7 Things Travel Enthusiasts Can Do During Isolation
by Kaleigh Northrup
Can we all pour one out for the trips cancelled so far in 2020? For all of us travel enthusiasts, the impacts of COVID-19 have really put a damper on our favorite hobby. Thinking about traveling during a global crisis seems hopeless, especially if you’ve had to cancel a trip or pump the brakes planning your latest adventure. Rather than crying over your push pin maps, I have a few ideas for keeping the little nomad inside of you optimistic. I’ve put together 7 things travel enthusiasts can do during isolation.
Spin the globe, close your eyes and point. If you don’t have a globe, use a map. Wherever your finger lands, plan a dream itinerary. You might surprise yourself and discover a new bucket list destination. Or, you could end up in Guam, which still seems pretty cool. Make plans, however theoretical they may be. Maybe one day you’ll find yourself exploring a new crevasse of the world you never thought you’d see.
Read your travel journal. Okay, if you don’t have a travel journal – get one! Writing about your feelings, observations and experiences while traveling is the best way to capture a memory. If you do have a tattered leather journal like me, dig it out and read it. The whole point of writing in a journal is to someday read and relive those trips. With more time on our hands than ever, I can’t think of a better book to start. If you’re in isolation with someone who also keeps a travel journal, try swapping. At the very least you’ll learn something new about them…or something juicy.
Start a travel blog. Feeling adventurous? What about sharing some excerpts from your travel journal?! Before I explore a new city, I always read travel writers’ blogs with first-hand experiences and recommendations. I want to know where the best bite is, all the city pub crawl deals and the hidden gems no one else can find. Practice your photo editing skills in apps like Lightroom and share your best pictures, along with tips for traveling in your favorite corners of the world. Take it a step further and consider making travel writing a side hustle by building a following. You might be surprised by how many travel fans you’ll reach!
Make an art project out of old Passport pages. During isolation, many of us have turned to coping mechanisms, like
wineart. If you’re an avid traveler (or over the age of 30) it’s likely you’ve gone through a Passport book or two. It’s a sad day for a travel enthusiast when your old Passport comes back in the mail hole-punched and useless. It took years to collect those stamps! Why should those pages sit in a dusty drawer? Cut the stamps out and make a collage, scrapbook or flat lay with the pieces. You can photograph or frame it and enjoy your hard-earned stamps while you dream up your next adventures!
Pass the time with travel themed competitions. Are you sick of the same four board games on your shelf but need more ways to pass the time? Get creative with your travel equipment. Make a suitcase-packing relay race or see who can pack the most towels into their backpack. If you have some space, hold a timed tent pitching competition in the living room. If you have a couple travel hammocks, see who can hang theirs the fastest or find creative places to set them up in your house. You could always get friends together via video conference and hold a travel-themed trivia night. The possibilities are endless as long as you’re willing to get creative. If competition is the last thing you need in your house right now, maybe just set up a tent in the living room for a peaceful movie night…
Learn a new language. Now is the perfect time to use apps like Duolingo or Babbel to learn new languages. You can brush up on lost skills or start learning an entirely new language. I recommend learning the basics of whatever country you’re headed to next. It’s a great way to stay inspired and optimistic while learning something new. See if someone in your house will learn with you so can practice! Or, try a Zoom call with a friend who is also brushing up on their skills.
Join an online travel community. Now is the time to connect virtually and share inspiration for when we can travel far and free again. My husband and I started @the_traveling_networker on Instagram to bring together fellow travel enthusiasts and share their stories. Join us or start a community of your own! It’s times like these when we need to share stories more than ever.
For travel buffs, this period of isolation can feel like captivity. Once the world heals, we will finally stretch our legs and sprint toward every corner of the world we can reach. I expect this experience will even kick our passion up a notch! Just hang in there until then and keep yourself inspired with these at-home travel activities. Bon voyage, friends – very soon.
About the author
Kaleigh Northrup is the Owner and Chief Event Producer of Kay Northrup Events, producing untraditional and out-of-the-box weddings in Rhode Island, Boston and beyond. Kay hosts the Meetup group Providence Professional Networking for Travel Enthusiasts along with her husband Jake Northrup of Experience Your Wealth. This group gathers bi-monthly to discuss trip planning, bucket list destinations and advice for traveling! Join the Meetup group to stay up-to-date with event details and announcements, and follow @the_traveling_networker on Instagram to share your travel stories and be featured in their community!