COVID-19 Should Make Us Reevaluate How, Why, and Where We Travel

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In June 2019, Taylor Demonbreun set a Guinness World Record by being the youngest person, at age 24, to visit every country in the world. But her record wouldn’t last long, because late last year, 21-year-old Lexie Alford officially stole the title. The young swashbucklers documented their crusades online, demonstrating how easy it was to travel before COVID-19. What was once an unimaginable lifetime journey could be accomplished in about 18 months. That’s how long it took Demonbreun, anyway. She still holds the speed record.

In the Before Times, many of us would have reacted to their accomplishments by packing a weekend bag. But the near-global halt to international travel dictated by COVID-19 created a (long) moment of forced reflection and called into question what Alford’s and Demonbreun’s accomplishments say about our evolving relationship with travel. Some of us,…

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