It is such an irony that in a time when traveling is so convenient and so much has been achieved in the transportation sector, we face an unexpected hindrance to mobility – the spread of a virus.
The appeal of tiny homes had become more popular because of the idea that people can live bigger lives outside of their homes – traveling, exploring new places, never really settling somewhere. But the pandemic has taught us that at the end of the day, we need a sanctuary. Suddenly, we had to endure the four corners of our room for a longer time. And at first, it was difficult to adjust. People started to consider moving, searching for presold homes, finding a good location away from the danger of crowds, and having enough space.
But eventually, people learned how to cope with being confined. And while there is still that burning desire to see the world, we discovered that our mind could continue to wander even when our feet could not. All we need is to trick our senses.
The sound of distant places: get a good set of speakers
Our travel experiences are largely composed of snippets of different sounds – the chatter of people speaking in a foreign language on the streets, in restaurants, everywhere. But what gets embedded in our memory is often the music we hear – the music coming from the radio of our rented car in a long drive to a scenic spot just outside the city, the music the band was playing in a bar we spent an entire night partying in, the strains of the violin from an orchestra. When we hear them again, we are immediately transported back to where we first heard them, where they had an impact on our experience.
We can achieve this effect in our homes. With a good set of speakers, we can bring ourselves back to our favorite places – the jazz and blues of New Orleans, yodeling in Switzerland, samba from Brazil, the classical music of Austria. Thankfully, there are so many online platforms that allow us to stream music from different parts of the world for free.
Cuisines from around the world: stock your kitchen
Visiting recommended restaurants or food stalls is always a part of any travel itinerary. While we couldn’t exactly replicate what we taste when we travel, we could always approximate a dish we really love – spicy seafood ramen from Japan, the crispy Peking duck of China, and even ceviche from Peru. It helps that there are several tutorials online on cooking different cuisines from around the world. Menus and instructions can also be downloaded for free. And if we have the means to, there’s always the option of having the ingredients shipped to us.
Let’s make use of our kitchen. We can even have a country theme for each day of the week. The taste and smell of these countries should keep us happy and at the same time still excited and looking forward to our next travel destination.
The sights that we miss: start a library
Our sense of sight could be the hardest to trick. But if we practice seeing with our mind’s eye, we can go anywhere we want to. That is why storytelling persists. The images created by a good storyteller will allow the reader or the listener to experience the story of the characters. If the narrative is really strong, we could even cry, laugh, or get angry with them.
Stories from different parts of the world also introduce us to their cultures. They can even be more thorough than any tour guide. In fact, people who really love traveling read a lot on the places they are planning to visit so that they are already aware of what to expect when they get there. Some traditions and practices are not easily revealed to strangers. The Santeria of Cuba is not as openly practiced as the Voodoo of New Orleans. Tourists are not easily welcomed to the favela culture of Rio de Janeiro. All of these, however, is in books – be it in paperback or in an epub. We can use this time to know deeper about the places we have visited or the places we have yet to see.
Humans are gifted with imagination. We could never be bored if we use our senses and our minds creatively. Maybe before we had not really understood what it meant to have a free mind. But now we have proven that nothing could really stop us from wandering.
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