How to travel the world virtually
So the first thing to say on this post is that of course I am not suggested you ACTUALLY travel while we’re stuck at home on lockdown. We all know that we need to stay home and not leave the house right now, so let’s do just that. This post is about how to keep travelling on lockdown, while we can’t really visit anywhere.
One of the things that I started to worry about when things started getting serious was how am I going to get my travel fix? I had literally just spent a couple of days in Prague before the measures started to come in – the Czech Republic closed their borders the day after we flew home. And it’s not like I’ve been deprived of travel – so far in 2020 I’ve already been on five trips – but as soon as our movements started to be restricted, I felt an overwhelming sensation of being trapped. I’m hoping that there will still be some places we can visit in 2020 but it seems a long way off right now.
So, we’re just going to have to adapt. Here are some ways that you can “travel” without leaving your house…
1. Plan your next trip
I’m legit obsessed with doing this anyway – for both real trips and imaginary trips. I sat with my boyfriend a couple of evenings ago discussing options for the trip that we’ll take once this is all over (I’m pushing for Bali!). We have a scratch map too, so we could look at the map and really imagine the trip that we’ll take.
Start reading blog posts about your chosen destination (bloggers will thank you for this too!) and plan all the things that you’ll do once you’re there. This also really gives you something to focus on and look forward to at this tough time.
I’m not going to actually book any trips, no matter how far into the future, just yet as I’m not too sure what will happen and I don’t want to be disappointed, but in the meantime I can plan the whole trip and save up all the money I’ll need to do it.
2. Learn a language
With the extra time you have on your hands during lockdown, why not try learning another language which you can use next time you travel? I knew lots of Spanish words from all the times that I’d visited Spain but pretty much no sentences so I’ve been brushing up.
Download the Duolingo app – it’s pretty repetitive which is really good for getting words and phrases to stick in your head and the lessons are slightly gamified so it makes it fun too. You can do as little as 10 minutes per day.
If you need some extra help with your learning, you can find a personal tutor at Tutor House.
3. Make the most of your one walk per day
Use your one walk of the day to explore somewhere different and try to mix it up by taking different routes each day. We discovered a loop of our town that we’d never done before.
4. Watch and listen
Podcasts are also great – I love them because you can listen to them whilst also doing other things – popping a load of washing on, doing the pots, etc. Some of my favourites include BRB, Women Who Travel and The Travel Diaries. Here’s a list of some of my favourite travel podcasts.
There are also lots of great travel programmes to watch and daydream about the places we will go once this is all over. Some of my recent faves include Greek Islands with Julia Bradbury, Win the Wilderness and Martin Clunes Americas.
5. Take up a challenge
I’ve seen a few people doing this and I really want to join in! Becky the Traveller last week challenged people to go camping in their gardens. Or, if you have a camper van, you could sleep in it on the drive – just for a change of scenery! Make sure you cook all your food on a camping stove or BBQ for that authenticity!
I’ve also seen various people doing step challenges inside. Iona Adventuring scaled one of the Pentland Hills from her staircase! And Ashton Gibbs has been climbing to the top of some of the world’s most famous landmarks using – yes, that’s right – her stairs!
All you need to do is google how many steps there are to reach your desired peak or the top of your favourite landmark and then work out how many times you’ll need to ascend your staircase. To make it more of a “trip” take a packed lunch and a flask!
I took on the stairs challenge myself as I decided to climb Snowdon at home.
6. Look back on your memories
I’ve got hundreds of thousands of photos from all my trips and looking back over them really reminds me of what a good time I had on each one. If you live with someone who you’ve travelled with, plan a night together where you sit down with a couple of glasses of wine and reminisce about your favourite trips.
7. Theme your days
So this is super fun – each day you could “visit” a different country. Cook and eat that country’s food, watch films from that country, play games popular in that country and drink whatever the country’s top tipple is.
For example: when it’s Thailand day, eat Thai green curry, watch The Beach, play marbles and grab a Chang.
8. Camping out – at home
There are lots of virtual camping events happening over the next few weeks, and it’s a great way to have a microadventure without having to leave your home. Sleeping under the stars in your garden is quite exciting and you could even cook your dinner on a camping stove too!
I don’t have a garden as I live in an apartment but I’m thinking I could either put up a tent in my living room or build myself a pillow fort! If you have a camper van or caravan, you could just head there for the night – an adventure while you’re just on your driveway!
9. Travel the world virtually
One thing that I’m loving about this time is the fact that tourist boards are releasing lots of really cool interactive online travel experiences and offering virtual tours or virtual reality experiences. You can do everything online from trekking the Great Wall of China to checking out the cherry blossom in Japan, as well as exploring some of the world’s best national parks.
I’ve been beer tasting in the Czech Republic, husky sledding in Swedish Lapland, seen the Northern Lights and done yoga in Greece. I put together this list of places to travel to without leaving home to inspire your virtual travelling.
Museums and art galleries have been offering online exhibits. I like the British Museum’s interactive timeline where you can journey through time, checking out exhibits as you go.
What have you been doing to keep travelling and exploring while we’re on lockdown? Let me know in the comments.