Social distancing, Quarantine. Shelter-in-place.
Whatever you are calling it this is our new normal. Even once restrictions start lifting – travel will probably be slow to start back up. I have already had to cancel one trip and am keeping a cautious eye out for some other trips I have planned in the near future. If you are a bonafide travel junkie like me, being forced to spend some time at home and put a leash on your wandering soul can feel limiting.
But as we all know – these measures are in place for a reason and we need to take them seriously if we want to get back out traveling anytime soon. However, just because we are all stuck inside does not mean we cannot keep exploring. Here are some ways to travel without leaving your house.
Cook around the World
Pick a country or favorite travel destination and plan a meal that celebrates that place. Vietnam has been the top of my travel bucket list for a few years now so the other night I made Vietnamese style fried rice for dinner. I’m already planning a taco night with my favorite Tacos al Pastor recipe. Cooking not your thing? You can still participate by supporting local restaurants serving your favorite international cuisine.
Take a Virtual Tour
Cabin fever is at an all-time high but with the wonders of modern technology you don’t need to leave your living room to visit some of the world’s most amazing places. Stroll the halls of The Louvre, the British Museum, and the creepy twists and turns of the Winchester Mystery House in Los Angeles. Tune into the antics of the sea otters and penguins at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (watching the live Jelly Cam is also a great stress reliever). Visit international tourist destinations without the lines like the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China and the Catacombs in Paris. Explore the hidden worlds of the National Parks or take Street Art tours in cities around the world.
Transport Yourself Through Entertainment
An amazing way to transport yourself to another place in time without actually leaving the couch is through entertainment. Now is a great time to check out a great travel film, documentary, or travel book. Here are some of my favorites shows and movies: Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Eat Pray Love, Midnight in Paris, Ugly Delicious, Tales by the Light, and the Before Sunrise trilogy.
And if you’re in more of a reading mood, check out these amazing travel memoirs and novels: In a Sunburned Country (or any other Bill Bryson book), The Lost Girls, Travel as a Political Act, The Routes of Man, Beautiful Ruins, and The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost.
Relive Old Memories
I have a box where I keep all my old travel journals, travel souvenirs (plane tickets, brochures, etc.) and some favorite travel snapshots I took the time to print out. One afternoon recently I was in a funk and just could not get out of my head, so I grabbed that box and went through my old travel journal from when I studied abroad in Cuenca, Ecuador. It was amazing to read through those memories and relive that carefree time of exploring a new country. Going through old photo albums (whether they be hard copy or virtual) can be a great way to spend a stress-free afternoon and hopefully add a little optimism and inspiration for the future.
Plan your Dream Trip
Travel restrictions will be lifted eventually and when they are, we have a lot of adventure time to make up for. Use this pause in travel to be more thoughtful in your adventure planning. Take the time to plan out your future trips in order to minimize your ecological footprint and maximize your vacation time. I’ve been using some of my newfound free time to research and read as much as can about South East Asia so I can plan the ultimate getaway for when things get better.
What are you doing to scratch that travel itch during social distancing?