I usually write a solo insight at the end of the month but with the world situation at the moment, it feels like the right time to write this type of post.
With many borders closed, we find ourselves in an unprecedented time of lock downs and uncertainty. Travel to many of us now means something different to what it meant before. In this moment when we can’t travel, what can we do instead? For this month’s solo insight I’ve compiled a list of things we can do when we’re grounded. Either listen to the podcast episode or read the full article.
Stay grounded. I’m not just talking physically either. Although it seems as though most of the world is grounded at the moment, it is also important for us to keep ourselves mentally grounded, especially in moments of stress and chaos. Now is the time to really look after yourself especially if you’re not able to get out.
It’s all about self-care which so many of us forget to do in this ever-moving world but taking time to go inwards and reflect is so necessary for our growth however you choose to do it. Whether that’s downloading an app like Headspace, listening to free guided meditations on Youtube or just sitting quietly for a few minutes every day to help us stay on track mentally.
If you are in need of extra self-care, I'm giving away a Solo Girl’s Self-Love kit for all Girl about the Globe subscribers. Just click the link below and you’ll receive it in your inbox.
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Buy travel books and read about destinations or stories connected with them to get you inspired again. Read about the next destination that you want to travel to or one that you have just been to. When I travelled through West Africa I read War Child by Emmanuel Jal. It gave me such an insight into the region and a better understanding of the tribal culture.
Whether you prefer a humorous fiction book such as Girls Who Travel, historical accounts of a period in our civilisation, or factual travel books to entice you to certain destinations, reading is both enriching and educational. Maybe there’s a book that you have read and you want to recommend it to others. Leave a review in the comments below with why you love it.
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Get inspired with videos and movies. Watch movies on the destinations of your choice, videos from vloggers who have been there or documentaries about the history of a destination. Geography Now is a great channel to get interesting facts and learn more about each country.
GLP has just announced the “Best Sustainable Tourism Films of 2020,” a selection of the best storytelling in sustainable tourism highlighting the positives for the future of tourism. If you need something inspiring to watch I recommend these. I’ll be posting destination videos on our Girl about the Globe channel from next week too.
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Remember that amazing Pad Thai that you had on a Thailand beach? Why don't you try and create it at home? Whether it's a Moroccan chicken tagine or a Tuscan bean soup, cooking can also be therapeutic. Download a recipe or buy a cookery book from your favourite destination and get creative in the kitchen. You’ll soon be cooking like a pro.
If you're planning on visiting Europe at some point, why not learn some basic phrases of French, Spanish or Portuguese? Maybe you’ve always had a secret desire to learn Mandarin and now seems like the right time. It only takes five minutes a day and there are free apps such as Duo Lingo to get you started.
Or you could join a platform such as conversation exchange for virtual conversations in your chosen language. You don't even need to leave your home to do it. And if learning a new language isn’t your thing, there are plenty of free courses on Udemy to learn a new skill in the meantime.
Related post: How To Learn a Language
Whether that’s organising your travel wardrobe for your next trip or sorting out the loft and attic. Spring clean your holiday clothes and wardrobe for your next solo trip which will help you to pack less too. Recycle your old clothes by donating them to charity shops or taking them to high street shops that recycle. You could also look at everything that you own and rid yourself of everything that you no longer want or need, then sell it on a platform like Gumtree and put the money towards your next trip.
Let's face it, travel is one of our favourite topics. We all love sharing our stories and tips with others. Just because we can't travel physically doesn't mean that we can't travel visually so use this time to share your travels with others. Whether that's your favourite destination, your best experiences or your solo tips.
If you haven’t travelled much you can still share your tips about where you live. If someone came to your home town/city what would you recommend them to do? Share in our Facebook community or use the hashtag #girlsabouttheglobe on Instagram with your favourite pictures and tips.
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Moving our body is not only good for our body but also for our mental health. If you can join a gym or a running club not only will you get fitter but you may meet others who share the same goal too. There are lots of virtual classes too so you don't even need to go out to move your body. There's pilates, boxing, Tai Chi and of course, yoga. You could even take up a yoga challenge and commit to the practice every day on platforms like Gaia. One yoga app, Downdog, is offering free lessons until the 1st of April.
If you’ve always fancied learning the tango you don't have to go all the way to Argentina to do it. Find a Youtube channel and practice the basics at home. Make it fun and you’ll soon be beach body ready and prepared for your next trip.
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Just because you’re not traveling doesn’t mean that you can’t plan travel. Maybe it’s a good opportunity to look at destinations that you may never have thought of. What type of Girl about the Globe are you? If you love skiing look at Bulgaria. Love history? Consider a trip along the Silk Road in Uzbekistan. Or maybe you just love drinking wine and following a wine tasting trail in Argentina or Chile sounds appealing.
Don't let this time stop you from planning a trip and researching more about a destination. If you are planning ahead for the Autumn, and looking at tours you can do, companies such as G Adventures are still taking bookings for the future with the promise that any bookings departing before 31st October can be cancelled and rebooked up to 14 days prior to the departure date.
If you are planning your next trip and need help designing your perfect trip and are interested in a Plan Your Dream Trip workshop, join our newsletter to get notified when it will take place. Join here
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If your income hasn’t been affected, maybe now is a good time to get your finances organised? See where you can afford to go in the future, or if you can’t afford to go away later on what steps can you take now to turn it into a reality? Are there any jobs you can do to earn extra money? Even filling out surveys can give you money off online platforms and extra cash.
If there are any skills that you’re not utilising, can you put your services on platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr. Our free Solo Travel Card also gives you access to discounts with lots of solo female-friendly brands for when you are ready to book your trip. Get your free card here
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They say that there is a book in every one of us but even if you don't have the intention to write a book, using a good old fashioned pen and notepad can help us to process our thoughts. If you're feeling out of sorts, try automatic writing where you connect your pen to paper and just allow yourself to write no matter what comes out. You could get back into journaling or even start a journal and jot down stories or any thoughts that come to you during the day.
Maybe you love a destination so much that you want to write about your solo travels and your experience there. Just start writing. You never know, you could be the next Eat Pray Love. If you loved a destination so much that you want to write about your experience there, we’re always looking for new stories to inspire others, especially if it’s transformational. Just leave a comment below.
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You don’t have to go to another country to make international friends. Join a Facebook community such as our Girls about the Globe Facebook community and make friends online with other nationalities. They may inspire you to travel somewhere you hadn’t thought of, or you may find that you develop a connection and find potential travel buddies for future trips. Maybe there's a specific Facebook group for an interest that you have such as writing a book or wanting to lead a nomadic life. With millions of us on Facebook, there are many new connections to be had.
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I hope that these tips help. Use this time wisely and remember to keep grounded. In this challenging time it also important to remember that everything is temporary and will pass.
Are there any other ways you can think of to pass your time at the moment?