To pick an image that better represents what is going on in the world right now (Covid-19), I chose something that can reinforce the state of Oneness, where boundaries cease to exist, in the name of love.
The evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak went from stage 1 “Oh, there is another outbreak and it has all started in China”, to stage 2 “From now on, only high elbows and no more high fives”, to stage 3 “Damn, my boss sent everyone home for undetermined period and I have an old uncle who probably got infected” to stage 4 “ok, this is serious now, the emergency state was declared and the number of infected cases/ deaths around the world is increasing at a very rapid pace”.
Knowing that THE ONLY THING WE CAN DO as good human beings, as exemplary citizens and as helpful volunteers is to be the most ISOLATED possible, I would like to share with you that we can find some ways for keeping up the spirit and for travelling… without going anywhere.
Any opinion issued on the pandemic outbreak is highly susceptible, as lives are being taken and adversity is the order of the day worldwide, though it’s positive to share the message of peace and encouragement, of resilience and faith.
Even if TRAVELLING IS ESSENTIAL for us, we can cross that one off from the list for now, but as I like to reinforce – travelling is an approach and a way of life -, so how can we travel without moving away from the same place?
- CREATE A NEW PLAYLIST WITH FRESH SONGS AND IMMERSE INTO SOUND JOURNEYS
You will need to agree with me, there is nothing like music. Music and sound in general can transport us back to a moment that we have lived before. Musical culture is about representing the best of a place through this beautiful combination of art and melody. Enjoy the algorithm that suggests you the music you will most likely be in love with, Discovery Weekly, search, select your songs and create a playlist. Then just download it and journey into the sensations. There are tons of playlists being created under the Covid-19 context and the Live streaming reality is huge right now. You can also check my playlist by clicking here.
- EXPLORE A PART OF YOURSELF THAT MAKES YOU FEEL AND ACT LIKE A FOREIGNER
It’s true. You don’t need to be abroad to HAVE THE FEELING OF A FOREIGNER. In the dictionary, Foreigner and alien are synonyms and the origin is the Latin Extraneus, meaning literally strange. This means that even if we can’t take off and fly to a distant country, we can basically… act like a stranger: what we choose to read, listen and watch, the way we plan our day, how exotic is the food we cook and which are the things we choose to learn as a priority – it will all influence our level of ‘foreignness’.
- FIND THE BALANCE BETWEEN SELF-DISCIPLINE AND THE DOLCE FARE NIENTE
In days like these, where most of us are ON STANDBY and others are working online or in an in-between stage, it is easy to lean only to one side – the dolce fare niente. I see this context as an OPPORTUNITY for those who had really hectic lives to take some rest and recharge the batteries, but ideally we should find the balance between planning the day ahead and enjoying the opportunity of non-doing. I like to think of a Dolce Equilibrium.
- AIM TO COOK THOSE EXOTIC DISHES YOU’VE TRIED BEFORE, DURING YOUR TRAVELS
You were in Thailand and their food will always make your mouth water; What about the Indian Dal, the Vietnamese Pho and the Colombian Arepas? I know, sometimes you feel like flying back just to have the possibility to eat that amazing, cheap food again. Well, BE CREATIVE. Cook your own, buy the stuff you need (but only leave the house if you really need to) and set off on your imaginary travels while you sprinkle on a bunch of your favorite spices.
- PICK A LANGUAGE THAT YOU WANT TO LEARN AND START DIGGING INTO IT
You love how Italian sounds and you always wanted to learn the language? You feel like one day you want to go back to South America and having the Spanish is a must? Or even deepening the English language as it will help you find online freelance jobs in an easier way? This is your opportunity to switch to LEARNER MODE.
- ORGANIZE A SKYPE CALL WITH YOUR FRIENDS FROM DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE WORLD
Sounds good, no? We meet so many people along the way, some of them had a huge impact in our journeys and will be remembered forever. Make a call to some friends and delve a little bit into their situations, how is everything over there, what’s their perspective on what is going on and what’s being done to conquer the battle against Covid-19 and to keep people healthy and positive. Travel through RECONNECTION.
- ENJOY THIS TIME TO TRAVEL… THROUGH READING
If we say that time is lacking and that’s why we can’t read more, this is not an excuse anymore, as TIME is a consequence of Covid-social-impacts. You can grab those books you have in the shelf waiting for you or you can do a research on the best authors to read in times like these. I am travelling through Yuval Noah Harari’s vision, a bright historian, considered one of the most important authors of our times, and I am digging into D.S. Iyengar teachings on Light on Yoga, a very powerful therapeutic approach useful to keep us in a good mental and physical condition. I also have Clear Bright Future from Paul Mason on my bed side table.
- AND ENJOY THIS TIME TO TRAVEL… THROUGH VISUALIZATION AND MEDITATION.
Did you stop to think that nothing happens without a reason? What if you can take it as an opportunity for getting closer to your family, for being less consumerist and more minimalistic, for cooking more, for reducing carbon emissions, for generating less trash, for spending less money, for killing less animals and for getting MORE IN TUNED WITH YOURSELF? That’s where I wanted to take you. If you can’t go outside, you need to go inside – I read somewhere – and it’s true, we should find peace within – it’s now, here, eternally.
Visualize: What do I want for myself? Where do I want to be? Is there something I need that I don’t have already?
- DARE TO START DOING SOMETHING YOU WANTED TO DO BUT YOU DIDN’T BECAUSE TIME/ OPPORTUNITY WEREN’T THERE
What was it, do you remember? Learning about quantum physics? Playing guitar? Improving your handstand? Doing choreography? Starting writing? Learning about agriculture and farming? Deepening the subject of where do viruses come from and what can society do to prevent them from developing and being spread? Taking online courses on web development? TAKE YOUR CHANCE. This is the time.
- START PLANNING THE (NEXT) TRIP OF YOUR DREAMS.
While society and most services are on standby, your ability to DREAM BIG can’t be taken from you. There is so much speculation right now on whether this is going to take a long time or not and if it’s really affecting global economy and consumers behaviors, but your dream for sailing away to the Mediterranean or the desire of doing the Caminho de Santiago can perfectly be conceived and planned right now.
- WATCH GOOD DOCUMENTARIES, SEARCH FOR BLOGS AND READ BOOKS ON TRAVELLING AND ADVENTURE
There is good stuff out there, made from adventurers to adventurers. A lesson is being taken here, as travelling implies more and more ecological footprint, but I will keep on reinforcing the idea of Miller that «one’s destination is not a place but a new way of seeing things».
- ORGANIZE A FOLDER WITH ALL THE HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR AMAZING PAST TRIPS AND BE IN TUNED WITH THAT ADVENTURER AGAIN
Do you still remember that day when you set off alone for the first time, feeling like an hero(in)? Or the day you went for a long hike in the jungle and got lost just before sunset? What about the day you got bitten by a monkey because of staring at him in the eyes? And your first silent retreat in the middle of the locals from a Nepalese village, do you remember? Your first 6 months visa and the need for being creative when filling that ‘gap’ in your cv? Yes, all that and much more. Rescue those memories also from your hard disk. It will make you revive these travel experiences and be more in tuned with that part of yourself. Make your own Adventure Vision Board.
- COMPLETE THE SENTENCE “I LIKE TO TRAVEL BECAUSE IT MAKES ME FEEL____ AND IT GIVES ME THE CHANCE TO ____. THE MOST POSITIVE ASPECT OF TRAVELLING IS____.
Is it easy for you to fill these gaps? For most of us, it’s obvious how we feel and what happens to us when we are choosing travelling, acculturation and adventure as our life mission. The reason why it can be important to recognize it and write it down is because the possibilities for feeling that way can be found in different fields and through different ways. And now, due to Covid-19, we need to be creative.
- TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE ONLINE WORLD AND TRAVEL THROUGH THE DIFFERENT POSSIBILITIES OF JOINING YOGA CLASSES, DANCE SESSIONS AND SOUND JOURNEYS
We need to admit: the online world has a bunch of positive aspects that appear as a life facilitator. Can be annoying, it’s not real, our senses are not perceived the same way, connection fails, the PC runs out of battery in the middle of something important but give it a chance. The yoga and massage studio with all my favorite teachers is running all sessions online, including yoga, meditation, sound journeys, private/ group healing sessions and so on. Find all about it in http://inlight.pt/yoga/ or reach them on (+351) 913 127 421.
- WHAT DO YOU SAY TO YOUR FAMILY/FRIENDS WHEN YOU’RE ABOUT TO SET OFF IN YOUR TRAVELS? SAY IT NOW, FROM THE HEART.
Sometimes you fly for an uncertain time, other times you know how long it should take but you’re aware of the natural flow of events and its impermanence. The longest journey I’ve done so far, I had to say Goodbye to my grandmother knowing it was the last time I would see her. I offered her a green stone necklace and as I put it around her neck, I felt her hands and smelled her fragrance knowing that it was probably the last time. With this I’d like to invite you to tell those things without the need for waiting. Now, even if you respect the Covid and don’t hug so much, just say it. Or write, instead. But don’t leave it for tomorrow… as it might be late.
Hope you can all find your way of traveling without moving away, of keeping up the good spirit and choosing love (over fear), faith (over dismay), tranquility (over panic).
By Margarida Pimenta