When I lived in France a very long time ago, I had an elderly landlady who never left the city but insisted that she was a world traveler. I didn’t quite understand at first, thinking this was a function of our language barrier, but then she made it clear that she traveled “spiritually”. If she could imagine herself in a place, it was as though she was there. She read extensively about travel, watched documentaries about it and exposed herself to other cultures by taking in students from abroad, like me. Even though I think that nothing can quite equal actually being in a place, I do think she was onto something long before COVID-19.
Even though we must all stay home to stop the spread of the virus, it won’t last forever. In the meantime, here are some travel-themed things to do while in seclusion:
Learn a language (or brush up on one). Mi italiano non è molto bene, but there’s no better time than now to download an app like Duolingo, Rosetta Stone or Babbel to work on it. If you want some one-on-one time with a native speaker, then try finding a language exchange on a site like Conversation Exchange.
Order in. So, that spring break trip to Mexico couldn’t happen, but maybe you can fake it by getting takeout from your neighbourhood taco joint. Get a few tacos and, dare I say it, a Corona, and it’s almost like you’re there!
Cook something new. Food is a big part of the travel experience for me, and my trips often give me inspiration for cooking at home. But why not the other way around? Let our cooking inspire our travels. Take a look through your cookbooks or search for recipes online. I just found a great-looking recipe for ceviche…perhaps a trip to Peru could be in my future?
Organize those photos. Take a trip down memory lane and scroll through your old photos. Have you had some great trips? Maybe it’s time to do something about them. You can print photo books or wall art through Pinhole Press or any of a number of similar services.
Read. There’s nothing like getting lost in a great book. If you need inspiration, just Google “best travel fiction” and something should catch your eye.
Watch TV. Netflix and fulfill your wanderlusty desires. You can currently see the World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, watch Conan Without Borders, drool over Street Food or just relax and Eat, Pray, Love.
Visit museums online. You can tour some of the world’s greatest museums and art galleries from the comfort of your home, including the Louvre, the Guggenheim and the British Museum. Best thing about it – admission is free!
Reach out to a travel agent. One of the things I love most is hearing from people with an enthusiasm or desire to travel. Even if travel isn’t exactly on most people’s minds, for anyone keen to talk about it, I am more than happy to chat. Travel is such a great way to connect with people and wow, do we ever need to connect with each other right now!
Do someone a favour and write a great review. The travel industry is really suffering right now, with hotels, restaurants, tour guides and other travel providers suddenly out of work for an indeterminate period of time. A really great thing you can do is think about some of the wonderful travel experiences you’ve had in the past and post some positive online reviews about them. When things return to normal, those reviews might help a business get its groove back.
Also by Natasha: