How to See the World When You're Stuck at Home
Just to state what we are all aware of, right now is a difficult time. That might be an understatement for some of you out there. For the travelers, we are now stuck at home and it can be hard to find inspiration, the motivation to do the things we love doing. A few months ago I wouldn't of believed you if you'd told me this. My mind barely wraps around it now.
I'm not going to give tips and say that it's as good as traveling the world, of course. But I've learned that in order to keep the fire alive it might help to try these things out. In order to stay sane through all this. To gain a little perspective.
Remember this quarantine is temporary, that you have a choice every day to enjoy this time with yourself, with your family, with your loved ones. To explore new parts of yourself, or maybe even parts that you once made a priority. Find the things that make you happier during this time.
1. Explore Hobbies and Passions
At first, I was working out 2-3 times a day. I had all this pent up energy inside me, I didn't know what else to do. Well, I decided one day I couldn't just work out all day, (as much as I loved how toned my body had gotten). I decided to make a list of all the hobbies and passions I could explore.
Here is what I came up with:
Art: sketching and painting (acrylic)
Reading (Try reading a new genre?)
Health: making a nutrition plan for myself
These are things I've done before and wanted to do again. Explore and delve into those creative parts of myself. For many travelers out there, you probably understand that basic need to grow and learn from the world around us. In this case I chose to explore through books, where you could travel somewhere new with your mind. I also explore through painting, finding ways to capture the places I want to go, and the things I want to see. Write about an adventure you'd like to have, places you want to see.
Creativity is how you feed that wandering soul of yours. This is an important factor to remember as you sit at home. You are craving to see the world, therefore find inspiration through that. Utilize that, harness it and express it through art or explore the cultures you want to see through online classes.
2. Online Classes
Hear me out, I know not everyone out there is a true nerd like myself, but I found out something important in all this. One of the reasons why I travel is because I honestly learn more through that than anything else. The cultures, the people, surrounding myself with new ideas and constants. So if I'm stuck indoors thinking of what I'm going to do once I'm out, I mind as well learn as much as I can. Make the most of my time here.
The website I recommend for classes is www.edx.org . All of them are free classes and most of them are taught by ivy league professors. I decided to take journalism classes, humanitarian classes, French 101, and Greek Mythology (I've always found it interesting, plus Greece is high on my list right now). It can also help to create a schedule for yourself so you get that feeling of normalcy again in your life.
Here are a few other articles with classes laid out
according to interest:
Interesting in Coding/Tech work classes - Click Here
Humanities - Click Here
Social Sciences, Art, Education, etc. - Click Here
Courses you could finish in a day - Click Here
3. Put that Mask on and Explore the Neighborhood
Bring along your notebook, sketchpad, and/or camera and find beautiful sights in your neighborhood. Try walking a little farther each time and maybe you'll find something new. I found a new hike by my grandmas house when I did this and plan on running there every few days.
I also sometimes take pictures while I'm out on a walk and just think of what makes me happy. The sunlight beaming through the treetops or the smell of my neighbors garden. Whatever it is for you, write it down, take pictures, capture it.
Sometimes even just being out in the sunlight can improve the mood. You might also see other people out and about so just waving and crinkling those eyes into a smile (no one can see your mouth) might just be the ticket to finding human connection where you can. Travelers --well humans in general really crave that basic human interaction.
Even if all you find is perspective... appreciate it.
4. Embrace New Cultures at Home
Trying out a new recipe or ordering food you haven't had before can sometimes be exciting. For us travelers it really helps us to understand the culture if we go even further than that and maybe make it a theme night. I like to learn a few phrases that might be useful in the language, maybe a little about their religion(s) involved, whatever interests you --try it out! Watching a movie with the culture involved might be another choice, I like to watch Vice Documentaries or something educational first so I can understand a bit more on what it might be like in the country. Another option is playing music and/or atmospheric sounds of the country while you eat.
For an added flare- try spinning the globe and choosing a place at random.
Enjoy the fact that we are able to do all of this in this day and age. We can study a culture at any time from our fingertips. There are so many ways to explore.
Ideas on what you can try out:
5. Take a Museum Tour
I know, I know. I'm a dork. But you know what? It's another creative experience that might get you excited about another culture, place, art, or religion, etc. It all ties in together and it fascinates me. There is so much to appreciate and this is one way to get those creative juices flowing. In seeing the artwork you can understand more on the history than you might realize.
Try interacting with some of these, hearing the stories of the pieces that look intriguing to you. Learn something new and maybe journal about why it stood out to you, or paint something similar that expresses those emotions. Here are a few options I'm trying out:
Musée d'Orsay - Paris, France - Click Here From oil paint, impressionism to modern artwork this one has many options for you to explore. Even the story of where this museum is is an interesting one.
Uffizi Gallery - Florence, Italy - Click Here Personally I think Florence is one of my favorite places on this Earth, so I might be a little impartial but this artwork is spectacular involving pieces from one of Florence's most infamous families - the de'Medicis.
The National Museum of Anthropology - Mexico City - Click Here For those who might be more interested in Archeology, this is an interesting one to take a look at. Approx. 23 exhibit rooms involving the Mayan culture.
6. Travel Movies/TV Shows Might Inspire You
Personally, I think watching travel shows help a bit but its important not to get sucked in and only do that, try to balance it out with another activity. Don't get me wrong, there most likely will be days where all you might do is binge on a show and barely do anything else. Don't beat yourself up if this does happen. Just understand you are doing better than you think you are. You are exploring with your mind, and you will find motivation to do other things again. When I binge on a show I like to try to force myself on a walk as a break and just get a little sunshine on my skin to make sure I'm doing okay.
(Side note I'm only giving a couple of examples, I plan to give a more detailed list in my next post).
Travel Docu-series to Try:
Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown - One of my favorite shows of all time, rest in peace Anthony. This show takes you through cultures around the world. I like that is shows you unique aspects of the culture, food, and people. How to watch - Amazon, Hulu
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner - if you are a travel foodie you will love this one, although I will say I'm not a travel foodie and I found this one pretty interesting. The humor, the intricacy put into dishes around the world, its a great option. How to watch - Netflix
7. Create a Vision Board
Whether it's on Pinterest, cut out from magazines and newspapers, or on a new blog you decided to start. Find a way to inspire yourself with what you want to do next. Get excited about all the things you can do, that you are capable of. Now is the time to build up that momentum so you can make those things happen once this is over. That momentum is crucial. It's why I end up traveling to new places all the time, I get myself excited and want to make it happen. I believe I will do it.
If you're less of a visual person, try writing it all out. Journaling might improve your overall mood as you shift through those emotions you feel during this time.
8. Play a few rounds of GeoGessr
I stumbled on this site a couple of weeks ago and have to say I'm addicted. Its a great way to sharpen up on your geography. Create maps, study landmarks, play games that are also educational, and might spark that travel mindset again. Plus its good to find out where certain landmarks are, it could lead to you planning out your next travel destination. Definitely recommend trying this one out.
9. Try out a Travel Puzzle
Sometimes I can get a little antsy being inside all day so it helps me to focus on something. Puzzles are a great option, especially if its hard to just sit and watch something without moving your hands. Maybe try one out as you start a new travel series or listen to a podcast that interests you while you piece together that location.
Sidenote - they can be a little hard to find on websites like Amazon right now, so I would check out other sites like Target or order it directly from the puzzle brands themselves.
10. Consider Plotting out a Travel Plan
One example of this is that I really love traveling by train, I think its the best way to take in your surroundings, enjoy the ride, and spend time writing on your journey. One thing I did a week or so ago is plan out where I want to take the train throughout Europe as I pursue graduate school in the Fall. Plotting out routes I can take, destinations to see, how much money I'll need, etc. Making lists and saving it all onto a folder on your desktop, or saving pins on Pinterest are both options I usually go with. Whatever it is, try it out and see where your mind wanders. Where would you want to go next?