Posts Tagged With: covid-19

Go local! Travel local!

Lake Ontario

 

 

COVID-19 has thrown many social pleasures out the window, from weddings, summer festivals to concerts. But the pandemic has curtailed one of life’s biggest pleasures: travel. With global travel restrictions in place and pockets of rising cases, it seems like travel is the last thing on anyone’s mind. I, myself, had several big trips derailed due to the pandemic: skiing in Banff, California and Colombia. Regrettably, I don’t think I’ll be going abroad for the rest of the year!

Being a travel enthusiast, I feel somewhat empty inside not being able to indulge in one of my greatest pleasures. You fellow ‘wanderlusters’ probably feel the same way. But just because there are worldwide travel restrictions doesn’t necessarily mean travel has to go out the window completely. Now is the perfect time to play tourist in your own backyard and go ‘local’. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the last month now.

I’ve been visiting towns and villages near my home that I either have never been to or haven’t been to since I was a child. And now that I have, I’m discovering local treasures I never knew existed. For example, I recently visited a town nearly seventy miles from my house. It turned out to be along this pretty river known for paddling and rafting. It also was a quaint town to walk around, I felt as if I was experiencing a more authentic Ontario. In another example, I went to a lakeside town that has a renowned theatre, and is popular with couples. It is also in the heart of Niagara wine country with vineyards galore!

town of Niagara-on-the-Lake

 

If you set your travel radar to local, you can have similar experiences as me! Chances are your home is nearby to countless ‘treasures’. Not convinced? Try doing a Google search or use an app I love called Culture Trip. You can use it to find various travel tips and insights on practically any destination worldwide. I normally use to look up places I plan to visit on any trip abroad. Give it a try! I’m sure you’ll be able to find places within 80 miles of your home, which would make the perfect daytrip!

Overnight stays at a hotel/motel may not be plausible for obvious reasons, so it’s best to look for places you can easily visit for the day. Not only will you discover new local treasures, you will have an opportunity for a selfie or two to add to your Instagram feed! So get online, discover travel-worthy locales and keep up on traveling. The day will come when we can all get back to savoring the great wonders of the world! I know I will when that day comes!

Happy ‘local’ traveling, where ever that might be!

 

 

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Surviving COVID-19 Quarantine

 

I’ll admit that I’ve never seen disruption to this degree in life! I remember back in 2003 when I was a travel agent, and facing similar uncertainty with the SARS crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic is definitely a whole new level!

I do miss my routine (work, play). I bet you do too. But it’s not quite so bad. In my neck of the woods, we can still go out for walks, exercise outdoors, walk our dogs, etc. And I’m super grateful for this! But many of you are not so fortunate. Leaving your home without proper justification can mean legal trouble, so you are confined within the walls of your humble abode.

You’ve likely kept sane by watching countless hours of YouTube videos, Netflix, etc. Nothing wrong with that. I’ve been using this time to catch up on my WIP.

And I’d like to share some similar ways to pass the time, especially in one with so much uncertainty and fear.

I’ve been telling people around me to stay positive, and I’m hoping by the end of this post you will be inspired to do that. The most important things you can do are the things that make you happy. Because when you are happy, you will think positive thoughts. So here are a few small things you can do to channel those positive vibes while practicing social distancing:

1. Take up a new hobby – here’s where YouTube comes in. Ever wanted to learn how to play a new instrument? Paint? I suggest using this downtime to learn a new hobby you’ve always wanted to take up but never had the time. Watch some videos (and there’s plenty of them) to get a feeling since you obviously can’t go out and buy a paint set, instrument. That can come during better times. Why not set out some time to learn a new hobby online.

2. Learn a new language – there are lots of language-learning apps out there, such as Duolingo. They’re free and have lessons for complete beginners. I use one to learn French and German, whilst keeping up my Spanish. I suggest devoting thirty minutes a day to doing simple lessons. You will be surprised how much you can learn in that time.

3. Journal – no, you should just write down your daily happenings. I suggest going deeper and being reflective. Make a list of the things you are grateful for; your best skills; the things that have made you a better person. What would like to accomplish by the end of the year (you might remember a previous post I made suggesting this). You will not only discover more about yourself, you will also think positive thoughts. You can even note how COVID-19 makes you feel in your journal. Go ahead, you know you wanna!

4. Exercise – this is crucial, and you can still get it indoors. Again, YouTube can be your helping hand. If you’re a yogi, you’ve likely been practicing during this whole social distancing thing. Maybe you’ve always wanted to give yoga a try? Well now you can, and there are plenty of videos for total beginners.

5. Meditation – definitely a necessity for positive-thinking. COVID-19 is bringing about stress beyond belief, and meditation can help curb said stress. You don’t have to meditate like the hard-core types. Just find a quiet spot in your home, close your eyes and listen to soothing instrumental music (no lyrics at all) for about eight minutes.

What you want to avoid is getting fixated on media regarding the COVID-19. I’m not suggesting ignoring it completely, but absolutely don’t let it become an obsession. When you get fixated on the news, you will start leaning towards the negative spectrum. And you don’t want that. Because then you won’t sleep or eat properly.

Stay positive and know that we will all get through this!

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