Are you losing your mind at home and want to take a little break? If you are in this boat, I got you covered. You’re probably thinking it might be impossible to travel without taking health risks during this time. However, there are some areas you could visit right now without catching the Rona. Read this article to learn more about where I am travelling to currently.
I have also included some of my favorite activities at home you could implement to reduce your boredom. I believe that travel is a state of mind, it’s looking at the world through a different lens. In the recent years, instead of being a state of mind, travel has become a point on a map. Though we cannot tick that destination from our bucket list right now, we can reach that travel state of mind by changing the way we look at things around us.
1. Your Living Room
In Western architecture, a living room is generally used for relaxing and socializing. The term ‘living room’ was known since the mid 19th century. A typical living room consists of furnishings such as a sofa, coffee tables, electric lamps, television set etc. as you must all know. In the 1890’s, a living room was understood to be a reflection of the personality of the designer.
This is still true to some aspect today. All cultures have distinctly styled objects in their living room. A sitting room in the New Zealand and United Kingdom has a fireplace whereas in a Japanese sitting room, called a “washitsu”, the floor is covered with sectioned mats, on which people can sit comfortably. Indian living rooms usually consist of a carpets and paintings of religious or spiritual significance.
If you’re a couch potato like me, you most likely spend lots of time in your living room. I spend a significant amount of my day here. I particularly enjoy watching TV with popcorn by my side. If you have already binged watched ALL of Netflix, and are looking for something new to watch you could pick one of my favorite TV series. Some of my favorite shows are The 100, Vampire Diaries, Rick and Morty, Explained, Grey’s Anatomy, The Umbrella Academy, Lucifer, and Ozark.
Most of us travel to discover ourselves and find our purpose. We set out to explore the world in hopes of finding ourselves. I believe that to find that purpose and to get that sense of adventure, we must do something new everyday. It does not necessarily have to involve going to a new place, it could be anything simple like watching a new TV show, calling someone you have not talked to in a while, sitting on a different couch in your living room, or seeing the fish in your aquarium.
2. Your Backyard
A backyard is a yard at the back of a house, common in suburban developments in the Western world. People nowadays usually use it for barbecues, parties, and gardening. However, the back yard was not always used for these activities. During world war II, people used their backyards to keep livestock and grow vegetables necessary for survival.
The back yard became a place of leisure and relaxation after the rise of consumer culture in the 50’s and 60’s. The idea of having one’s own little piece of green space behind the house in order to relax and to play was the new normal by the post-war period. Culturally, the back yard signified feelings of accomplishment and status. It became a symbol for The American Dream itself.
If you are lucky enough to have a back yard, you should definitely make the most of it. I personally really enjoy looking at the trees and the birds in the morning. Occasionally, I am lucky enough to discover multicolored butterflies and spinning spiderwebs. You could pick up gardening as a hobby too if you want. What’s better than growing your own veggies am I right?
By closely observing nature, you could learn numerous lessons about life. Trees and plants portray that every individual is unique and we all have a different purpose in life. I am sure you will be able to see these similarities too if you visit your backyard and engage with the environment more closely. Nature is good for us, in all kinds of ways.
3. Your Kitchen
A kitchen is a room that is used for preparing food, storing food and cooking. A residential kitchen is typically equipped with a stove, a sink, a refrigerator, a microwave, worktops and kitchen cabinets arranged according to a modular design. In antiquity, food was cooked over an open fire. Meat was cooked with the help of turnshpit dog also known as the kitchen dog. Technical advances in heating food in the 18th and 19th centuries changed the architecture of the kitchen.
How things came to be is often a just a passing thought for most of us. We use different appliances, electronics, and other inventions without much consideration as to their origin or development. Even our kitchens are full of these modern gadgets and tools. Look closer this quarantine, there are hidden stories in your kitchen. Now we can all open our fridge and eat ice cream at any hour. However, getting access to ice-cream was not always this easy. Though some of our ancestors figured out how to make ice cream faster than we can today, they didn’t realize that the ice-cream they created could lead to death by zinc poisoning.
Spending quality time in the kitchen could enhance your mental health significantly. I try to spend at least an hour in the kitchen every day to experiment with new dishes and drinks. Some of my specialties are Vegetable Sizzler, Classic Alfredo Pasta, Pani Puri, Nachos Supreme and Dalgona Coffee. This is one of my favorite places to go in the house because I find cooking extremely rewarding. This hobby is therapeutic and I recommend everyone to try it so you don’t lose your mind. You could experience the taste of different cultures from your own house through the trusty YouTube app and the modern kitchen.
4. Your Bedroom
The bedroom is a room in a house or hotel where people sleep. In a usual western bedroom, you will be able to find a bed, a closet, a television set, and a dresser. Did you know that our bedrooms, just like people and places, are continuously evolving? Before, the ancient nomadic people used to lie down on grasses and on animal hides, unlike the bedrooms we have today, which reflects massive advancements in technology as well as comfort. Today, the bedroom is considered a place for sleeping, for children’s playtime, for teenage sanctuary, etc.
If you have housemates, your bed is probably your hideout spot in the house. You may be surprised by the fact that some cultures do not use a bed to sleep. People in Japan do not sleep on beds. They rest on “shikibuton” which is a simple cushioned pallet about three or four inches thick. It goes on the floor and, in the morning, they roll or fold it up and store it somewhere. The notion of having a bedroom is less important in their culture than the west. Their culture focuses on having a unified house which corresponds to having a unified family. This belief prevents them from having personalized bedroom spaces for individuals in the house.
I know a lot of us are spending significant amount of time in our bedrooms because of the lock-down. However, I would recommend you to reduce your time in the bedroom. Spending a lot of time cooed up in your bedroom could make you feel lonelier. I know not all of us have the luxury to hangout in the living room all the time, but try to reduce your time on the bed. I generally use my bedroom for sleeping or video calling my friends. This lets me separate work and play. My bed serves as a relaxation spot for me in the house. By having this distinction, l am able to use my room as my peace sanctuary. If you follow my trick, you could create your own zen hideout.
5. Your Terrace
A terrace is an external, raised, open, flat area in either a landscape (such as a park or garden) near a building, or as a roof terrace on a flat roof. Terraces are used primarily for leisure activity such as strolling, resting, or sun-bathing. Terraces are found the world over, throughout history. They do not seem to fulfill any purpose as such, but numerous cultures consist of them.
Recently, the culture of terrace garden has been taking over social media. A lot of people have started growing their own greens and flowers. The terrace is finally being used for something other than drying clothes and walking dogs. People across India have been using their terraces as an escape from the four walls of their houses while maintaining the social distancing protocol.
I have started using my terrace to workout and play badminton. Working out has been keeping me sane during these crazy and uncertain times. I particularly enjoy going to the terrace because I get to see my neighbors. The sight of people getting on to their terrace for that breath of fresh air after a long busy day makes me feel like we are all in this together. If you’re feeling a little lonely today, don’t forget to visit your terrace.
Being an avid traveler, I understand how hard it must be for my fellow travelers to stay at home for such a long time period. I know that staying inside the four walls of your house must be killing you. But who said you can’t have a beautiful sunset? Just go on your terrace have a change in space, get some fresh air and do nothing but heal.