Travelling in the Times of COVID-19

In short, don’t. Travelling in the midst of a crisis like COVID-19 isn’t a good idea and won’t be for a while.

It’s surreal when you realise you’re living through a global pandemic. None of us may have ever thought this would be something we’d get to experience during our lifetime because let’s face it, why would we? But it’s real, and it’s happening, and we’re all feeling it, wherever in the world we might be. Our lives are suddenly on hold. Some of us are stuck where we don’t want to be. A lot of us have cancelled our plans. I had a personal project planned for March – a collaboration with a fellow creator that may have led to the start of something quite interesting. But travelling in the times of COVID-19 isn’t prudent, and we shelved our plans. Well, those plans anyway. Abhishek (from Work Earn Travel Repeat) and I decided to do something together anyway – remotely!

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All said and done, being stuck indoors on self-imposed quarantine is necessary. Still, it can get really dull, especially when you have itchy feet like we do. But then being stuck indoors does not mean we can’t travel. Of course we can! Not out there, but right from the comfort of our own homes, in our comfiest pyjamas, with our favourite snacks and our favourite people.

It’s a digital world, and there are SO MANY ways we can explore the beauty of this planet without stepping outside. Abhishek and I have put together a list of 13 ways to travel in the times of COVID-19.

WATCH

Our Planet – Netflix

This show is narrated by David Attenborough. That’s it, that’s all I’ve got to say. What more can one possibly want? A little more? Okay.

Our Planet is a multi-episode series on Netflix that shows spectacular, awe-inspiring parts of this world, some of which I only hope to see in this lifetime. Stunning visuals aside, what holds my attention is how the show focuses on the impact of climate change on our planet and its inhabitants, fully backed by science. Watch it. You’ll enjoy it, you’ll learn a LOT and emerge a more responsible traveller and person.

Caravan Chronicles – YouTube

CC Season 1 was the brainchild of Rohith Subramanian (@MisfitMagellan) and Ankita Kumar (Monkey.Inc), where the two traversed across India for 100 days in a multi-hued caravan. Season 2 of Caravan Chronicles saw Sharanya Iyer (Truly Nomadly) join Ankita for a 30-day journey across Sikkim in a powder blue caravan. This series doesn’t only take you through a beautiful destination, but also on a journey of emotions and the daily rhythm of travel.

David Rocco Dolce Series – Fox Life

David Rocco’s Dolce series spans across countries – Dolce Italia, Africa, India and Dolce SE Asia is in the works! The natural appeal of the script, David’s charm of conversing with the locals and the ease with which he infuses world cuisine with his Italian roots is simply remarkable and keeps the viewer hooked. Also, we totally want to try some of those dishes!

Rick Steves Europe – YouTube

Europe – one continent neither of us can get enough of. And since Abhishek harbours a dream of living there someday, Rick Steves’s episodes on Youtube are respite and refuge. The simple delivery and the calm, old-school feel of his travel videos are enough to make one fall in love with Europe again and again, and then again.

Ronnie and Barty – YouTube

Rohan and Bharti left the city life behind in Mumbai and moved to Manali. Their YouTube channel is called Ronnie and Barty, and the content is among the best we have ever seen. Top-notch cinematography that offers an insight into the lives, culture and people of the Himalayas backed by a solid script and beautiful music makes this channel addictive. Trust us. Once you start, you won’t stop.

Eva zu Beck – Youtube

In her own words, Eva goes to places where most others don’t, and this is very obvious in her choice of destinations and experiences. She’s lived in Pakistan, ridden on an iron ore train across the Sahara, ran her first marathon in Iraqi Kurdistan and is currently quarantining in the Socotra islands. She loves what she does, and her pure passion for travel and all-round badassery is major goals. Catch her work here.

Homes by the Med – YouTube

We’re talking about beautiful homes and beautiful views. The host – Charlie Luxton – explores unique homes at some of the world’s most scenic coastal towns. Call it a particular inclination towards architecture and interiors, but the visuals of this show can have us hooked for hours. If seaside locations and homes with breathtaking views are your thing, this is a must-watch. Check it out here.

Street Food Around The World – Fox Life and National Geographic

Yes, there are a lot of shows on street food culture, but what makes this one stand out is definitely the host. His humour mixed with some lip-smacking food add a fun element to the show.

Work Earn Travel Repeat – YouTube

So I collaborated with Abhishek for this piece, and it’s OBVIOUSLY because I think he’s a creator worth looking at. So this guy’s an MBA grad like me and left the corporate grind (like me). He makes travel videos – and when I say videos, I don’t mean vlogs. Head over for cinematic content which will take you around the world on some different experiences – like exploring the lesser-known parts of Meghalaya in a campervan, or stories of people who have moved away from the cities and settled in the mountains. Watch here.

Also see – Travelling in the Times of COVID-19 – The Video

READ

The Shooting Star by Shivya Nath

Shivya Nath travels the world and lives out of two backpacks. She runs a blog by the name The Shooting Star, and this was one of the first names I heard of when I forayed into blogging. What keeps me fully engrossed in her work is her penchant for all things offbeat and her sense of immense responsibility towards this planet. She’s also penned down some of her travel stories in a book called The Shooting Star, and if you ask me, it’s a must-read.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

A shepherd kid in Spain wants to travel the world in search of a treasure beyond man’s wildest dreams and embarks on a journey that changes his life. Does he find the treasure? What is the treasure? Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist takes us along with Santiago on a journey that at least to me, mirrors our own. This book showcases a traveller’s journey beautifully in simple words. A must-read.

Into the Wild – Book and Movie

This is the story of Christopher McCandless, a twenty-something-year-old who turned his back on a conventional life and literally went into the wild. This is a book written by John Krakauer that has been made into a movie by Sean Penn. BOTH will have you asking some difficult questions, and yet halting in admiration for a boy who was brave enough to chase his dreams – even let them consume him entirely.

AND LASTLY,

Umm. Me. Peppy Travel Girl

*blushes and hides*

Why am I in the ‘read’ section, you ask? Because I started as a writer and a blogger, which is what this whole website is about!

See Also: The Ultimate Guide to Sri Lanka

But somewhere on my journey, I landed a travel show with TLC. It’s called The Calling, and it’s on… NETFLIX. That’s right. I’m on Netflix and never in my life did I think I would say something like this. Or even be on Netflix. But seriously guys, don’t watch this show just because I’m telling you, trust me I’m not getting a single paisa out of it. Watch it because it’s actually beautiful. Stunning visuals from 8 incredible destinations in India, some very unique and fun experiences and a few added elements of friendship and competition make it an intriguing watch.

THAT IS ME!!!!! The girl, I mean.. If it wasn’t.. obvious?

And after that show, I went on to host my own travel show on TLC India’s YouTube channel. It’s called The Solo Girl’s Guide to Travel with Preethi. I’ve covered some INCREDIBLE places in India and outside, had some MAD experiences, met some AMAZING people, and eaten a lot of really weird (but GREAT) food. Go check it out!

I want to hear from you! Tell me how you like it!

So that’s it! Whew, it’s actually quite a lot of travel content to consume, and I’m pretty sure this 21-day lockdown period won’t seem all that arduous. Take a break from all the negative news streaming in from mainstream media and let yourself get transported to an exotic destination or two.

If there’s something else you want to add to the list, drop me a line in the comments and let me know!

Until we can all travel next, stay inside, stay safe and wash your hands!!

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