Feeling trapped inside? Itching for the great outdoors? You can still make the Coronavirus Quarantine a productive, and even positive experience. Just stay focused on travel and culture. From virtual peeks at penguins, to top TV, books and art festivals, here are 25 travel-related things to do at home in the Coronavirus Quarantine. There are more ways to “culture” from home than you might think!
Watch a travel-inspired TV show on Netflix
What would we do without Netflix, our trusty quarantine companion? If you can’t get enough of travel-themed TV at this time, here are the top 5 inspiring shows to take your mind off the couch and around the world.
- Restaurants on the edge – Restaurateur Nick Liberato, chef Dennis Prescott, and designer Karin Bohn whisk us into restaurants with amazing views. The catch? They’re at risk of closing down. Where this show stands out from other fixer-upper type shows is the focus on culture in each place, from Hong Kong to Costa Rica to Austria. Inspirational and positive! (Add To Netflix Queue)
- The Kindness Diaries – Connection, and finding the common thread to humanity is the aim of our host Leon Logothetis. Watch him as he travels the developing world “without cash” and barters his way through various situations. This show proves you don’t always need money to have a life-changing experience somewhere new. It’s all about your attitude. (Add To Netflix Queue)
- The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes – Hosts Piers Taylor (a professional architect) and Caroline Quentin (a perpeturally awestruck British actor) join forces in this addictive show. Peer with them into some of the world’s most intoxicating architectural wonders, from a fisherman’s pad in Japan to a writer’s retreat in Holland. (Add To Netflix Queue)
- Our Planet – Sir David Attenborough narrates this stunning series, which does for Netflix what Planet Earth does for the BBC – enlightens us all to the power of nature. Get ready for the mesmerising cinematography to fuel your wanderlust. And prepare to see the plight of our planet’s endangered oceans, coasts and wildlife through new eyes. (Add To Netflix Queue)
- Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father – Comedian Jack Whitehall takes his 60-something father on his travels, and the results are both hilarious and deeply moving. The joy is watching this father/son bond develop as the episodes progress. Follow a series of ridiculous adventures from hookah lounges to naked yoga and a “lads and dads” night in Vegas. (Add to Netflix Queue)
Take a virtual museum or art tour
Artists, museums and galleries are rolling out some impressive digital initiatives to satisfy your creative and cultural cravings in the Coronavirus quarantine. Take a look at the top 5 virtual museum and art ideas now ‘showing’ online.
- The Louvre in Paris has three of the museum’s spaces available for virtual tours, including a cool Ancient Egypt wing and the moat down in the museum’s basement. There’s also an online tour of the Galerie d’Apollon.
- Galway in Ireland was due to host a cracking cultural programme for its year as the European Capital of Culture. You can still see one of the highlights. Savage Beauty by the Finnish artist Kari Kola is an outdoor light-works extravaganza!
- The Vatican Museums offer the chance to explore without the crowds (finally!) with 360-degree tours of the Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s Rooms and more. You wouldn’t even see this stuff this close-up if you were there in person.
- Google’s Arts and Culture collections are worth a little bit of exploring from home. You’ll find paintings from Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, works from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and lots from London’s Tate Modern to keep you clicking.
- The Castello di Rivoli in Turin launched three new exhibitions before it was forced to close its doors. But you can still get in, thanks to these digital tours and videos. Also in Turin, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo brings us new social media initiatives.
- The Guardian has just divulged some awesome Opera you can livestream to your sofa, courtesy of some of the world’s top theatres.
Watch an animal-packed livestream
Is there anything more relaxing than the slow-motion swim of a carefree manatee, or the innocent waddle of a penguin? Zone out with all sorts of animals, from kittens to birds and baboons on these livestream feeds.
- Underwater Manatee-Cam at Blue Spring State Park – Join the manatees who love to hang out at Blue Spring State Park near Orange City, Florida. This warm-water sanctuary is closed to the public. Any people you might see in the footage are special researchers.
- San Diego Zoo live cams – The San Diego Zoo has 11 different live cameras, all focused on animal antics around the park. Check out what the elephants are up to. Then check in on the apes, baboons, owls, polar bears, penguins, and more!
- Smithsonian Zoo live cams – Wondering how the naked mole rats are reacting in this time of crisis? Head on over to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute’s website for live feeds on Washington’s mole rats, pandas, lions, and elephants.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Aviary Cam – The soft twitter of birds can relax even the busiest mind. Switch off panic mode and chillax with the birds, from the black-necked stilts to the black oystercatchers. Corona-jamona, just look at their bright-coloured beaks!
- Explore live cams – A one-stop-shop for all your animal live cam needs. You can search for almost anything on here and find a relative livestream of it. From puppies feeding, to eagles nesting, to polar bears in play pens, be warned, you might never want to go out again.
Quarantine with your Kindle and read a travel book
What better time to catch up on that bestselling book you never got the chance to read? Download these top 5 travel-inspired books and take yourself off somewhere new, without leaving your quarantine bubble:
- Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes – Frances Mayes writes of Italy’s sights, sounds, people, and food the way you want to remember it (delicious recipes included). Be whisked away from Coronavirus into her anecdotes of small town life in Italy and its leisurely pace of life. You’ll be yearning to visit Tuscany when this is all over!
- Marching Powder by Rusty Young – Meet English drug smuggler, Thomas McFadden, who was arrested in Bolivia and thrown into prison in San Pedro. This insightful, sometimes shocking read lets you into life inside a South American prison, complete with cocaine production, unlikely friendships and prison hierarchy. Suddenly quarantine doesn’t seem so bad.
- Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – Elizabeth Gilbert takes us along on her search for self-discovery across the world. You’ll be itching to follow in her footsteps to Italy, India, and Bali as you read how each place and culture taught her something new. Smart, touching and deeply personal, this book was made for inspiring your own journey towards a better “you”.
- Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer – Get ready to stay up all night on the edge of your sofa. Krauker takes us with him through the adventurous life of Christopher Johnson McCandless, otherwise known as Alexander Supertramp, who burns his ID, gives everything he owns away, and sets off alone into the Alaskan wilderness. Gulp.
- The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman – Enter the world of goody-two-shoes Rachel Friedman who buys a spontaneous ticket to Ireland, where she met a free-spirited Australian girl, who then prompts her onwards to Australia and South America. This hilarious memoir is refreshingly honest and shows us all how we can choose to live in the moment.
Learn a new language
In a time of quarantine, make the world your comfort zone and get bilingual, baby. There are lots of ways to learn a new language online. You just have to decide which language to learn!
- Duolingo – Ten minutes every day on Duolingo should equip you with the basics of any language. The tests are fun, too. If you want to become a pro at saying, understanding and spelling the basics in Dutch, Spanish, Korean, and more, give the free trial a shot.
- Learn High Valyrian from English – Speak like a Targaryen, command dragons like Khaleesi, and pray like a Red Priestess. Duolingo will soon be offering lessons in the ancient language of Essos, regarded as the language of nobles, poetry and dragons.
- Preply.com – Speak naturally with professional online tutors from 185 countries and hone your language skills in your own living room. Choose the price that suits your budget, and take your pick of tutors.
- Babbel.com – Babbel’s comprehensive learning system combines effective education methods with state-of-the-art technology. Learn 14 languages from Dutch to Brazilian Portuguese, to Turkish and study bite-sized lessons that get you talking, fast.
- How to learn any language easily | Matthew Youlden – This TED Talk by polyglot and linguist Matthew Youlden debunks popular myths about language-learning and shows us how to learn a second language faster. He speaks 20 languages, so he knows his stuff!