Whatever your circumstance may be, this pandemic has been taxing on all of us. Whether you're an essential worker who has to risk their health daily (you guys are awesome) or you're stuck in quarantine like myself, we all need a bit of escapism. Reading the news basically makes it sound as though we're all doomed, and sure we might be, but it can be so mentally draining to just read the doom and gloom of the news all day. Maybe you're unemployed and scrolling through Tik Tok all day, and that's great too, but it's helpful for our mental sanity to maintain some sense of normalcy and routine, as well as something that reminds you of the Before Times.
Before COVID-19 I was traveling all the time, which, as you know from reading this blog, is something I love and probably my biggest passion in this life. Without having that element of my life that makes me happy, as well as just generally being stuck inside my apartment all day in the middle of a pandemic, it can be difficult to even think of a time when we were able to travel. There are, however, some ways to maintain that traveler's mindset of open-mindedness and adventure despite being unable to go anywhere.
These are forms of escapism, and something that everyone needs during this time. So close your News app and open up YouTube, Netflix, or Duolingo. Here are some of my tried and true tips. I do all of these daily and they give me a little serotonin boost. These tips will help maintain your traveler's spirit!
Watch Travel Vlogs & Shows. This is by far my favorite. There is something really refreshing about watching someone's real travel experience, without it being doctored up for television. I love vlogs that show both the good and bad sides of travel, and everything in between. I also love vloggers who visit more off-the-beaten-path destinations, these are really cool to see! My two favorites are Kara & Nate and Daneger & Stacey. Check them out! I also love to watch Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, that's honestly been my main form of escapism during this pandemic. You can buy his seasons on Amazon for $10 a season, which was honestly well worth it for me.
Travel Blogs. Reading travel blogs (like this one! (; ) can provide a sense of escapism when you're stuck in quarantine. I personally love reading articles about other bloggers' trips, as well as writing about my own. This is a great time to start your own blog, or even just journal for yourself and reminisce.
Learn a Language. What can you do with any newfound free time? Learn a language! You know that language you've always wanted to learn, and kept telling yourself you'll do but put it off? Now is the time to try. There are plenty of online resources, and while Duolingo and Babbel might not be the best to achieve fluency, they're not a bad place to start. Read books, listen to music and podcasts, or watch movies in your target language. Join Facebook and Meetup groups, and practice your new skills over Zoom while making some new friends! Added bonus is that it looks good on a resume too.
Plan Trips. While we might not be able to plan any real trips at the moment, we can always plan hypothetical ones! I've planned a full Southeast Asia itinerary at this point, which may sound like insanity, but it gives me a sense of normalcy. It's that hope that when borders open up again, I'm all ready to travel.
Besides these ideas, this is also a great time to rethink your goals and plans for the future. Think about how much of a priority travel might be in your life, and whether you need to reassess your career and life choices to pursue travel more. If anything, this pandemic has taught me to live in the moment and enjoy the present, since we never know when that will be taken away from us. I know we all miss traveling, and we'll be able to soon if we keep on fighting this virus. WEAR A MASK, wash your hands, keep your distance. Let's get over this so we can see the world again.