a hot summer tourist destination in the middle of winter, how you can apply for a year-long residency as an American too, and much more. 

Anything you really want to know this year though? Ask away! 

What This Year Will Bring

This year ahead of us – I have absolutely no idea what it will hold. Will it be safe to travel in 2021? Probably, a little point, at some point, but nobody knows when. Will more destinations open to Americans once the Biden administration takes over? Hopefully, at some point, at least a little bit. Will we all stop coughing on each other in planes and subways? God I hope so.

But I’m not savvy enough to make any 2021 travel predictions, and I think anyone who tries to is just guessing. If there’s one thing we learned in 2020, it’s that we have absolutely no idea what the future holds for us. So let’s just stay flexible, optimistic, and take every opportunity to see the world that we can.

And in the meantime, stay safe and healthy and sane! Soon enough we’ll all be back traveling again – in the meantime, time to dream about your next destination. 

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Camille

    Beautifully written as always Kathleen!

    1. Kathleen O'Donnell

      thanks so much girl! hope all is well with you!

  2. Fiona

    Love and cherish the friendship we made during a crazy time like 2020! To new beginnings and adventures, navigating an unpredictable world together. I really enjoyed reading your blog Kathleen! Can’t wait for more 🙂

    1. Kathleen O'Donnell

      I cherish our friendship in these crazy times too! Here’s to the beginning of a new year and new adventures!

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