Well, that escalated quickly.
Seriously though, COVID-19 is no joke. Between those we love who are older, and those we care about who may have weakened immune systems, we really need to come together as a team to flatten the curve and make sure that these folks stay healthy. And for those of us who love traveling... like LOVE to travel (have trips planned, love planning trips, or can't stay in the house all day without it inducing some minor depression) this can be a tough time.
Now, I must acknowledge that I am writing this from a place of privilege. I have a job where I can work from home, so I still have an income to pay bills and medical insurance to help me out if need be. Right now there are a lot of folks going through some extreme difficulties because of these two things, and we all need to be aware of that. My intention in writing this blog is not to overlook this, because it should definitely be on the forefront of our minds. What I really wanted to do in creating this article was to give folks options of things to do around the theme of travel while they practice social distancing. Because honestly, We don't want... scratch that, WE CANNOT prolong this pandemic.
So lovers of travel, what can you do to satisfy your 'wants' to adventure without hopping on a plane? Well, as I laid in bed early this morning unable to fall asleep I came up with a short list of things I could be doing to assist me through this time of quarantine, and I would love to share them with you. Below are 5 ideas you can try for traveling, without the travel.
Plan for your next adventure
When will your next adventure be? I'm not really sure any of us can answer that. But it doesn't mean we can't start researching for it! Planning a vacation is like an out of body experience for me. I start to live and breath the place I want to visit. When researching, I dive deep. I break up the place I want to visit into smaller areas, learning about every little thing I can do and see in that spot. I read about other peoples time there, look up the cost of the experience, research travel times from place to place, identify the best food to try, listen to what people recommend wearing. I take in anything and everything you can imagine. It gets to a point where I can close my eyes and picture myself in this location, and I will spend hours daydreaming about me and my wife taking on this new adventure. It gets me excited and gives me something to look forward to.
In times like these, I wouldn't limit yourself either. Don't plan one vacation, but plan several. Plot out your ideal 10-year travel bucket list and start seeing what is out there. Our lives are busy, but this time as an opportunity to slow down and begin to see what travel options are out there. And if you need inspiration, or don't know where to start, check out my blog post titled Step-by-Step Planning for Vacations to get you going.
Read... read what? Anything. Fiction, non-fiction, biographies, it doesn't matter, but choose books that take place elsewhere. I love when authors take me abroad so I can experience another culture or time period, and below are some examples of this. But don't limit yourself to just these samples because there are plenty of awesome things out there to read.
FICTION: Edward Rutherfurd's The Princes of Ireland is a fantastic book that gives a peek into Ireland's history from A.D. 430 to A.D. 1530's, through the lens of fictional characters.
BIOGRAPHY: Gentleman Jack: The Real Anne Lister by Anne Choma and Sally Wainwright is another fantastic novel based off of true events that not only revolves around queer themes (bonus!) but talks about life in England in the late 18th, early 19th century.
OTHER: If you really want a challenge, you can pick up one of your old school books and start re-learning a language! If you aren't one to hold onto textbooks, check out Duolingo for a fun, FREE interactive way of learning a language.
My grandparents are the best. Many times when I chat with my grandma, she mentions some of the wonderful 'traveling' they have been doing via the internet. Grandma and Grandpa have done their fair share of physical traveling in the past, but are now at an age where they like to avoid planes, so they take virtual vacations through YouTube.
Want to travel the world by boat? Recently, my Grandma and Grandpa explored Costa Rica and the Columbia River via Flemming Yachts which gives you the opportunity to take boat trips around the world from the comfort of your own couch. Maybe you're more into train trips? G-ma and G-pa just traveled across Siberia from Moscow to Beijing, passing through Mongolia as they went. How about the fjords in Norway? Not a problem. They've been there and done that. So if you have internet (even better if you can cast it to your big screen TV!) then hop online and check out some of the places you've never been.
Outside Social Distancing
It is recommended that we stay 6 feet away from others, which can be done even if you are outside. Don't force yourself to be quarantined inside your house from morning to night. Get out and move - just be smart about it.
If you are walking, hiking, or biking, choose hours of the day that you are less likely to run into people. If you see someone coming towards you in the distance, hop to the other side of the road/path... I promise they won't be offended. Don't touch benches, light posts, or other common structures without gloves. Don't travel by car to areas where health resources are sparse and the public may be more susceptible to catching illness.
You can still adventure in your back yard, just do it appropriately. And please continue washing your hands.
For getting outside and staying safe, check out this article from the New York Times.
Re-visit old trips
Do you have old videos? Journals? Photos? Pull them out! Ash and I have this website for a reason. It's a way to remember all the trips we've been on together. I love reading some of our old posts because it pulls me back into another time and place that I can re-live from home.
No memorabilia? Don't worry. You can write about your past travels, as this is also a great way to reminisce. Grab your favorite beverage, turn on the tunes, and dive into your journal or computer to start capturing those memories.
More ideas of how to travel without traveling? We would love to hear them! Please feel free to share in the comments below. I do ask that this stays a positive and safe space for readers, so please, no hurtful language or remarks about other's experiences. Thank you.