How to Travel without Leaving Your Couch

You thought I wasn’t going to publish a blog post for last week at all, didn’t you? Well, April Fool’s! I’m still writing one, even though it’s a few days behind. A pandemic is not going to stop your girl from her blog post streak, so I’ll be publishing two pieces this week.

As most know, I was supposed to go to NYC for Saint Patrick’s Day. In retrospect, I’m pretty glad I didn’t but I’m also extremely heartbroken for the city I’ve dreamed of visiting for years and am praying for everyone fighting the war against COVID-19. With the travel blues still lingering, I decided to come up five ways we can still explore the world from home.

One of my mottos, even before this whole pandemic started, has been that adventure is everywhere– even in your own backyard. Well, I’m here to prove it can even be found on your own couch.


1. Have an International-Inspired Meal

close up photo of food on wooden table
Photo by Jacoby Clarke on Pexels.com

If you’re in the mood to support your local restaurants (and you should definitely try to when you can in this uncertain time), order take out from an ethnic restaurant of your choice. Indian, Chinese, Italian, Polish, Ethiopian, currently, the options are endless. It’s a great way to support a local business and try something different.

If you’ve taken on home cooking during this time of quarantine, find an awesome recipe for your favorite dish from your travels or maybe try making something from a place you’ve never been before.

For example, when I’m reminiscing about Ireland, I always pull out Gemma Stafford’s Irish scone recipe. Her website, Bigger Bolder Baking is a favorite of mine and these scones never disappoint.


2. Watch a Foreign Film or Show

man holding remote control
Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

A wonderful way to immerse yourself in another culture is by watching international TV shows or movies.

Both Netflix and Hulu have extensive lists of international TV shows and films that will keep you entertained for hours. Here are a few titles from both streaming services that have caught my attention:

Hulu

Vini Vidi Vici (Swedish TV crime drama)

Letterkenny (Canadian sitcom)

The Flame’s Daughter (Chinese TV drama)

Das Boot (French TV WW2 drama)

The Monkey King 3 (Chinese fantasy/action film)

Netflix

The Motivation (Spanish dramedy)

Girl (Belgian LGBTQ drama)

The Trader (Georgian investigative documentary)

Shtisel (Israeli TV drama)

Well-Intended Love (Chinese TV dramedy)


3. Go on a Virtual Museum Tour

red art relaxation girl
Photo by Una Laurencic on Pexels.com

Did you know there are a ton of museums both nationally and internationally that have collections digitally archived on their websites? This could even be a fun homeschooling activity for any parents out there trying to teach your kids from home.

Here are five iconic museums you definitely need to check out:

The Louvre (Paris, France)

The British Museum (London, England)

The Vatican Museums (Rome, Italy)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, New York)

National Museum of Anthropology (Mexico City, Mexico)

For more options, go to these lists provided by Mental Floss and Travel + Leisure


4. Hike through a Digitally-Converted National Park

man sitting on edge facing sunset
Photo by Abhiram Prakash on Pexels.com

I for one would love to run to the outdoors in this current time of stress and uncertainty and become a wild child in the US wilderness. But it seems everyone else has had the same idea, leading to the closure of parks all over the United States due to higher turnouts than most of these parks have ever seen.

Since we’re supposed to be avoiding other people in this current climate, here are a few national parks that have digitized their experience:

Denali National Park (Alaska) 

Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)

Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)

Sequoia National Park (California)

Acadia National Park (Maine)

For a wider selection, check out this extensive list created by Insider.


5. Have an Around-the-World Night

black and brown desk globe
Photo by Bruno Cervera on Pexels.com

This is inspired by my college days a bit, and is originally more of an adult activity, but turning your home or apartment into a world tour of its own is always an option.

If you’re living arrangements are as tight as mine, this might mean only three rooms but here are some examples of what you can do (alcoholic and non-alcoholic themes included):

Make some White Russians, open a nice bottle of Prosecco, and heat up a hot toddy night cap– you’ve gone on a European Drinking Tour

Get some Corona (just for a laugh), Guinness, and Heineken– International Beer Tour

Buy some Earl Grey, Oolong, and Chai–bam, Global Tea Tour

Consider finding international snack foods or candies the next time you’re at the grocery store and scattering them around the house for an “Around-the-World: Snack Edition” (again, this one could be really fun with kids)


I hope these ideas have gotten your creative juices flowing and shown you, even though we’re stuck at home, there are still ways to feed our wanderlust.

 

 

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