If you’re in or near a big city in the United States, you’re probably practicing social distancing and staying inside and away from people. If for some reason you’re not, you should really reconsider and get yourself inside ASAP. For the good of everyone.
I’m in New York City and Governor Cuomo has ordered everyone to Shelter in Place except for grocery store runs, medication runs, necessary doctor’s appointments, and once a day exercising, and today was my first day not leaving my apartment at all (legit, my door was still locked from last night when I took a few items to the recycling room tonight).
But what you’re definitely not doing is traveling. I know, this is sad, but there will be travel again in the future at some point, however, now is not the time.
But I’m here to tell you what you can do while you’re not traveling so let’s get into it:
- Plan Your Dream Trip: This might seem like a giant ol’ tease, but seriously, do it. Is there a bucket list trip that you’ve been putting off for money reasons? Or just because you’re lazy and don’t want to plan it? Now is the time to look at your bank account and figure out the logistics of what this trip will cost you and plan it out. Of course, don’t actually book anything yet because who knows when planes will be flying again, but it’s fun to daydream and planning is even more fun. If you don’t want to plan one trip, make a list of all of the trips (and I mean ALL) that you’ve been wanting to take so that when this is over, you know exactly where you’re taking your next trip to.
- Listen to a New Podcast: I listen to probably too many podcasts so I’m good on this front. I’d suggest That’s So Retrograde, The Balanced Blonde, Saw Something Scary, The Horror Virgin, and Call Your Girlfriend. Those are all so different but they’re all amazing and entertaining!
- Read: There’s never been a better time to binge read all the books you’ve been putting off reading. I have a stack of 10 or books that I’m starting on as soon as I finish the book that I have on my Kindle (I seriously hate reading on a Kindle, anyone else?). I’m trying to designate at least 1-2 hours a day for reading. And yes, I set a timer and everything because that’s the only way I know I’ve sat for an entire hour.
- FaceTime/Skype With a Friend: I’ve been doing lots of this lately for obvious reasons and it’s amazing. I’m FaceTiming with a friend that I haven’t seen in at least five years tomorrow. Reach out to EVERYONE because everyone is in the same position you are.
- Start a Daily Gratitude Journal: Get in the habit of making a list of 5-10 things that you are grateful for every day. It will help you realize that even though you’re stuck inside, you have a lot to be grateful for right now.
- Move Your Body: Do whatever it is that you can to get a little movement into your day! This is important. I know a lot of places in the US that are in lockdown are allowing people to go out for walks, so if you’re in that group, go do that. I’ve been going for a lot of walks and runs recently. If you can’t get outside, go on Instagram and look for one of the thousands of workout videos that are now being produced FOR FREE.
- Up Your Cooking Game: If you never cook, this is the time to learn. It’s not that hard. I promise. Cook that dish that you had one your favorite trip once that you’ve never gotten around to making! Like the one time I took a pierogi making class at my hostel in Warsaw and have I made a single pierogi since? No. But I should actually add that to my list of ‘things to do’ while quarantining.
- Improve Your Home: I’m 99.9% sure that there’s something you’ve been meaning to do to improve your home that you’ve been putting off for months (or years). Now is the time, my friend!
- Browse Your Old Travel Photos: Relive the memories of past trips. If you’re a travel blogger, this might spark new ideas for some new content since we can’t write about our upcoming travels.
- Organize Your Travel Photos: I currently have a few hundred photos from Portugal sitting on my Sony DSLR waiting to be downloaded and organized and I’m sure you do, too.
So, that’s it. If you have any ideas for how to keep yourself and your mind busy while isolating, let me know below.
Lastly: don’t worry! it might take a little while (especially with our incompetent government in the US!) but you WILL be able to travel again sometime in the future. Just not right now.