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How this travel blogger pivoted during the pandemic

Gabby Beckford is an expert planner, even when things don’t work out as expected. Shortly after graduating from college and getting her first job in engineering, she realized that working in an office wasn’t for her. But this didn’t throw her off course, it presented an opportunity. Over the next two years, she used savings from her job to become a full-time travel blogger. On her website Packs Light, Gabby writes travel tips for Gen Z, offers influencer guides and services and runs occasional partnerships with travel brands and companies.

In February 2020, Gabby planned to go to Bali for a month. But just a week later, the lockdown took hold and airports started to shut down. True to form, she decided to turn things around. “When the pandemic hit, I was in a reactive state anyway,” she says. “It was actually a benefit because I could pivot kind of easily.”

Luckily, she could live at her mom’s house and had a consistent, if small, income from the blog. Even though she (and everyone else) was stuck at home, she doubled down on travel writing — but now, she was pitching publications.

Gabby is happily traveling the world again, and now incorporates guidance on doing so responsibly during the ongoing pandemic. She has some tips for how creators can pivot in the face of unexpected challenges, and even uncover new prospects for growth and success.

Don’t quit, adapt

Gabby noticed that many travel bloggers shifted their focus to topics like beauty or fitness, but she decided to stay true to her core mission. “I knew that no matter how long this pandemic lasts, there would be a travel reboot eventually,” she says. “So it was an investment in myself to stay in this industry and continue building when the competition was low.”

Sticking to her mission while pivoting to evergreen topics, like how to apply for a passport or travel as a full-time student, also aligned with what her followers were interested in. “Just because people stopped traveling doesn’t mean all 10,000 of my Instagram followers stopped caring about what I did, or about travel in general,” she points out. This continued focus cemented her reputation as a dedicated travel blogger.

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