COVID-19 has played a prominent role in reshaping the way Australians shop, work, travel and live. 2021’s major lifestyle trends have largely been affected by our response to the virus and our ideas about how to best cope with its aftermath. While COVID-19 wasn’t at all a good thing for our economy, our physical health or our mental health, it has actually brought about a few positive changes in the way we live and work. Let’s take a look at 6 of the most prominent lifestyle trends influencing Australia in 2021:
1. A Renewed Appreciation for All Things Local
People have been forced to lead more of a homebody lifestyle than they may have been used to before the coronavirus crisis disrupted our lives. This has led to a greater appreciation for all things local including local travel, local food and local experiences.
Here in Byron Bay, we’ve been welcoming sizable numbers of New South Wales locals who have been looking for fun things to do close to home. Local road trips were popular in 2020, and they’re shaping up to be a thing in 2021 as well.
2. Pet-Friendly Travel
An emphasis on local travel has resulted in a trend towards pet-friendly holidays. It might not be convenient to take your fur babies on an international flight, but they can easily come with you on a short road trip.
This is yet another reason Byron Bay has been busier than ever lately; our area offers some excellent opportunities for pet owners and their furry friends to enjoy spending time together. There are some excellent dog-friendly beaches and exercise areas available in Byron Bay. There are also multiple pet-friendly accommodations available in the area.
3. Greater Acceptance of Flexible Work and Study Options
Before COVID-19 became an issue, there was already a fringe group of people who were enthralled by the idea of working remotely and traveling all over the world. Some of these people refer to themselves as “digital nomads”. COVID-19 put a damper on the digital nomad phenomenon, because many countries closed their borders and experts discouraged international travel.
However, COVID-19 did provide a catalyst for dramatic growth in acceptance of remote work. That means many Australians are enjoying increased levels of freedom to work and study from anywhere. People no longer feel chained to office buildings and university classrooms. The availability of mobile technologies has resulted in increasing numbers of opportunities to work from home – or from your favorite resort or hotel room.
The recent proliferation of online degree programs makes it viable to earn a degree remotely while also focusing on other aspects of your life. You could be working, travelling, caring for a sick family member or raising a family while also studying, for example, a Master of Education degree or a certificate in cybersecurity or any number of other interesting courses.
4. The Rise of the Micropreneur
One of the worst things about COVID-19, aside from the actual sickness, has been the closure of many wonderful businesses and the reductions in work hours that many workers have suffered. This has left many Australians either unemployed or underemployed. While many of these people are searching for work, a portion of them have settled into the role of “micropreneur”. The rise of the micropreneur is one of Australia’s key lifestyle trends for 2021.
5. Top Quality Food
People have numerous options for food and drink; but if there’s one thing many of us are concerned with consuming right now, it’s wholesome and healthy comfort foods that nourish and heal the body. On the menu this year: Rainforest foods; plant-based dishes such as leafy green salads with ancient grains; bean dishes, particularly ones that include chickpeas; and plenty of coffee.
6. Reconnecting With the Natural World
Last year, COVID-19 forcibly dragged us out of the gym and into the great outdoors. While some gyms have reopened, and customers are returning to them in droves, we haven’t quickly forgotten our recently-rediscovered enthusiasm for outdoor activities. In fact, Australians are now realising what a crucial role exercise plays in mental health. We’re going out of our way to take part in mind and body activities that renew our spirits as well as providing the exercise we need to stay healthy.