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ARAO x Julienne Raboca

We recently spoke to Julienne of, Editor and Content Manager at regarding travel during this time and how you can make the most out of staying local in Hong Kong.

 1. How has the pandemic impacted your work as a travel writer and content manager?

 The travel industry was without question one of the hardest hit during this pandemic. The content I’ve produced around travel this year has mainly been local or surrounding information on traveling during Covid. However, I still have a huge backlog of trips and photos to sort through – which, at the rate it’s going, is not going to run out until tourism gets back up and running again!

2. How has the absence of travel impacted you as a person?


 On the whole I would say it’s had a good impact on me. In many ways we use travel as an escape or distraction, and that’s something I’ve been forced to come to terms with this year. The hardest part has been being separated from friends and family, and that’s time away from them that I can never get back. But slowing down and staying put has really given me more bandwidth to develop my relationships in the city where I live, do things and develop hobbies I never had time to do before (like cooking and tennis), make the most of the space I have at home like hosting dinners and barbecues on the rooftop, explore more of Hong Kong, read books, get through more of my hiking list, really improve my Pilates practice, and enjoy more film nights in! So at the end of the day the absence of travel has made me more relaxed, content where I am, less poor (haha!), focused and productive. 

3. What do you do now that you cannot travel?


I was able to organize a glamping ‘festival weekend’ in Yuen Long for my birthday which I never would have done had the borders been open. I enrolled in a Yoga 200-hour Teacher Training Course. I go to more local events like the outdoor Jazz Festival at West Kowloon Cultural District, watersports like windsurfing and kayaking, and of course my beloved hiking – I have a whole blog dedicated almost entirely to walks in Hong Kong: Thankfully Hong Kong has a lot to offer as a city and this is a moment where people are really getting creative, coming up with concepts that suit local tastes as opposed to the same old tourist-targeted events and establishments.

4. What is your advice to those travel addicts who are unable to do so now?

Take the things you loved most about travel and be part of building it in your own city.

5. Where is your first destination soon as you can travel again?

I would love to go to Quintana Roo and Yucatan with my sister. I’ve never been to Mexico but it’s calling my name. I’m all about destinations with beautiful nature, archaeological sites, local arts, wholesome yet flavorful food, music, beach, and a good party!