With a complete ban on travelling right now, here’s how travellers can stay sane during this lockdown. And no, it doesn’t just involve Netflix and chilling.
It’s day 11,890 (feels like it, at least) of the COVID-19 lockdown and I, like everyone else, have lost the sense of time, space and even continuity. Working from home feels like one big working day, where I am never away from my laptop. Well, if I am away from my laptop, it’s only to cook, clean or wash dishes, which, by the way, is not that fun.
I haven’t stepped outside my house except to buy groceries and vegetables, and during that short journey, I am wrought with worry about catching the deadly virus. I yearn for the days when I can finally burst out of my lockdown cocoon and just flutter away. Unfortunately, I can only dream of fluttering away in this current situation. So many of my travel plans have gone down the drain ever since the news of COVID-19 broke out. After spending days carefully curating the perfect Switzerland itinerary, I now must put it on hold indefinitely. Jungfraujoch, Grindelwald, Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen… all have to wait.
But no virus can stop me from quenching my thirst for wanderlust. If I can’t travel to Spain, I can, at the very least, make churros and feel like I am in Spain. And if I can’t go to Switzerland right now, I can always check out the live webcams of Jungfrau and Mt Rigi and get a feel of the place.
So, here’s what I am doing, as a traveller, to stay sane during this lockdown and what you can do too:
As I spend most of my day in the kitchen anyway, I realised I should turn it into an enjoyable task by cooking up some of the iconic dishes from different countries. So, it’s spaghetti aglio e olio one day, tiramisu on the other and some fondue the next day. With just my kitchen, I have probably traversed a lot more countries than me physically. Next on my cooking list? Tacos and nachos!
Let’s face it. Music is one thing that’s keeping a lot of us sane right now. Want to experience the lively vibe of Cuba? Just put on some upbeat music, put on your dancing shoes and dance the night away. I did that once and let me tell you, it’s both fun and energising. Bored with your same old workout routine? YouTube has tons of dance workout videos. You could also take it up a notch higher by signing up for digital dance classes. Learn the bhangra of Punjab, the Cossack of Ukraine, or even the waltz of Germany.
Be it Seychelles, Thailand, Maldives or Mauritius, no matter where I went, I have always clicked a thousand images, just in the hope that whenever I was bored, I could look at them. What better time than now to go through all my holiday photographs? I have even given this a creative twist and have now started to create a fun, little scrapbook containing all my favourite vacay moments, dream destinations and more.
With OTT platforms, travel content is abundant online. All I have to do is pick the right one and kick back and relax. Being a total beach bum, I often find myself dreaming about unending shores, frothy waves crashing on the beach, wind in my hair and endless sunshine. So, my search for a digital escape took me to ‘Home’, a visually stunning documentary on Amazon Prime that features jaw-dropping aerial footage of nature from 54 countries! Combine that with a fresh cocktail, and I was good to go.
This is one of the most effective ways to quench your thirst for wanderlust. What better way to feel like a part of any country by leaning their native language? I am currently in the midst of my Spanish and French courses and while it’s certainly educational, it also makes me feel truly Spanish or French. Comienza a aprender cualquier idioma, por favor! To figure out what exactly that means, start learning Spanish.
Now, this is what I am most excited about. All this self-isolation has made me value my vacations even more. I also realised that most of us take this luxury of travelling, experiencing new cultures, tasting a foreign cuisine, for granted. We are very lucky to have this opportunity to leave our shores, if only temporarily, and embark on a voyage that guarantees to open our minds and hearts and create priceless memories.
So, one of the major things I am doing right now is updating my travel bucket list. Between the time I created it first and now, I realised that the world has changed incredibly, a lot more exciting destinations have popped up on the map. Take, for instance, Oman or Azerbaijan or Chile or French Polynesia, countries that rarely feature on someone’s bucket-list, let alone mine.
And that Swiss holiday that I have had to put on hold? I am revisiting my itinerary to see if I missed something. I am looking at more inclusive experiences, something that will truly give me a taste and feel of the wonderful country.
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