- ‘I was all booked for a trip to Bulgaria in June, then staying on in Eastern Europe, and now we can’t go.(Christine)
- I had booked a cooking tour of Vietnam with Pete Mathias which has been cancelled(Lyndell)
- I was about to walk the Routeburn when we went into lockdown.(Fiona)
- I was going on a family holiday to the hot pools at Miranda in the second week of Alert 4.(Zita)’
Instead we all stayed safe at home…
The big trip of the week was to collect the groceries I have clicked online. And a special trip was to drive up to the medical centre, put my right arm out the window for a nurse to inject a flu vaccine, all the while swathed in plastic. Not much for someone who loves the thrill of the new, the smell of aeroplane fuel, the squashing four months of clothing into one carry on bag.
Neighbourhood travel/ virtuous travel
But, these self-isolation days, there are creative alternatives.
- Photograph the teddies. All around our leafy neighbourhood you can find them on windowsill, letterboxes fences and verandahs.
- Map the neighbourhood, identifying the trees, the letterboxes, the chestnuts falling , the oranges nearly ripe, the quinces overhanging the fence, the walnuts scattered by the school.
- Come home and search the internet for ways to open and cook them.
- Get up after 6am to photograph the dawn. Or choose the easier path of capturing the sunset, glass of wine in hand.
The Afterglow of travel/virtual travel
On rainy days, you can luxuriate in the afterglow of travel- all those memories…
- Take out the scrapbooks, diaries and collections of brochures. Put on some music from that country and reminisce.
- Trawl through all the google photos and start to create a photo book on line. This takes ages to do, but we have more time than we need, and the end result is worth it.
- Enjoy the memory of travel, when you watch documentaries, or hear Andrea Bocelli sing on Easter Day in Milan Cathedral. All those visits to European Cathedrals are recalled as the camera swoops up to the ornate ceilings, intensely coloured windows and empty echoing interiors.
Experimental Travel/visceral travel
The Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel is one of my favourite books! Perfect at the side of the bed, or out in the garden with a long cool drink, it makes me laugh, think and dream. Some ideas for lock down creativity.
- Alternating Travel. Leave your home on foot. Take the first road to the right, then the next on the left, then the next on the right, and so on. Carry on till something blocks your path- a no man’s land, a building or a stretch of water, and you can go no further.
- Dog Leg Travel. Find a dog. Let it take you for a walk.
- Literary Journey. Choose a book from your bookshelf and commence reading. Continue reading until a foreign country is mentioned. Then choose a second book that is somehow related to that country and begin reading again. Repeat until you have returned to your point of origin or have completed a circumnavigation of the globe.
- Mascot Travel. Pick a personal mascot (stuffed toy, garden gnome, pet rock…). Travel around your neighbourhood and take its picture outside notable places. Consider making a photobook of your mascot’s explorations. The photos should look like you were never there, just the mascot.
The Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel by Rachel Antony and Joel Henry. https://www.amazon.com/Lonely-Planet-Guide-Experimental-Travel/dp/1741044502