This COVID-19 is testing the resilience of our generation. We have not been through war times like our grandparents; however, this is our war. A war against an invisible and invincible virus.
Many countries implement various degrees of lockdowns, encouraging citizens to stay home and keep that social distancing when we are outside. Confine to the limited space that most of us are living in, there is only so much you can do at home.
Here are 26 things which I have collated and curated for you to do while you stay home.
For the wanderlust, this is an especially challenging time with travel plans cancelled or postponed, not knowing when will the next holiday take place. To help us get through this tough time, here are some travel-related things you can do to cope with the itching feet.
1. Getting to know Mother Earth
Do you know all the countries in the world? Take this 15-min quiz to see how many countries can you name.
2. Identify the flags
A flag is the identity of each country. It is treated with much respect and often tells the history and aspiration of the country. Now, you can put faces (flags) to the countries!
3. Expand your knowledge of the countries
After taking the two quizzes above, did any of the countries spark any interest for whatsoever reason? Expand your knowledge on the general information, history, culture and more of the different countries with Geography Now!
4. Gain some travel inspirations
Are you getting inspired yet? Here are some travel blogs which I love, some for their guides, while others for their travel stories, beautiful pictures and remarkable personalities. They are great resources for your next holiday planning or to muse over their adventures.
This Battered Suitcase – Brenna’s personality shines through her writing, and she has got me sucked into her travel and love stories.
Never Ending Footsteps – Lauren’s misadventures make me laugh. There are so much of her travel drama that I can relate.
Time Travel Turtle – Michael’s storytelling provides me with new travel inspirations every time.
Along Dusty Road – Andrew & Emily website contains mesmerising photos that often make me yearn for a place. They have pretty solid guides too.
Borders of Adventures – Becki reports the in-depth of the countries, touching into various aspects which gives useful insights!
5. Immerse in travel vlogs
Now, you want to see motions instead of just words and pictures? Travel through the lens of these travel vloggers. Let them take you around the world!
BucketListly – Pete creates incredible travel videos that make me feel like I want to be there in just a snap of fingers.
Kara and Nate – “Third-wheel” in a fun way with this husband & wife duo as they make their way around the world!
Be my Travel Muse – Follow Kristen, a solo female traveller on her adventures.
6. Take a virtual tour
While you let your mind wander and mull over your next holiday, go on a virtual tour because why wait?
Watch live streaming of iconic landmarks around the world.
Now, you can also pay a visit to 12 famous museums at the comfort of your own home.
Check out Wild Earth for an unscripted wild animals reality TV, a virtual game drive with the experienced rangers!
Sometimes with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we neglect hobbies we enjoyed while we were young. We also forget to pursue hobbies we want to do because we are always too busy. Now is the perfect time to get into those favourite past times of yours or to develop new ones!
7. Creating Art
There are many forms of art, from drawing, painting, sculpting and more.
Pull out a pencil and a blank canvas and start drawing! If only drawing is as easy as reciting ABCs.
If you are like me, who have a mental block in art, if you find it a challenge to pick up a pencil to draw, you can begin with this tutorial to help you get started.
How easy is it to draw from your imagination? You can ease into the concept with this.
If you prefer to do painting or colouring, here are some resources for you to get started.
Guide to begin your journey and also tips on creating your first painting.
Colour away with these colouring pages that you can print them off a printer. Great for adults and kids to work on together for some bonding time!
If you need to make some purchases of art supplies, the best way to get is from ArtFriend and various online platforms.
Reading is a great way to escape the realism at the comfort of your own house.
I have to admit that I do not read a broad genre of books, but these are some of my recommendations from my favourite categories.
The Yellow Envelope – To me, this is like Eat, Pray Love, only better.
The Temporary Bride – Raised in Canada, Jennifer made her way to Iran to learn cooking and food in the kitchen of a local family and unexpectedly fall in love and faced the harsh Irian custom and law.
The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot – A true story of a North Korean defector who flew a fighter jet across the DMZ to South Korea.
Unbroken – An American aspiring Olympic runner who turned a POW during WWII after he drifted in the Pacific Ocean for weeks.
Recreate old memories and record them in a physical form while letting your creative juice flows.
If it is your first time attempting, you can refer to this scrapbooking for beginners to help you get started.
Whether you have a proper garden or just a small balcony to put some potted plants, it is always a joy to see the fruit of your labour when the plants thrive under your care.
11. Fixing jigsaw puzzles
Do you know that fixing jigsaw puzzles have a lot of benefits? It helps to train both sides of the brain at the same time, improves short-term memory and strengthens confidence level.
I remembered how much I enjoyed working on jigsaw puzzles during the pre-internet (56k modem) days growing up as a kid. I need to rekindle this hobby!
Here are just some of the places you can lay your hands on a couple of jigsaw puzzles!
Ordering food delivery is convenient; however, sometimes going in the kitchen to experiment with food can be a fun experience too!
During this stay home period, almost everyone I know is turning into a Master Chef/ Baker.
Here are some resources to expand your cooking repertoire.
Travel with your tastebud as you create cuisines from all over the world.
Recipes for easy meals because you aren’t going to spend all your time in the kitchen.
Check out MeatMEN if you are into Chinese/ Asian food and Marion’s Kitchen for Thai-inspired Asian food on YouTube.
Want to create something remarkably useful out of a ball of threads using your pair of hands? Because handmade gifts are better than buying one off the shelf.
Christmas is just seven months away. You can make it in time to start gifting your friends and family some handmade knits from socks to sweaters, scarves, cup holders or plush. Best of all, it is a portable activity. You can do it from your bed, living room or on the balcony.
Not sure where to begin? Here are some resources for you.
Essential tools that you need explained. After obtaining those tools, this is how you can get started. For more knitting ideas, you can find some inspirations here.
Learn a new skill/ upgrade
I am a strong advocate of lifelong learning. Because I believe that, once you stop learning or improving yourself, you stop growing and you start dying.
14. Learn a musical instrument
Have you ever wish that you can play a… *insert an instrument*? Thanks to the internet, you can take up lessons online, and when CoVid-19 is over, you can impress someone with your skill!
Cannot decide on the musical instrument? First, decide on a musical instrument that interests you.
Next, the theory is an essential part of reading music; hence you got to nail the score reading.
You can learn how to identify the keys on a keyboard and also play the guitar with 10 minutes of playing in 10 days.
15. Learn a Language
Although English is the is the second largest spoken language in the world (after Mandarin), and you can generally get around anywhere in the world. However, not everyone speaks English.
It is always good to learn other languages so it would be handy while being on the road to communicate with people, or to watch your favourite drama series or to impress people!
Not everyone is a linguist. Even if you are, I recommend not just relying on only language app or online classes. Using multiple platforms allow you more exposure which enables you to learn quicker with more practice.
Here are some free and paid apps/ classes which I highly recommend because I am using them myself.
Duolingo – There is a wide selection of languages, and you can decide on your learning intensity from 5 – 20 minutes daily.
HelloTalk – This app allows you to practice the language with native speakers.
Lingoda – Group learning for English, German, French and Spanish. Each classroom has up to 5 students. If you want to test out their group classes to see if it is suitable for your learning style, they offer three free lessons to be taken in 7 days.
Iboux – They offer one on one private lessons for English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. They offer 30-min & 60-min lessons. I enjoy learning with Iboux because I can learn at my own pace with undivided attention. You can sign up for their one-time trial class to get a taste of how lessons are being conducted. If you do eventually sign up, use this referral so that both of us get an extra two free classes!
15. Improve your writing skills
Writing is a form of expression we use to communicate daily. We write articles, reports, emails and texts messages to bring an idea across, tell a story or to even pen down thoughts. It is essential in our everyday life.
Here are some tools to brush up on your writing skills. There is also a comprehensive free resource page to improve your grammar, copywriting and learn up on some of the common mistakes we make when we write.
To top if all, if you want to attend classes, there are free online courses, also, Udemy offers courses focusing on the different types of writing work that is worth checking out too!
16. Develop entrepreneurship
Have you always dream of being a boss? Want to start a business but unsure what you can do? With this downtime, you can consider building up a second career or income by starting your own little business.
Not sure what to do? Here are some business ideas.
Alison provides entrepreneurial skill learning to give you a boost to launch your path towards entrepreneurship.
If you want to find out more about doing business in South East Asia, Malaysia in particular, EntrepreneurCampfire provides in-depth knowledge on that.
17. Hone your skills
Whether you are keen to upgrade your skill or to learn something entirely new, there are a variety of courses out there for you!
Harvard University is offering 67 courses for free now. From programming to business, health science and humanities.
edX is one of my favourites as they offer classes from various prestigious schools such as MIT, Harvard, Curtin etc. covering a wide range of topics too.
Udemy is another one offering more than 100,000 online courses aiming at professional adults and students. Their courses look legit and comprehensive. I am keeping my eyes on a couple of the courses which I will sign up when I have some window of time for the classes.
If you are not into the academic courses, you can also look into Masterclass who offers non-academic disciplines such as film making, acting, comedy, fashion and more!
You deserve to cut yourself some slack and just chill during this stay home period!
For the movie fanatics, it must be a difficult time with the cinemas closed. Here are some of my favourite travel-themed movies to help relief tad bit of wanderlust.
Into the Wild – It is based on the real-life story of a man who wanted to escape from his everyday life to pursue his true happiness by going into the Alaska wilderness.
Before Sunrise – The first part of romantic drama trilogy which inspires serendipities while travelling. I love the philosophical dialogues that the traveller in me can relate.
The Darjeeling Limited – Directed by Wes Anderson, the comedy-adventure movie is about three brothers who decided to get on the train to travel in India together after their father’s death.
19. Series/ Sitcoms
Who loves to binge-watch series and sitcoms?
Gran Hotel (Grand Hotel) This Spanish series is a blend of mystery, crime, romance and comedy that sets in a family-owned hotel in a 1900s Spanish coastal town. I was hooked on to the show from the very first episode!
Kim’s Convenience – Kim is a Korean family who lives and owns a convenience store in Toronto, Canada. It is a light-hearted sitcom which explores the stereotypical Asian values in the Western world.
One Day at a Time – If you are like me, you love the Latino Cuban culture, you will like this. It’s one of my favourite comedy sitcoms, and the story links to the current events in the United States of America.
YouTube is where I go to for short videos & long documentaries.
Here are some of my favourite channels!
Great Big Story – Check out their stories, big and small of the untold and overlooked. The stories will pique the curious.
Jimmy Kimmel Live (From His House) – I love his monologues and him poking fun at Trump. ‘Nuff said. My humour these days.
Journeyman Pictures – You can find all sorts of intriguing documentaries from environmental to politics as well as other current issues happening in the world today.
Real Wild – It shows documentaries on animals! I am obsessed with the stories of the Gosa gang meerkat family living in the desert of South Africa. These cousins of mongoose are incredibly adorable!
Yes Theory – Started by 4 (but now 3) boys who refuses to follow the social norms and always seeking discomfort to challenge themselves in different situations. If you need positivity and some humanity comfort, definitely head to their channel!
Can’t meet your friends and family, no problem. Just do it virtually!
In case you do not know, Zoom is where you get to hang with your friends/ colleagues/ extended family. Despite not being able to meet up in person, this is an excellent alternative to catch up with one another. I like how it is relatively easy to set up too!
Houseparty is downloadable on iOS, Andriod, macOS and Chrome that connects up to 8 friends in a chatroom and there is also entertaining in-house games that you can play with your friends too!
23. Cards Against Humanity
If you love playing Cards Against Humanity with your friends over the weekends, now you can do it online!
If you think you are good at bullshitting and that people would believe whatever you say, try this Psych game. Say the best bluff and convince others.
25. Get active
Being home and with gyms closed does not give you the excuse to slack off your exercise regime!
Aaptiv – An audio fitness app is my favourite to keep up with my workout routine! It helps to have “someone” to keep you accountable and also to have an audio coach to motivates you to push your limit. They offer various programs depending on your fitness goals. There is even a stay-home edition for working out with equipment, outdoor run, yoga, pilates, strength training and more! I have been swearing by this app for years, especially when I have to condition my body for different types of runs, such as intervals or endurance. You can sign-up over here for a 30-day free trial!
Yoga with Adriene – If you like to do your yoga as you mirror your instructor, this is easy to follow and take your pick from her different playlist. Besides, you get to see her cute dog that would sometimes come along on the yoga journey!
PopSugar Fitness – This provides a wide variety of home workout depending on your fitness level to help you burn some extra calories at home.
26. Home deco & refurnishing
Now with more time are at home, with no means of socialising physically, it is an excellent time to declutter or just redecorate the house to give it a fresh look to uplift the spirit.
Although I have not watched Tidying up with Marie Kondo, I find her books useful and inspiring to declutter. Decluttering not only make the house looks more organised, but it is also decluttering the soul.
Let your creative juice flows and work the muscles as you move furniture around to refresh the look of your home.
You can learn some tips and tricks to redecorate your house. You can also seek inspirations from home decor blog and Pinterest to turn your place into a home you are proud of to host friends and family after the CoVid-19 is over!
Countries are slowly easing the lockdowns mainly to reboot the economy. However, it is probably a good idea to refrain from going to crowded places to protect ourselves and others. Hopefully, this curated 26 things to do gives you some ideas while you stay home.
It will take even longer before international travel resumes depending on how the countries and their people handle the pandemic. In the meantime, hang in there!
Remember to check on your friends to make sure everyone is doing alright and stay safe!
Keep dreaming because that is what we need to hold onto and trust that we will be stepping into unfamiliar territories for an adventure again!