We’re supposed to be backpacking this month, but because of the current conditions surrounding COVID-19, we decided to cancel the trip and just stay at home.

And I know we’re not alone. There are a lot of digital nomads and freelancers out there who are currently staying put. In addition, this is usually the time of the year when Filipinos hit the road, but many of us ended up putting our travel plans on hold. But if you’re the type who sees every setback as an opportunity to do something productive, you’re probably trying to keep your nomadic spirit alive and kicking even when stuck at home!

Here are some travel-related things that can keep you busy while you’re waiting for your next getaway.

Plan your next trip.

If you’re the type who don’t normally enjoy planning, take advantage of your thirst for travel and let it drive you!

If you already have an upcoming trip later this year, check out hotels and attractions online. You don’t need to book anything yet or make purchases, but you can begin researching and building your itinerary.

Of course, you can always choose to skip planning and wing it. But if you’ll be applying for a visa, you’ll be traveling with kids and seniors, or you simply can’t afford to make mistakes, some preparation is still needed. Planning a trip is no easy task. It can take a lot of time and effort, especially if it’s a family trip and you’re in charge. But because you have time now, you can start working on it so you don’t have to worry about it when the travel date comes knocking.

If you haven’t decided on where to go next or don’t have any plans yet, now is a great time to surround yourself with inspiration. It’s very easy to do because there’s a lot of ’em online! I always enjoy watching travel documentaries and travel vlogs because they inspire me to travel.


Document your travel history.

Do you keep a neat record of your travels?

One of the things that has made my life a lot easier when applying for a visa is this little Excel file, where I list all my trips including the destinations, purpose of visit, and specific travel dates.

If you’re a frequent traveler, making this can take a lot of time. But it’s very convenient in the long run.

Remember, when applying for a visa, the application form usually asks for the details of your past trips. For example, the Korean visa form has these questions:

  • Have you traveled to Korea in the last 5 years?
  • Have you traveled abroad (countries other than Korea) in the last 5 years?

Before I made this file, I used to search my email inbox for flight itineraries just to see the travel dates and arrange my past trips chronologically. But since I had this, it was a lot easier. I would simply copy-paste from this file. In some cases (e.g. Australian visa, Canadian visa), I would simply submit a PDF version of this file.

If you have this, all you need to do is update it every time you have a new trip.

On top of it all, it just feels good seeing all the places that you have been to on just one page.


Organize your travel photos.

This is something I totally enjoy!

Organizing travel photos can take hours especially if you have a long travel history. Now that you have plenty of free time, you can use it to sort out your pics.

I usually start by creating a hierarchy of folders — country to destination to attraction. After arranging them and making sure everything is in the right album, it’s time to clean up. Often when I travel, I take multiple shots of the same subject/moment from the same angle. To free up some space, I delete these duplicates. If I have more time, I process some photos by applying filters.

This is also a great way to look back at your past journeys. You’ll be surprised how good it feels to remember and rediscover moments that have already slipped your memory.


Work from home to fund your next trip!

Travel is a great motivation to work hard. It offers an unforgettable escape that stays with you long after the trip is over.

You might be able to earn even in the comfort of your own home. I know this because I’ve been home-based for a long time! But it’s also possible for full-time employees! Back when I did the 9-to-5, I took on other online jobs to earn extra, which I would use to finance my trips. I accepted consultancy gigs and writing projects.

If you have a skill that can be performed at home, try to earn from it. It can be writing, editing, translating, design, photography. Or if you have lots of photos from your trips, you can open a stock photo account and sell them!


Replicate dishes from your travels.

I don’t know about you, but if there’s one thing that I am always looking forward to in any destination is the food. It’s also something that lingers on my mind way after the trip is over.

When I miss a place, I try to recreate the most glorious dishes that graced my palate in that destination. It’s easy to find recipes online. You can even find step-by-step video guides on YouTube. It’s always a challenge trying to find some of the ingredients but you can try replacing them with local alternatives. It’s not the same but it’s good enough for me to relive my food trips abroad.

If you feel like you don’t have a knack for it, there’s always Grab Food and Food Panda! You can just have your favorite dish delivered to your doorstep!



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Yoshke Dimen

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