September 28, 2021

Interview with Maartje and Sebastiaan from The Orange Backpack

How Maartje and Sebastiaan's travels and blog changed due to the pandemic
When it came to traveling during the pandemic, what was the hardest thing logistically? What was the hardest emotionally?
We couldn't travel abroad and had to cancel most of our travel plans and future collaborations. We actually didn't have a home for the winter, as we usually travel during those months. We did continue to explore our home country the Netherlands, but it wasn't the same, as restaurants and museums were closed most of the time. It was difficult to keep us inspired to write about our past travels and about our trips in the Netherlands, while struggling with that.

One of the upsides from the pandemic was how it coincided with Maartje's pregnancy and the birth of our baby girl. Maartje got very ill and wasn't able to travel, but because of the pandemic and lockdown our travel plans were already canceled and we didn't miss out on anything. Our timing couldn't have been better.
Did you get caught in a lockdown anywhere? If so, how did it go? What helped you get through it?
We were very lucky to be home in the Netherlands at that moment. One of us (Maartje) got back from Egypt right in time, one week before it all started.
Did you continue blogging and posting on social media during the pandemic? How did the situation affect your blog?
We did continue working on our blog, but we took a break from our socials. We experienced that people were not interested in travel inspiration on social media during a lockdown. As we were stock as home most of the time, we decided to take our blog to another, more professional level and started schooling ourselves even more in SEO and monetization. Because of this, we actually managed to grow our blog and our blog income exponentially which we are very proud of.
If you kept traveling during the pandemic, tell us about your most memorable experience. Was there a new type of travel that you fell in love with? Were there any experiences that you had that you would not have otherwise?
We started focussing on our home country, as most of our readers were stuck in the Netherlands as well. We tried to inspire them with ways to explore our country even during pandemic times by teaming up with the most unique places to stay in the Netherlands, creating one-day road trips around our country and other covid proof activites. We loved staying at all those unique places around the Netherlands, like tree houses, boutique hotels, Amsterdam bridge houses and forest cabins.
With many borders closed, a lot of people traveled around their own countries. Is this something that you also did?
Absolutely! (See our other answers)
Did you take up any new hobbies while you were unable to travel?
Yes, we loved doing scenic drives around our country! As Maartje was pregnant and hiking didn't work for her, we decided to find the most scenic roadtrips in the Netherlands to explore our country in a pregnancy and covid proof way. We loved it so much and wrote a lot about them on our blog. Our readers love them and they still are part of our best read blogs!
What's the thing about traveling that hasn't come back yet that you miss the most?
Traveling to other continents!
Do you have any grand adventures planned next?
Absolutely! We are now finishing up a 5 week road trip around the Czech Republic with our newest team member, our baby girl Linde. We will spend our upcoming two months building our own family travel van and we'll drive it to the south of Europe to spend the next winter months there. We are planning to spend about half a year in Portugal and perhaps Spain and Italy.
Being a traveler, you often deal with uncertain situations and new experiences. Do you think this prepared you to handle the pandemic better than most?
We certainly knew how to work from all different places in the world, so working from home wasn't new to us. While other people were struggling with that, it didn't feel very different for us at all.
Do you have anything else you would like to tell readers or any optimistic thoughts for the future of travel?
Covid actually turned out to be just another opportunity for us. We took the opportunity to grow our blog skills and blog income, we had the time to fully focus on our pregnancy and baby girl, and we helped our Dutch readers to fall in love with their home country again.

Maartje and Sebastiaan from The Orange Backpack

Follow Maartje and Sebastiaan''s travels on their blog and social media accounts: