While the world grapples the impact of COVID-19 on our personal and social lives, Gen Z has drawn a uniquely short end of the stick. Many young adults were forced to leave their homes on campus and abroad because colleges cancelled semesters and study abroad programs. An entire generation has missed out on graduations, proms, sporting events, and travel experiences... What's to become of a typical summer?
We found 7 travel-obsessed Gen Zs that have gone through all 7 stages of grief and landed in acceptance. Here’s how these young travelers intend to spend their summers now:
I’m moving to Colorado this summer. While I don’t plan on traveling big, I do still want to explore my new state. Much of my time will be spent hiking and messing around with the art skills I’ve forgotten I have. I definitely will not be taking any classes because I just finished my Master’s program and need a break! I think everyone is slightly irritated [about the lockdown] but I’m trying to take the time to rediscover what’s important to me and appreciate what I have.
- Kelsey, 24
I'm 19 and I won't be traveling because England is way behind with the virus. I plan to take a TEFL class and make money from home as well as having another job and try to start up some sort of travel blog. But if we're allowed I hope to go visit friends in other parts of England.
- Cora, 19
I’m taking summer online courses and taking the time just to be in my own presence. Plus, learn how to drive! I will probably explore my city more! As much as traveling would be nice to do (believe me, I had so many flights canceled) I would rather not travel for the sake of myself and for the people whose country I would visit. Especially to smaller islands/countries where the health resources may not be robust.
- Renee, 21
I am an American currently living in Indonesia as an ex-pat and this summer—should my job still hold—I am working on my mini garden, reading lots of books, and teaching online for my side hustle. Also, I am hoping that when things open back up I can get back into Latin social dancing and start taking dance classes again!
- Alexis, 23
I will be at home during the summer since we're off from school. Now that I'll probably be at home until September I plan on working on my website, studying for my exams, learning French, and taking a few free online courses to improve skills like photography, photo editing, writing. I will also start working on my application process for Oxford so I hope that goes well!
- Himanshu, 17
I won’t be traveling because I don’t believe this will all be over by the summertime. Instead of traveling, I will be starting school, reading, working on my blog/YouTube channel that I’ve put to the side for the longest time, and do lots of yoga and home workouts!
- Jennifer, 22
I just graduated college yesterday and I am starting a full-time job-based in Washington DC in late June—virtually at first, and then in-person in September, so I was not planning to travel for the rest of this year anyway. I’d hoped to start next year when my vacation days kick in. I’m kind of at an “it is what it is” point, but I am awfully nervous about moving in a pandemic. In the meantime, before I start work, I plan to things I never got a chance to study in school like art history, fashion, ancient history, and architecture just via Google and YouTube... These things can enhance my travels when I get out there again!
- Brielle, 21
Gen Z is down, but not out!
The overall sentiment to those who have resigned to staying home this summer is to continue learning, about ourselves and the world around us, until it’s safe to explore again.
Gabby Beckford is a Gen Z travel and lifestyle entrepreneur who runs the blog Packs Light.