I know. This has been the longest and shortest 6 months of your life. You’re running out of Netflix shows, you’re overwhelmed with work and school, you need a break. Zoom happy hours were fun for a while, but now you spend 8+ hours a day in front of a computer and can’t handle any more. You miss traveling out of the country, but you want to be smart and safe. Well, I am a public health student, and here to give you a couple of ways to have fun and adrenaline while keeping others safe and traveling from home.
Kitchen Dance Parties
I know, this seems obvious. You dance to the Fresh Cuts on Spotify every other night while making your dinner. But follow with me: we can spice this up. Do you miss your going out clothes? Do you miss ladies nights and throwback jams? Push all of the furniture out of the living room or kitchen, get dolled up with however many people you want (as long as it is less than 10, all following best practices for maintaining safe distance and proper PPE), make a playlist, throw together some snacks, and just dance out those frustrations about not getting to go on your Italy trip (I’m a little salty about it) or not wanting to take your biochem midterm. Pro Tip: Do you do this already? Then get frisky with a theme. Halloween, monochromatic, blacklight enhanced, whatever you want!
Bikes are just my preferred mode of manual transportation, but you can do roller skates or skateboards or pogo sticks. Go nuts. Pick a ride, go out to a park or just track a route through your city/town and hang out with some friends while getting a little fresh air and remembering what it is like to see buildings you don’t live or work in. This way, you can keep distanced from people while still interacting and catching up. Pro Tip: Here in New Orleans, everyone has a costume box. Sync up your speakers with your friends, have someone responsible for the snacks, and see who can have the best costume and do the best tricks.
Get a Thrill Exploring Abandoned Buildings or Areas
Obviously, this one is a little more controversial, and I do not encourage anyone to trespass. But if you were going to…this wouldn’t be a bad way to do it. Get your social pod together and venture through that old school that has been closed for years, those houses that people moved out of forever ago, that building that stopped getting built because of the pandemic. Please, make sure you’re safe and it is always better to go places that you know. Also, parks right now give off a similar effect because no one can use equipment and they have been untouched for over 6 months.
Painting on the Green
Do you have a creative hobby you share with your friends? Be it painting, hula hooping, drawing, playing instruments, etc—you can get together and have fun being creative with your friends. Everyone can bring their own blanket or towel and then just let those creative energies flow. Pro Tip: Turn it into an educational experience. You can pick a friend to lead, so your friend who can whistle through their nose can try and teach everyone else, or your painting friend can pick a design and y’all try to recreate it. There are no limits!
This is the classic. I’ve been kayaking so much more since the start of the pandemic, I’ve gotten back into hiking, I go on bike rides, and there is no end to outdoor and socially distanced activities. Traveling from home can give you a new appreciation for your surroundings. No matter where you live, either drive out of the city or into the state forests and parks and explore the beauty of the natural world. Learn some birds or flowers native to your area. Go alone for some peace from the craziness of life or with friends to catch up. As long as you’re enjoying yourself, you’re doing it right. This will also support your efforts of staying healthy during this pandemic. We are all stressed out, but getting into nature will help alleviate stress and avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms.
These are trying times, but as long as we make a little effort and get a little creative, we can all fulfill that adventurous need travelers get. There are plenty of things to do during your staycation. Even if we can’t go out of the country or into new cities, traveling from home is always an option. Have fun and stay safe!