Watching a global pandemic occur in a movie felt like a far stretch from the truth until the day came, where fictional storylines met reality. As a result, we’re all making sacrifices to ensure act as a global community to keep fatalities to a minimum. Many of may be left in a slump after giving up summer holidays and much-anticipated adventures to spend more time indoors. The situation has caused disarray within the travel and hospitality industry – something I’ve experienced first hand. But, all is not lost. We have to make the best of every situation. So, I’m sharing eight different ways to stay connected to travel and feed your travel bug from the comfort of tu casa.
1. Take a trip down memory lane
I’ve found myself pulling out photo albums from over the years, scrolling through my camera roll, and re-reading my archived travel posts. Simply reflecting on all the sensational travel experiences and the surreal moments I have encountered first hand. It’s quite humbling, I must admit. Especially the opportunities that have opened my eyes and educated me in many different ways. Plus, I’ve learned a fair few things about myself along the way too. It’s quite unusual how our senses and mind works, by looking still-life and candid captures, we are taken back to that very moment; an influx of emotions, conversations and feelings that set the scene. You feel like are being transported back to that very moment again. I’d recommend trying it if you are itching to travel.
2. Learn a new language
I’ve been yearning to learn a new language for years, but I’ve never dedicated the time it requires. Now with an abundance of time across my week and weekends, the lockdown has provided the perfect scenario to start learning something new. Taking each day to learn a word or two, eventually developing them into a cohesive sentence by the end of the week is where I stand. I’m not going to be communicating like a Spanish native by the end, but it’s a step in the right direction to becoming tri-lingual and conversating with the locals on my next Spanish escapade.
3. Start planning future travel
I’m the typical culprit who wishes they planned a bit more before embarking on a trip. By creating a ‘top five’ list of where I’d like to visit in the future and I’ve used my abundant time to create travel guides for those cities. Covering an array of specifics from what sights I’d like to visit, unique activities to experience, right through to my top five hotel choices, and trending places to eat and drink. It’s giving me the same kind of joy that fulfils my wanderlust during normal circumstances and sets me up for stress-free experience when organising my next trip. If you start planning now, all you have to do is book flights when the price is right. Bliss.
4. Make a few dishes with the help of international chefs
Culinary experiences make up a major part of visiting a new destination for me. I like to discover the hottest chefs in town, what restaurants have been ranked for authenticity and quality but will give me a true taste of the local flavour. As a result, I’ve created quite a portfolio of my favourite chefs across the globe, who cook up quite a storm day-to-day. In light of recent circumstances, chefs are releasing to the secrets to their culinary delights to allow our taste buds to travel through different cities and cultures directly from our homes. Step-by-step tutorials are being shared across an array of social media channels, and let’s just say, my kitchen is exuding a real international flair at the moment. From Tuscan olive bread to chewy New York-style bagels, from Spanish paella to Chinese stir-fries, it’s all going down. Use the opportunity of not having to commute to fill your home with international aromas and flavours, giving you a sense of travel right from your kitchen.
5. Purchase a luxurious experience at your favourite hotel
In a recent interview, I was asked: “Aftab, if you could spend an hour anywhere other than home right now, where would it be?”. Naturally, I responded with a detoxing full body massage at Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square. The hotel has a spa that caters for your every need, especially if you need some tranquil relaxation. Equally, I’d be more than happy to have a weekend staycation there and have some time away from home until we can travel again. It’s a hotel that fits the bill, from the restaurants to the modern decor and in-room facilities. During the interview, I felt my mind gently drift away, thinking about how much I’d like to make that hour a reality. By purchasing a spa experience voucher, I could have a moment of rest and recuperation, while supporting the hospitality industry too. Win-win!
6. A home-delivery of sweet treats
If you have sweet tooth like me, you’re probably missing out on the indulgent delights like afternoon tea. It’s one of my favourite things to do, especially as it’s an opportunity to get together with friends and loved ones for a deluxe treat. It seems our wishes have been answered. Many hotels across London, like The Dorchester, are now offering an afternoon tea at home experiences, with everything you need to be delivered right to your doorstep. Now there is no reason to miss out from your little touch of heaven during the lockdown. You can always just buy a hammock and indulge in an exotic way too.
7. Make your favourite exotic cocktail at home
When I visited The Bahamas last year, the Bahama Mama became the talk of the trip. It was our go-to cocktail to cool down our overly baked bodies. The fresh fruit juices combined with an assortment of spirits creates the perfect (yet deadly!) exotic concoction. Only a few days ago, I had an email come through to my inbox, with a sweet message “here is a little taste of the Bahamas for you to enjoy during lockdown” complete with a recipe to recreate the Baha Mama. Don’t mind me while I set up a hammock on my balcony, pop on my sunglasses, and shake up a Bahama Mama. I’m transporting myself to the Bahamas.
If you want to create the Bahama Mama at home, here is the recipe:
1 & 1/4 oz. dark rum, 1 1/2 oz. Nassau Royale liqueur, 1 oz. coconut rum, 2 oz. orange juice, 2 oz. pineapple juice, 1/6 oz. grenadine and a dash of angostura bitters. Mix all the ingredients and shake well. Pour over crushed ice in a tall glass and garnish with a slice of orange and a cherry.
8. Crack open a bottle from your travels
I’ve always been a fan of bringing a little momento back from every trip I go on. Often enough, these are in the form of local condiments, or spirits. It’s the perfect way to relive a trip for a few weeks or years to come. It always comes in handy, especially when you have a craving as I did for a Bahama Mama as the temperatures rise in London. When I visited the Champagne region a couple of years ago, I invested in a few quality champagnes and every time I open a bottle, it brings back so many fantastic memories from my trip. If that’s not the perfect way to feel connected to travel, I don’t know what is. If you have a bottle hidden away, waiting for an occasion to be opened, now is the time to do it.
What are you doing to feed your travel bug?
Until next time…