As a lover of all things travel, I am struggling to stay hopeful during this pandemic. I had to cancel a couple trips and now I am stuck at home wondering if when travel with be possible soon, and how the tourism industry will change after a major hit like this. While I have come up with a few ways to help feel connected to the world and treat my travel bug during a global pandemic.
Plan a Trip If you are like me you are always planning imaginary trips in your head. Some are more logical than others, but regardless it is a ton of fun and could be something to work towards and look forward to once you can start travelling again. For me, I was supposed to move to Ireland in January of 2021 to study at a university for a few years, get my degree and travel during the summer months I had off of school. After having to cancel a 5 day trip to New York in May, I certainly do not want to cancel a MOVE! Not only is it sad, but moves are much harder to coordinate than a trip. I came up with a new plan! Move it to September of 2021, only go to school for one year and then use the second year to backpack all across Europe. Woohoo! I haven’t found an all in one app that covers all aspects of travel… but some good ones that I use to cover each area. I use Hostelworld to browse accommodations, but if hostels aren’t for you, you can download hotel apps. I also downloaded a few apps for airlines that I have actually enjoyed flying with. For Europe specifically I downloaded the Ryanair app, but I’ve also had good experiences with Air Transat and West Jet before for international travel. I use apps like Trip Advisor and YouTube to find places that people recommend to do, see and eat in certain cities. Facebook groups are also great to help with planning. You can search for destination specific, or if you are a solo traveler, there are lots of community groups where you can ask questions, read what others have to say and ask for recommendations.
Explore your Backyard One of my favorite things I have done this summer was hiking a local trail with a friend from school. The one we went to, we were able to pay a reservation fee to book. This ensured less people were on the trails and social distancing was easier. It ended up being a great day with sunshine and a picnic. Another local adventure included a day in sunny sunflower fields, navigating corn mazes and eating butter tarts with my sister at a local farm. When restrictions were a little lighter, I was able to visit my friends in Kingston and saw my friend in Waterloo after she moved back to school.
Learn a New Language When I went to France, I learned how to speak French during the three months I was there. Since I have come home, I started losing my French. Seeing as I have decided to move to Ireland next year and backpack across Europe, I figured I would brush up on my French and take up Spanish. Duo-lingo works for the basics, but I never found that it stuck with me. I got myself a dictionary and some word search books. You can also seek help from a friend who maybe knows the language better than you do, or you can both practice together so your motivation to learn is higher. It is important to remember that everyone’s learning style is different. Find what works for you and make it fun!
Reminisce on the blasts from the past Over the past months I have been working with my friend to build this website to reminisce on past travels until I can showcase my future adventures. Writing blog posts and going through old photos has been a great outlet to look back and reflect on all the places I have seen in the last two years. I cannot wait to explore more that the world has to offer and connect with other travelers.
Until the world heals, let’s focus on having fun at home and staying safe so the opportunity to hear “may I see your passport and boarding pass please” becomes a reality. Support local tourism and small businesses. We are all in this together.