The wanderlust in every globe-trotter's veins burns strong, and it’s important to keep that fire burning until it's possible (and it will be possible) to travel again. We may no longer be able to leave our homes unless we're taking a walk or popping to the supermarket, but we can still travel. We can transport ourselves to other times and places with a good book or film. We can rediscover our favourite places by delving back into our past holiday memories. And we can gather inspiration for future trips with friends and family using the video chat and conferencing technology we are lucky enough to have at our fingertips.
Here's a suggestion: tear yourself away from the news for just a moment – you can check it later. Sit down, make yourself comfortable, and settle in. You're in for a wonderful adventure, and you won't even have to leave your couch.
Hone your travel photography skills
For many outdoor-loving Kiwis, being relatively confined to our homes is a bit of a nuisance. However, try to think of this time as an opportunity to get around to doing all those things you've been meaning to do for ages but never quite got around to. If you love taking photos of your holidays and want some advice on how to capture the perfect shot, why not find an online travel photography course and learn how to take travel photos that will be the envy of your family and friends? Platforms like Udemy, Skillshare and LinkedIn Learning have some great tutorials you can study at your own pace, and you can always search for free videos on YouTube. They'll help you grasp the fundamentals of taking exceptional holiday snaps you can use to jazz up your Instagram feed, or simply just feel proud of when you're showing them to friends and family.
Platforms like Udemy, Skillshare and LinkedIn Learning have some great tutorials you can study at your own pace, and you can always search for free videos on YouTube.
You could also use this time to learn how to use photo editing software such as Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom, which will give your existing photos a bit of life. Get your kids or grandkids to help you out, or again turn to the trusty internet for some tutorials or online courses. If you don't have any holiday pics handy, practice by taking photos of interesting things around your neighbourhood and around your house. By the time you're able to travel again, you'll have mastered the basics and will be ready to take al those creative, beautiful images you've always dreamed of.
Get stuck into a good book or film
This might be easier said than done for those working from home with kids, partners and pets all needing attention, but if you manage to get a spare moment to yourself give this a try. You don't necessarily need to read a Tolkien-esque fantasy epic or Hilary Mantel's latest novel to escape to another world (though both of these options would work really well!) Books of all genres and varieties are great for taking you away temporarily from the challenges of everyday life.
For instance, read your kids their favourite stories and journey back to your own childhood when it was so easy to transport yourself to imaginary worlds filled with all sorts of weird and wonderful characters. Travel to Morocco, Malaysia, Italy or other exotic locations when you flip through your cookbooks and feel inspired to try new recipes. You don't need a plane ticket - all you need is a little bit of imagination and you can go anywhere you like.
You don't need a plane ticket - all you need is a little bit of imagination and you can go anywhere you like.
We’ve also got some great suggestions on our blog on top travel reads if you’re looking for some inspiration with an adventurous angle.
If you prefer to watch than read, it’s time to make use of that Netflix account! We’ve compiled a list of our favourite travel films, but even a film that's not about exploration and adventure can help transport you temporarily to another place.
For those without the time to concentrate on reading a full book or watching a movie all the way through, put on some music you haven't listened to in a while. Certain tracks will take you back to key moments in your life and often some of your most memorable holidays - see what memories you can conjure up simply by turning on Spotify.
Relive past memories
We travellers are often so focused on what’s to come, and understandably so! After all, there’s so much to look forward to. But how often do you actually stop and take some time out to go back through all the incredible adventures you’ve had throughout your life, reminisce on the good memories, the friends you made along the way, the crazy escapades you got up to, and those moments that shaped you into who you are today?
How often do you actually stop and take some time out to go back through all the incredible adventures you’ve had throughout your life, reminisce on the good memories, the friends you made along the way, the crazy escapades you got up to, and those moments that shaped you into who you are today?
If now’s not the time to do just this, we don’t know what is! Get out your old travel diaries (you’ll be amazed at what you’ll read in those), old photo albums, scrapbooks and digital photos. You could simply take some time to look through them, or you may find some need sorting through and categorising. Now is a great time to go through all the photos on your smartphone, camera or computer and organise them properly so they’re easy to find down the track when you want to show you kids or grandkids.
Make a travel scrapbook or image slideshow
While you're going through all your travel memories, you might want to unleash your creativity and start creating scrapbooks or photo albums. Travel scrapbooking was becoming a lost art but it’s made a comeback in recent years. Get a hold of all the souvenirs and photos you have and see if you can organise them in a creative way. Turn it into a project for the whole family, and get other family members or friends to work on their own scrapbooks at the same time. When you've all finished you can compare your creations.
You can also use all this enforced free time to go through your digital memories. Create an online photo book or slideshow to share with your family and friends and reminisce on all the good travel memories you’ve made and think about all the ones you'll have again when this is all over.
Plan future trips with family and friends
At times like these it’s important to stay positive, even when it feels impossible. This situation, like all other tough times, will pass. The world is waiting to be explored, and once this all blows over there will be so many places to go and things to see. Where will you go? Tee up a Facetime, Skype or Zoom call with your friends and family. After you’ve checked in on them and made sure everyone's managing okay during self-isolation, pour yourselves a beverage of your choice and start planning a future trip. It can be as small or as large as you like, but think of it as a celebration for when you've made it through this tough time. Like so many people, you've probably had holiday plans uprooted and postponed, but instead of saying goodbye forever to those plans, make a pact to do it again at a later time. You can also make a list of all the things you want to see and do in New Zealand – this wonderful country that we are so lucky to call home – so that once domestic travel gets back up and running again you'll have plenty of adventures to look forward to.
We know it's exceedingly tough for all New Zealanders right now. We hope we've been able to give you some ideas on how you can make some travel magic even during such a challenging time. We're all holding out for a time when we'll be able to explore the world again, but for now we've just got to make do with what we have - our imaginations and our memories. Stay safe everyone.