Armchair Travel

With travel plans on hold for the foreseeable future, Wanderlusters like myself can still indulge in travel activities from home…..

The first thing I’ve been doing is rearranging upcoming travel plans! Last week I was meant to be in the Tulip fields of Amsterdam and I am currently supposed to be sat in a Tapas bar in Seville! Flight dates have been changed, credit vouchers issued and refunds obtained. Hopefully my trips will go ahead next Spring.

Now is also a perfect time to update my travel bucket list. I will be using this lockdown time to research other destinations. After all I have plenty of time on my hands to read travel guides. Speaking of reading, I have purchased a couple of books that have been on my Wishlist for some time. My top five to try and get through are:

  • ‘The Two Week Traveller’ by Matthew Lightfoot
  • ‘Kidding Around: Tales of Travel with Children’ by Dervla Murphy
  • ‘Great Cities Through Traveller’s Eyes’ by Peter Furtado
  • ‘Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking it All with Rene Redzepi, the Greatest Chef in the World’ by Jeff Gordinier
  • ‘The Kindness of Strangers: Travel Stories That Make Your Heart Grow’ edited by Fearghal O’Nuallain

I might even indulge in a cheesy holiday read. With the Greek Islands of Skiathos and Skopelos on my travel list for this year, ‘My Mamma Mia Summer’ by Annie Robertson may be just what is needed!

I subscribe to ‘Lonely Planet’ and ‘Olive’ magazine and a few days ago, I flicked through the many editions of these that I have lying around (as well as all the other travel magazines I’m addicted to buying each month!). I cut out articles of interest and recipes I’d like to try and compiled folders! It might sound boring, but I found plenty of inspiration, and managed to declutter at the same time.

Now is also a good time to binge watch television and there are many good travel series out there. A couple I fancy are ‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ and ‘Ugly Delicious’, both on Netflix, as well as ‘Travel Man: 48 Hours in…’ on All 4. I’ve started watching ‘Race Across the World’ on BBC2 and I have a hankering to revisit Michael Palin’s ‘Around the World in 80 Days’. Or maybe, I’ll find a movie where the location is the star of the show. Myself and the kids watched ‘Home Alone 2: Lost in New York’ a couple of weeks ago. They loved spotting all the landmarks that we’d visited on a recent trip. There are many movies where the scenery is the scene stealer!

It is possible to visit many destinations by virtual travel. Last week I visited the flower gardens and museums of Amsterdam via the internet! Lots of attractions offer online experiences. A favourite App that I’ve discovered is ‘explore.org’. It has many live streams including Ocean aquariums, African watering holes and a live cam located in Churchill, Canada that I’m hoping to view the Aurora Borealis through (since they’ve so far eluded me on my travels)!

Air BnB are offering live, interactive sessions from around the World, led by experts hosts. You can get to meet people from all around the World while learning something new together. There are a wide choice of experiences to choose from – something for everyone.

I will definitely be tuning into ‘Devour Tours’ online experiences. Their events are free and take place on Facebook live. Virtual foodie experiences from Cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Paris and London – what’s not to love?

Back in the Autumn I started to learn Spanish. Now might be a good time to dig out the phrase books and dedicate some time to language learning. Or maybe download some podcasts or Apps to help?

My New Year’s resolution was to start writing this Travel blog. I’ve not had the best of starts, with Storm Dennis and Covid-19 putting pay to all of my 2020 travel plans so far! But I have a fair few destinations that I’m yet to post about, so all is not lost! I’ll also make an effort to subscribe to some travel blog sites and find more travel accounts to follow on social media.

I keep telling myself that this enforced lockdown is a time to reflect and recharge. There’s nothing I like more than to look through holiday photos and relive the moments. I created a Wanderlust wall in my house last year, where I had some of my favourite travel photographs printed onto ‘Mixtiles’ and mounted onto the wall. It is such a cheerful thing to look at. I was also recently gifted an ‘El Camino’ customisable travel bracelet, so I can keep my memories from around the World, around my wrist.

So you see, there are plenty of ways that the avid travellers amongst us can still enjoy travel, without even leaving our armchairs. The main thing is we are staying home for now and staying safe.

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