Stephanie Wu, articles director, Condé Nast Traveler
Updated: Feb 14
Trip You Took in 2020: Taiwan—with a strict two-week quarantine on arrival.
Outlook for 2021: Striving to travel more mindfully.
I felt a strong sense of homesickness last spring; by September, I was planning my trip home to Taiwan for the holidays. Having concrete plans to go somewhere—and be reunited with family—truly kept me going through the ups and downs of the pandemic. I felt safe knowing that many of my friends had visited Taiwan, gone through the quarantine, and were able to move around freely afterward. Asia-based airlines were taking the pandemic extremely seriously all year, so they had their protocols set by the time I got on my first international flight in 10 months. When I finally emerged from 14 days of quarantine, I couldn’t wait to do the things I’d been missing, from beauty appointments and coffee shop visits to a little staycation at a bed-and-breakfast outside the city.
I’m hoping that we’ll be able to move around a bit more by the second half of 2021. At Condé Nast Traveler, we’re thinking a lot about being responsible even after the vaccine is widely distributed to Americans: What will it mean to visit a country that may not have access to a vaccine? How will the flying experience change for good—and hopefully, for the better? I remember all the excitement around road trips this past summer, and hope that we’ll be able to expand where we can go by next summer. And most of all, I hope the values we've emphasized this year—acting responsibly on the road, supporting small businesses, being respectful of the destinations you visit—stick around long, long after the pandemic.