July is here and it’s safe to say that the coronavirus is not going anywhere anytime soon. Here in Florida, COVID cases are rising exponentially, and even some parts of Europe are seeing a resurgence of cases. This is the new normal, and we’ll have to get used to it until either a vaccine is developed or we reach “herd immunity.”
However, that leaves one question: How do we continue living the Shut Up and Go lifestyle while we’re in the midst of a global pandemic? We’re a community united by travel… but what happens when travel is taboo?
Here are some tubular tips for how we can make the most of our quarantine. Prepare yourself a quarantini and let’s get started.
How to Shut Up and Go in the era of Miss Rona
Take a Hike
Not figuratively, but literally. After you’re done reading this article, close your laptop, and head outside into nature! If your area is not under a stay-at-home order and you have access to a vehicle, taking a hike is one of the safest ways you can cure your wanderlust. Not only is getting fresh air and sunlight beneficial for your mental health, but social distancing is much easier when out in nature. Let’s also not forget that the recent protests as well as scientific studies have shown that it is more difficult for the virus to spread in outdoor environments. Chances are you probably have not even seen the most interesting natural phenomena near your home. I know I haven’t!
When I lived in Belo Horizonte, I made an effort to hike up mountains and hunt waterfalls whenever I had a free moment. Now I’m challenging myself to rekindle that same energy while here in Florida. You might say that you’re from a city and are not used to hiking, but why not try it out now? This is the perfect time to experiment with a different form of travel and explore the beauty our planet has to offer!
Rack up Those Airline Miles
Although the quarantine has kept us at home, chances are that either you still have expenses to pay and/or you’re spending way too much time on Amazon. Are you earning miles for your purchases? I personally have the Bank of America Traveler Rewards credit card and at the end of every year I usually have enough points saved up to buy myself a plane ticket or two! See if your bank has a similar program, or even look into airline credit cards which offer high signup bonuses.
I know what you’re probably thinking – you’re too scared to open a new credit card. I know, I am too. I don’t have an American Airlines credit card, but I recently shopped with their partners using affiliate links and received miles for my purchases. If you combine this with the milage benefits that your bank may offer you just for spending money in general, it’s easy to double up on miles. If you play your cards right (literally), you’ll be able to jet off to anywhere you want once the pandemic subsides!
Of course, like always, be careful with credit cards and try to restrict yourself to spending money you already have. Jo has made loads of insightful videos on personal finance if you want to check out her channel!
Plan Future Trips
While you’re saving up your miles, why not plan trips in advance? I’m not saying you need to dish out money and reserve something today (It’s still a bit sketchy given the unpredictable nature of… everything) but why not open up a Word document or bust out your journal and brainstorm? I’m moving to eastern France in the Fall and I’m already looking into an exhilarating nature trip to the Black Forest. I know times may be difficult now, but think of all of the adventures you’ll have once this is all over.
Dive Into Travel Scrapbooking
A great portion of the fun associated with traveling comes from documenting your memories so you can look back on them in the future. Chances are you have tons of photos and momentos from your adventures. Why not spend some time compiling a scrapbook?
I have a shiny scrapbook sitting in my bookcase and I’m always trying to find time to add new pages to remind me of the places I’ve had the pleasure of exploring. You may already be documenting your travels on Instagram, but there’s something more fulfilling about collecting your memories in a book to show to your family and friends. You can be as creative as you want and really express yourself through this process. I personally craft a new page for every location I travel to and go all out on the pictures and stickers.
Another interesting habit I’ve started is collecting stubs from my trips. For Christmas last year, I received a stub album. Who even knew they existed? Almost immediately, I dug through my belongings and threw in souvenirs such as old plane tickets, concert passes, and metro cards. It’s actually a pretty impressive collection to start and it’s very low-maintenance compared to hardcore scrapbooking.
Immerse Yourself in a New Language
This goes without saying, but most of you guys who tend to follow our content here on Shut Up and Go are polyglots. Don’t deny it, we see your posts. Why not use this time to study a language for your next trip? If you’re looking for some software to try out, I recommend Pimsleur. I’ve used their method for Polish and by the time I arrived in Poland earlier this year, I was able to navigate way better than I had expected. The Pimsleur application can be downloaded straight to your smartphone and it trains your listening and speech in order to get you speaking from Day 1. Usually when you’re spending your days working at the office or at school, you have no control over what language you use most of the time. However, when you’re at home in lockdown, you have the power and time to immerse yourself in a new language. Take advantage of it now while you can!
Given everything that is happening in the world this year, I cannot recommend just yet for you to buy plane tickets and travel internationally. Companies are going bankrupt, borders are opening and closing, and it’s just not completely safe. However, if you do choose to go this route and book a ticket somewhere for the future, remember to buy traveler’s insurance (after checking their policy thoroughly), travel domestically if possible, and investigate the cancellation policies for any transportation and accommodation. Remember to think about how your travels will impact the communities you interact with during this time and, above all, be safe.
Before clicking out of this article, I just have one question for you (okay, maybe two). Is there anything I missed in this list? How are you maintaining the Shut Up and Go lifestyle in 2020? Let me know in the comments below!