Traveling during a Pandemic without Traveling during a Pandemic

For someone who has never traveled out of the country, I consider myself a travel junkie. I’ve seen just about every state, ridden the Trans-Siberian train, both first and third class, attended Holi in India, slept in a cabin made of ice in Finland, and even done the polar plunge in Antarctica.

You may be asking yourself, “Maisy, how did you do all of this if you have never been out of the country?”

Well, I may not have physically been to all those extravagant places, but mentally I have, thanks to YouTubers Kara and Nate Buchanan. Starting in 2016, the couple has been documenting their lives as full-time travelers for the past five years. With over 500 videos, their channel is a gateway to discovering new places.

The videos are balanced by showcasing the positives and negatives of traveling to unfamiliar places. From staying within budget, to being bombarded by locals, to enjoying the most beautiful places, they are committed to giving you the most genuine experience.

So, while everyone was scrolling through TikTok, I spent my quarantine becoming a well-versed traveler from the comfort of my own bed–and occasionally catching up with the newest TikTok trends. COVID-19 made us virtually confined to our bedrooms, and YouTube was a perfect getaway.

The most fascinating thing about YouTube is the simplicity of it. Kara and Nate are two people running their own show with only a couple of cameras and a laptop. It’s that easy. Oh, and they lead a very interesting life. They reach their 2.13 million subscribers with every video they post and are able to share an authentic travel experience.

By 2020, they had traveled to exactly 100 countries together.

In addition, they make sure to dive deeper than the tourist experience. One of my favorite videos is when they traveled to Bhutan and stayed with a local family. They immersed themselves in the culture and were not afraid to try new things. Nate played archery with the men of the village, while Kara took to milking cows and hauling cow poop. They ate every meal the family made for them, and helped out with chores. The next day, they stayed at a monastery in the mountains. This monastery was particularly inspiring because of their mission to help orphans and children born into difficult situations.

I especially appreciate the effort Kara and Nate make to remain respectful of the people they are around. They ask all the right questions in order to educate themselves and viewers so that the people and places they are visiting are represented properly.

It sometimes feels like a cop-out watching it and not experiencing it for myself, but I know that with the life I want to live, traveling to 100 different countries is not a realistic goal.

The world we live in right now is so unpredictable. Knowing that I have access to archives like Kara and Nate’s travel vlogs serve to broaden my perspective without putting a dent into my bank account. We are so lucky to have the world at our fingertips. Literally, all it takes is typing something right into the YouTube search bar.

I challenge you to take some time out of your day and check out what the rest of the world has to offer. It’s just too easy not to.

About the author

Assistant Features Editor

Leave a Reply