We’re sure you may be feeling overwhelmed about this uncertain period of time, but remaining positive and keeping your spirits high has never been more important than at this very moment. Now is the time to delve into the depths of your imagination, your intuitiveness and your cherished memories to keep your passion for everything that you love, alive.
Ever heard of sofa travel? Well you have now, and it provides a great alternative to being able to ‘see’ the world, all from the comfort of your own home, which is the best we have to treasure right now. From living the experience through virtual reality headsets to travelling the globe through the pages of a book, there are many ways to keep the flame of our affection for traversing new locations, alight. This is our top pick of favourite ways to keep your mind flourishing and excited for your next adventure.
What this time is teaching us is that we needn’t always feel the need to go to new places in order to discover new and meaningful things. Perhaps surprisingly, we can find that by casting our minds back and tapping into the memories we hold of some of the amazing adventures we have already encountered. Perhaps you witnessed the spine-tingling magnitude of Victoria Falls, remember the first glimpse you caught of the majestic Taj Mahal or recall casting your gaze upon the imposing peaks of the Himalayas? Whichever your favourite travel experience, why not revisit it, but in a virtual sense? Maybe you have a collection of photographs from your trip you never got around to organising or uploading to your computer. Perhaps you have some prints you keep meaning to stick into an album but your schedule hadn’t permitted it previously, or you may even have some videos you can play back to truly reminisce.
Use this time to make a tribute to your adventure and go back in time as you're doing it. You may even notice aspects of your trip and minute details that you didn’t before that give you an entirely clear or alternative perspective. This is a great way to remind yourself of the fascinating experiences you already have in your mind, rather than pining for more experiences which just isn’t possible at the moment. But, don’t worry, we’ll soon be able to add to our map of travel memories.
Virtual reality travel already existed prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, however, with the advice to stay at home, more and more people in lockdown are discovering that you can travel the globe from the comfort of your own sofa. Now, it doesn’t matter where you are — you can hike Mount Everest, you can lounge on a beach in Thailand or you can snorkel beside large manta rays in the ocean, without actually being there. The word ‘escapism’ has been batted around a lot recently including the methods through which we can do escape, whilst realising the positive impacts these methods can have on our mental health. Since travelling is on hold right now, virtual travel really is the next best thing, allowing us to switch off for just a minute and immerse ourselves in the magical potential of digital. Think of this as a virtual reality holiday taster, before experiencing the real thing, or a chance to repeat the amazing experiences you already have. Below, you’ll find a list of VR travel experiences to try for yourself, from those that require VR headsets to live streams that you can just play, sit back and completely lose yourself in. These are just a few of our favourites, but whichever location, landmark or experience you are longing for, simply search for it, and there will surely be a virtual way it can be enjoyed!
Books have inspired generations for millenia. Whether you’re a real book fiend or you simply enjoy the comfort that comes with sitting down and getting lost every now and again, you’ll know that there’s something quite magical about the refuge that can come from delving into a well-written and thought-provoking read. Since the advent of digital technology that has allowed us to find out all there is to know about a destination from the touch of a button, we may have lost our sense of appreciation for the finer aspects of travel. Well, now is the time to reignite that intrigue and make plans for some destinations or even foods for that matter, that will be gracing your wishlist when travelling is next on the cards. Below are some of our recent favourites that are ideal for lifting your spirits and certainly comforting enough to see you through lockdown.
For the design guru or the architectural admirer in you, Where Architects Sleep will take you on a journey through some of the most beautiful design-led places to stay and destinations from the insights of more than 250 leading architects. If you’re planning on taking a design-conscious trip after lockdown, then this is the read for you.
We cannot wait to tumble headfirst into the first restaurant that reopens! Well, maybe not as eagerly as that, but it is going to be an exciting time. How about finding some top restaurants that you’d like to give a try, the 150 Restaurants You Need To Visit Before You Die in fact! This is a read that will make your mouth water, even before you get to sample the real deal.
I’m sure that most of us have discovered that we have an awful habit of going about our everyday lives in a blinkered fashion, never really stopping to appreciate all of the little details that can make a place so vividly interesting. The Art of Looking Up is all about doing exactly that, showcasing beautiful ceilings around the world that are absolutely breathtaking. These are the unmissable artworks of buildings that fill the globe with delightful and abundant opportunities to truly appreciate what is all around us.
Watching a documentary or listening to a destination-related podcast is just another one of the myriad ways in which we can easily move our mind, body and soul around the world from the comfort of our own homes. For now, watching or listening to the experiences of others will have to do, and sometimes, they can even bring equally as much joy. Here are just a few of our favourites below, but if you have any recommendations, we would love to hear them!
Hailing from the creators of Chef’s Table, Street Food takes viewers on a journey of some of the most vibrant cities around the world, showcasing their rich cultures and food offerings. The episodes bring light to the traditions and perseverance that goes into many cultures’ cuisines showing the personal connections that the people who make the food have with it. The first series showcases the explosion of tastes, fusions and flavours that emanate from the streets, carts, and food markets of Asia, providing another dose of mouth-wateringly spectacular viewing.
This extraordinary documentary permits insight into the world of the photographers who go to the ends of the Earth to capture those once-in-a-lifetime photos. From vibrant cultures to vanishing tribes to animals that are on the verge of extinction, each episode focuses on an individual photographer, and since it's produced by National Geographic, you really can expect nothing but the best visual experience.
Taking you on a journey through computer and contemporary design alongside some of the world’s most revered designers, Abstract: The Art of Design, ignites your senses on every level. Allowing intimate portraits into the minds of the likes of Olafur Eliasson, Neri Oxman and Ruth E. Carter, Abstract allows us to appreciate not just the artwork, but the creative thinking and the artist behind it.
Packed with stories from travel addicts, from travel documentaries to topical travel-related discussions, The Thoughtful Travel Podcast packs in plenty of food for thought within its 30 minute stints. From its most recent episodes that draw attention to travelling in the era of climate change to interesting plane passengers to lessons that can be learnt, the content is varied and useful, covering mostly what any traveller may be interested in or have experienced for themselves.
For those with a tendency to lean towards adventure, Wild Ideas Worth Living interviews explorers, athletes, authors, scientists and entrepreneurs on how they have taken a wild, sometimes risky idea and put it into action. Both motivating and inspiring, this podcast encourages you to live more spontaneously, to never say no, and, amid the coronavirus pandemic, how to redefine your routine, adapt to changing circumstances and deal with the emotional and physical challenges that you may be experiencing since being unable to travel. It’s a reassuring breath of fresh air, suitable for any traveller feeling like they’re currently in limbo.
So there we have it, four simple yet inspiring ways to travel from the comfort of your own home. It may be the best we can accept right now, but perhaps you’ll even find a destination, an activity or a hobby you will want to visit or take up once this time has passed. Stay home and stay safe!
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