Saturday, November 14th. Belgium has been in lockdown for two weeks. That evening, while I was writing, I wondered how long the situation would last: this feeling was like a bubble gum, stretching and never ending. I wasn’t prepared to endure such a chaotic situation, which appeared endless –nobody was.
I have always loved travelling. Actually, a few months before all this started I was planning to make a trip and to report it on my blog. And now, here I am, sitting here every night in my pj’s like Bridget Jones, watching Netflix series.
Hello again, national lockdown, bye bye (social) life. Should I resign and start drinking Vodka? Bridget would say ‘hell yes’, but no. I am already familiar with these measures and I can do this again. After all, staying home doesn’t mean I should stop exploring. And if you feel the same, well you may find my tips worth reading.
Whether you want to call it a staycation, holistay, or indoor getaway, there are still small ways to turn your home into an escape.
Visit a destination virtually
Many travellers are still unable to venture out during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. This has forced tourism industries to think about new ways of promoting tourist attractions online.
One way of getting tourists to travel abroad from the comfort of their own homes is through virtual reality (VR) technology and 360-degree videography.
Virtual travel has quickly risen in popularity. Whether you want to escape to nature, visit iconic landmarks, or wander through castles, you can access virtual tours online. Here is my selection of virtual travel tours and online travel experience that can be enjoyed online :
- The virtual Reality National Parks : For Safari enthusiasts, luxury tour operator andBeyond has been live streaming wildlife footage to viewers at home from its game reserves in South Africa
- Virtual Reality Scuba diving tours: For superyacht owners and charterers, one of the best activities available at sea is scuba diving. National Geographic has created 360 degree videos of nature spots and dive sites which, when pared with an Oculus Quest VR headset, can offer users the chance to swim with Humpback Whales in Antarctica or explore Indonesia’s coral reefs.
- Virtual Reality Sightseeing Tours : Some tourist boards have gone one step further and created interactive tours of the entire country and specific cities, highlighting their nation’s most popular cultural sites and beauty spots.
- A Hotel Experience at Home : Alongside joining the fight against COVID-19 with charitable donations, some luxury hotels are also offering experiences that can be enjoyed at home. While some are sharing their chefs’ recipes or mixology masterclasses, others are live-streaming yoga classes or uploading tours of resort grounds.
- Take a trip to the pyramids without breaking a sweat.
- Discover the Grand Canyon without ever lacing up your sneakers.
- Go whale watching on Oregon’s coast.
Escape into the pages of a travel book
Whether it’s a novel about the countryside of Italy or a colorful book of photographs, books are one way to visit a new destination. And sometimes, your imagination is better than the real thing.
Design your vacation playlist
A vacation isn’t complete without a playlist. You can curate a playlist to a specific destination or explore a variety of genres. You can also download a great travel podcast on Spotify.
Watch an international film
International films have the power to transport you to any location in any decade. Also, Research shows that people are motivated to learn language through watching foreign language television TV programmes. Here are my selection of international movies :
- ‘Parasite’ director Bong Joon Ho’s previous movie, the 2017 Netflix original “Okja,” satirizes animal cruelty within the food industry by telling the story of a South Korean girl separated from her giant pet pig.
- The 2001 coming-of-age film “Y Tu Mamá También” follows two teenagers who embark on a road trip across Mexico with an older woman, available on Netflix
- Roma– the story of a woman working as a maid in 1970s Mexico City, available on Netflix.
- The South Korean mystery thriller “Burning” where a young aspiring author investigates a friend’s disappearance shortly after she meets a wealthy older man, available on Netflix
- In the 2019 romantic drama “Rafiki”, the daughters of two rival Kenyan politicians secretly fall in love
Learn a new language
Hablas Espanol? Picking up another language is a great way to learn about a new culture, and the skills you’ll gain will be handy for all your future vacations.
Shake up a new drink
Tempted in an Aperol Spritz and journey to Italy ? Or a margharita and travel to Cuba ? Pick a destination, discover a local drink, and sip away.
Take a selfie
A vacation isn’t complete without a few photographs. Snap a picture to remember where you explored!
Send a colorful postcard
If you never finished writing postcards from your last trip, finish them. Or if you don’t have any postcards floating around, find some art supplies and design your own. Postcards are a great way to reminisce on past trips and check in on friends and family!
Choose a fragrance that will transport you to your favorite destination
Our sense of smell is deeply tied to memories and emotions. It has the power to change your mood, evoke memories, create an imagined future, and even transport you around the globe. So if current travel bans have ruined your holiday plans and you’re longing for an escape, look no further than these fragrances which will take you on a journey around the world without having to leave your home.
- Tuscany: Acqua Di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Cipresso Di Toscana Eau De Toilette
- The Middle East: Louis Vuitton Les Sables Roses
- Greece: Gucci Ambrosia Di Fiori
- New York: Comme Des Garçons Concrete Eau De Toilette
- Egypt: Chloé Nomade Absolu De Parfum
- Sicily: Dolce & Gabbana Fruit Collection Lemon Eau De Toilette
- Morocco: Tom Ford Rose Prick Eau De Parfum
Finally…Unplug from your phone
If you’re traveling to a foreign country, chances are you won’t have cell service. So why have it during your home vacation? Social media, your inbox, and news outlets can be overwhelming, especially in our current climate. Disconnecting — even if it’s just for an hour or two — can give you a much-needed mental break.