Some of us are still in lockdown (Melbourne I see you), some of us are living it up large (Europe we ALL see you), some of us are in a weird half lockdown weird alternative reality of a giant shit storm (America, that’s you) and some of us are laying low still limiting contact with humans because getting the virus would be very annoying for exciting upcoming hospital things (Me. That’s me!)
Then there are the people who are literally banned from leaving their country (Australia that’s you) or it’s too expensive to leave and one day return (New Zealand, that’s us!)
Wherever you are and whoever you are, one thing is for sure…
Traveling anywhere right now is HARD.
I’ve created a little list of ways you can travel around the world without leaving your house and, most importantly, without putting on pants.
...Because it’s 2020. I think we’ve all worked out that pants are completely redundant.
1. VIRTUAL DISNEYLAND RIDES
Did you know that you can go on virtual rides at a variety of the Disneylands around the world?! There are loads of youtube and Samantha Rosen from The Points Guy has collated a list of them here.
I have taken it upon myself to share my favourites...
SHANGHAI DISNEYLAND'S PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN
If you only watch one of these videos… make it this one! Holey moley. That was GREAT.
FLORIDA DISNEY'S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS PRESENTS MICKEY & MINNIE'S RUNAWAY RAILWAY
This ride recently opened only a week before the shutdown! Here's your chance to see it.
CALFIFORNIA DISNEYLAND'S SPLASH MOUNTAIN
An absolute Disney ride icon. It did accurately portray Splash Mountain, however I felt like it needed a little extra... Hence the photo above.
CALIFORNIA DISNEYLAND'S INDIANA JONES
I remember this being one of my favourite rides when I went to Disneyland so it was fun to re-experience!
SHANGHAI DISNEYLAND'S PETER PAN
It isn’t scary or thrilling, it is simply a beautiful experience.
2. WINDOW SWAP
A little creepy and I was worried it would be live and something random (a penis) was going to pop up. However, I think it’s submitted and played randomly because when we went to a Melbourne window it has bright blue sky despite being in the middle of the night there. It does honestly feel like you're traveling and getting a snapshot of life somewhere else. Which I don't know about you, but I'd take just about anything at the moment.
A series of livestreams from around the world. Initially, I wasn’t too sure about this, but then I looked around a little further by pressing “information” for each livestream and suddenly got VERY excited.
Click here & thank me later
I can’t wait to go back to Kenya around dawn or dusk local time to see all of the amazing animals around the waterhole! HOW EXCITING!
AND THEN I LOOKED EVEN DEEPER (IT’S ONLY CAPITAL LETTERS AND EXCLAMATION MARKS FROM NOW ON, FOLKS! I’M SO EXCITED!)
THERE IS A WHOLE OCEAN CATEGORY!
Here we have a live stream (occasionally a highlight, I suppose they do that if it’s dark?) of a part of the ocean in Hawaii where people are surfing.
THERE ARE LITERALLY SO MANY LIVE CAMS!!
ELEPHANTS! BABY ELEPHANTS!
GUIDE DOG PUPPIES!
I can’t breathe.
I love it.
4. WATCH SOMEONE ELSE TRAVEL (OR LISTEN)
Watching movies, documentaries, tv shows, and youtube videos is certainly a good way to travel from the comfort of your bed. Luckily I have the personality that loves to live vicariously through others, but if watching travel is too hard for you then I completely understand. Just skip to the next idea.
Race Across The World
Finish reading this and go and figure out a way to watch Race Across The World. (Look I’ll even make it easier for you. If you’re in New Zealand click here or if you’re in the UK head to here) I’d just go straight in and watch season 2 if you aren’t too sure about this, then go back and watch season 1 after. It’s like The Amazing Race but better! Season 2 finds the teams racing from Mexico City to Ushuaia (the most southern city in Argentina) with no phones, no planes, and no plans. The race takes them across South America with 5 checkpoints each couple must reach along the way. The cash that they receive at the beginning of the race is the equivalent of a flight from the start point to the endpoint so they are able to work along the way. One thing is for sure… It is one heck of a race!!
You know how sometimes you get somewhere and you’re a bit like… Hmmm. Is this… It? Richard Ayoade sums it up with this British TV show’s catchphrase, “we’re here, but should we have come?” The premise is a new destination for every 30 minute episode with Richard and a celebrity guest. If you’re after a completely unattainable extravagant experience (the budget is out of this world) but an honest review of their time at each place and don’t mind a bit of non-enthusiastic humour… This is the travel show for you.
New Zealand readers you can watch a season here.
David Farrier is one of my favourite journalists and life commentators and his Netflix series does not disappoint. It’s a bit strange at times, a little bit odd, but being able to see the darker side of tourism was eye-opening and exciting! I got to see places that I didn’t even know existed.
Craig & Aimee from Kinging It are my go to for adventure travel youtube content. Not only do they embark on some epic challenges around the world, but they are bloody awesome people. I recommend starting with their Mongol Rally documentary then checking out their India series where they bought a rickshaw (named Chapati) and drove her from the North all the way to the South. Absolutely banging youtube content, lads!
They even have a…
Which I also recommend. They say you can skip the first season because Season 2 (India) and Season 3 (Mongol Rally) really is where the party happens.
Jase & PJ
It’s travelesque but a bit more 2020 vibes and certainly not escapism… But you could listen to PJ - from Melbourne’s KIIS radio morning show Jase & PJ - do a daily diary on their podcast while she’s in a government managed quarantine facility in New Zealand. It isn’t all doom and gloom, it’s really funny and a fascinating insight into what it’s like to travel at the moment!
Which leads me to idea number five...
5. LISTEN TO A TRAVEL PLAYLIST
It could be because I started curating this playlist at 1:12AM one night, but I do think this is quite hilarious. Pop it on shuffle while you're vacuuming, having dinner, or out for a walk… It is seriously like traveling around the world!
I’m going to continue to update this so it’ll always be a little travel surprise!
6. COOK YOUR WAY AROUND THE PLANET
I am no stranger to a Mexican Fiesta night. I was supposed to be going to Mexico this year but let’s not talk about the travel plans. Instead, let’s cook our way around the world! It’s perfect because it instantly transports you to another place, but it also doubles as comfort eating because you feel so sad about not being somewhere exotic.
My Mexican Feista for one
Some ideas include a Mexican Fiesta, Japanese (think sushi & okonomiyaki), an Indian banquet, Vietnamese, Turkish... Or alternatively you could pretend that you're camping and cook outside on a BBQ. Maybe you try to speak in the language that your meal is from as an added twist! It's all in the imagination and the table setting.
From left to right: Okonomiyaki made by my housemates, homemade sushi made be me, and a smoothie bowl in a coconut shell bowl to pretend that I am in Bali
If you are a kiwi living overseas perhaps you are craving a squiggle, tim tam, or mallowpuff. My dear friend Morgan has been baking up a storm in her London apartment. She been recreating all the iconic NZ biscuits and making them coeliac friendly. (But you could easily adapt the recipes to gluten them.) Check out her website HERE or @howtocoeliac on instagram for more inspiration!
7. ESCAPE INTO A GOOD BOOK
I am a sucker for a travel story but also a love story, so these books won’t be for everyone I admit.
Isabelle Broom is one of my favourite authors, probably because every book is set somewhere different! A Year And A Day is set in Prague, One Thousand Stars And You is set in Sri Lanka & One Winter Morning in Queenstown, New Zealand! Every book is a journey.
Each book is set somewhere in Italy and you feel like you've been popped right there. Maybe in a small village in the South, or along a canal in Venice. Pure magic. (I would suggest starting with A Dream Of Italy which is my personal favourite. Old houses in a small Italian village go on sale for £1 and a whole range of characters turn up in the town. So much fun! I wish that would happen IRL...)
She's also a New Zealand author... Support local and all!
I think that's enough reading to keep you going! Let me know if you have any book suggestions, I'm always looking for more! (Here's my goodreads, feel free to connect there.)
And there you have it!
Not being able to travel sucks. These ideas have honestly really helped me, so I thought I would share with you. If you give any of these a go definitely let me know! I'm at @jessssbrien on instagram.
Happy [virtual] traveling x
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