Updated: Mar 20, 2020
Given the seriousness and severity of the current Coronavirus, I suspended the blog posts I had scheduled. It just didn’t seem appropriate. Instead, I wanted to share some of my favorite travel-like things we can do from home.
The tourism sector around the world will be seriously affected by the current restrictions and bans. I worry for people who depend on tourism for their economic livelihood. I hope, once the dust settles, that we are able to embrace tourism again in a sustainable and healthy way. There is too much beauty in this world, and it would be a shame if it were not shared.
In the meantime, here are my top picks for armchair travel activities during this time of social distancing:
Re-live your Past Travel Adventures
When was the last time you looked at that travel album on your shelf? Or that Facebook album from your family trip to Hawaii? Here are some fun ways to re-live your past travel adventures:
Get dressed in your vacation outfit.
Make the dish (or order from Skip the Dishes using their no-contact delivery) that reminds you of your trip.
Prepare a beverage that represents the place you visited.
Go through your old pictures.
Watch a movie/show set in that destination.
Listen to a playlist of songs you heard during your travels and enjoy the music while swapping your favorite stories… or have a dance party!
Museum & Gallery Virtual Tours
Google Arts & Culture is an amazing site that offer Virtual Tours of over 2500 museums and art galleries. You can see the paintings themselves up close or be guided through in a ‘street view’ setting.
Two of my favorites are:
· Musée d’Orsay, Paris has an unbelievable collection of impressionism and post-impressionism art including Van Gogh, Monet, and Cézanne.
· Uffizi Gallery, Florence is one of the most famous galleries in the world. It showcases an astounding amount of famous renaissance period work. Plus you can look over beautiful Florence from the windows.
Watch a Broadway Show
You can subscribe for a free seven-day trial to Broadway HD, which provides over 300 stellar performances such as Driving Miss Daisy, Cats, The King & I and Miss Saigon.
To honor Women’s History Month, they have put together a playlist featuring shows created and performed by mostly/all women cast.
There is also a family friendly section including Peter Pan and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Enjoy a Night at the Opera
Starting March 16th, the Metropolitan Opera announced it will be offering FREE streams of some of its most famous shows. They start at 7:30pm each night and are available for 20 hours afterwards.
Teach the Kids from Home
As schools shut down, we may want to continue a little home education for our kids. Google Arts & Culture showcases historical events in an educational setting. Learn about:
· Nelson Mandela’s 30 years to freedom.
· The Holocaust, including 70 testimonials from survivors.
· Road to Equality, celebrating 100 years of Women’s Rights in the UK.
Audible is offering a collection of free audio books for kids aged 0-18.
Who doesn’t love a good book? Now you have time to read them! Can’t read because your kids are at home with you? I have had success in putting my two under two in a stroller and plugging into my audio book while I walk them around the neighborhood.
Here are some books that will inspire you to travel again, when the time is right:
Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
It’s a classic. I just re-read it and it’s just as good as the first time I read it over ten years ago.
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
This heartfelt story will take you from Spain to Egypt on a travel quest for the meaning of life. It is beautifully written and filled with inspiration.
Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
From tragedy and heartbreak emerges a journey of reflection, self-determination and renewed strength.
The Beach, by Alex Garland
The movie is great but the book is WAY better. A backpacker’s quest for the path less taken in Thailand takes him on a journey he never expected.
Sugar Ride, by Yvonne Blomer
This travel memoir takes you on a journey through four countries in South-East Asia on bike. Her writing is poetic and insightful.
Watch an Inspiring Movie
These great movies are sure to instill some wanderlust!
Tracks Based on a true story, Robyn Davidson crosses the Australian outback on a solo-female venture with her dog and camels.
Midnight in Paris Woody Allen’s daydream-like film featuring Owen Wilson is a delight and will take you from modern-day Paris to its bohemian past.
Under the Tuscan Sun Grab a glass of Chianti, sit back and enjoy this heartfelt film set in the rolling hills of Tuscany with old stone homes and the beautiful beach-side villas. You won't even care what the plot is.
Lion A boy is separated from his family in India and is adopted by a family in Australia. The cross-culture dynamics are insightful, and the heart-wrenching story is unforgettable.
The Lord of the Rings Series New Zealand looks absolutely breathtaking! Plus… it’s a pretty cool plot, great acting and will take a LONG time to get through.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Need something silly and fun? This is it! Plus you’ll get some wonderful glimpses into Iceland, Greenland and the Himalayas.
Into the Wild Maybe a bit too much self-isolation, given the circumstances but the Alaskan landscape is incredible and the story line is well… you won’t forget this movie.
There are many things we can do and explore from the comforts of our living room. Please stay home, help your neighbors if you can and enjoy this forced pause. Take care out there!