In our new Remote Wanderlust series, we’re exploring ways to travel the world from your home.
Though we might not be able to travel for a while, we can still dream about it.
You’ve probably spent the last few weeks clocking some decent hours on the couch and in the home office (bed). So, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little stir-crazy, particularly if you’re someone with an enduring case of the travel bug. But let’s make the most of this. Having more free time means you have the opportunity to try things you normally wouldn’t have time for, like travelling the world. Virtually, that is.
We’ve compiled a list of the most entertaining, informative and delicious ways to experience different cultures right from your home. From drool-inducing online cooking classes to a spring stack of travel novels, consider your next few weeks at home sorted.
Perfect your pasta
There’s no dismissing the comforting aspect of spending a Sunday assembling a roast with all the trimmings. But Marco Polo didn’t bring pasta all the way from the Far East to Europe for you to only eat potatoes and Yorkshire puddings. A melt-in-your-mouth bowl of gnocchi or a creamy plate of cacio e pepe might be exactly what you need right now.
If you’ve missed out on exploring Italy this year, bring some traditional cooking into your home with a homemade gnocchi tutorial from Italian food guru Gennaro Contaldo. Not into pasta? Here are some step-by-step YouTube recipes to try:
- Flavour-packed Spanish paella
- Crunchy Turkish gozleme
- Fluffy Chinese bao
- The perfect three-egg French omelette
- South Indian breakfast chutney
Hear that? That’s the collective roar of our rumbling tummies.
Virtually explore the world’s finest galleries
Some of the world’s most renowned museums and galleries have collections available online, so you can experience the cultural sights sans crowds, queues and selfie sticks. Our favourite online collections include:
- The Louvre – the Parisian great has virtual tours of exhibitions including ‘Egyptian Antiquities’ and ‘Remains of the Louvre’s Moat’
- Van Gogh Museum – the Amsterdam-based museum offers online exhibits exploring Van Gogh’s romantic life and taste in literature
- Uffizi Gallery – the Florentine gallery has fascinating digital Renaissance art exhibits
If these aren’t to your taste, we can certainly recommend Google’s brilliant Arts & Culture hub. This portal features content from more than 2,000 leading museums and archives around the world. Have a dig around.
Waste a day or two on Pinterest
Pinterest isn’t just home to reams of colourful hors d’oeuvre recipes and unrealistic DIY crafts, it also features an array of travel photography, helpful travel guides and all-round destination inspiration. Here are some Pinterest accounts to check out:
- American photographer Trey Ratcliff for travel imagery
- Blogger duo Sand in my Suitcase’s Travel The World board for travel guides
- The Newmarket Holidays account for daily travel inspiration. We had to say it!
Be warned: Pinterest is one hell of a procrastinator’s dream. You might find yourself spending hours on it after logging on for one quick search, but the platform is ideal for when you’ve got time to kill and a travel void to fill.
Learn Korean or Klingon
The Portuguese word ‘saudade’ describes a particular kind of melancholic yearning. Perhaps you’ve heard of ‘hygge’, the Danish term for contentment that comes from being delightfully cosy. There are so many words and phrases, layered with meaning, that aren’t covered in the English language.
‘Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going,’ said American writer Rita Mae Brown. Of course, language can be essential to knowing a place, its people and its culture.
While you’ve got plenty of time before your next journey abroad, pull out a notebook, find yourself a quiet room and fire up some language lessons. Check out Duolingo, for its variety of free online language courses.
Perhaps you’d like to venture over to Asia, and learn Japanese, Korean or Indonesian, or head down to Africa, and immerse yourself in Swahili. Perhaps somewhere closer to home is your flavour, with courses in Scottish Gaelic or Welsh. You can even learn Klingon, or hop over to Westeros and pick up a bit of High Valyrian – these will no doubt come in handy for all the TV time you’ve had lately.
Lose yourself in a classic travel novel
While your typical kind of travel reading might involve a dog-eared Lonely Planet, you now have time to get a bit more leisurely. Here’s our list of travel novels to read:
- If you can’t head off to an exotic location just yet, read Love With A Chance Of Drowning, the romantic tale of a new couple venturing across the Pacific Ocean on a sailboat
- If you’ve ever considered taking a road trip across the US, order a copy of 1957 classic On the Road
- Wondering what the Australian outback holds for a young woman and a group of feral camels? Robyn Davidson’s Tracks is your best bet
So, make yourself a calming cup of EB, don your wooliest socks and kick back with a riveting travel read. It’s escapism at its simplest.
If you’re looking for a way to keep track of your reads – and share them with your friends and family – register for the Good Reads 2020 Reading Challenge. To take it up a level, you might like to join a virtual reading group or book club near you!
Shop for travel gear
If you’re an organisation addict and you enjoy the occasional dose of retail therapy, take this opportunity to purchase any clothing, cosmetics, luggage, or protective gear you might need for upcoming holidays. To get you started, our ultimate holiday packing list might help. Think portable luggage scales, packing cubes or even a firey new bathing suit – the world is your oyster (or Amazon wishlist).