It’s never easy to be confined to your home, especially if you have a lust for travel. I picked up my 2nd job because of that love of travel and now I’m just stuck home, teaching remotely and trying not to gain 20 pounds from all of the baked goods I’ve been whipping up. The struggle is real.
I’ve stumbled across some great sites while researching things to keep my students engaged and here are some suggestions on how to not go crazy while having to shelter in place.
Visit Museums Virtually
Did you know that a lot of museums actually offer free virtual tours? Well-known museums such as The Louvre, The Uffizi Galleries, and The British Museum can be visited online all in the comfort of your own home. No waiting in lines for you!
Cook Food from Around the World
One of our favorite things to do! We’ll pick a country and run with it, from the cuisine to the music. Tasting the local cuisine is one of our favorite things to do while traveling and it can be fun to try your hand at cooking international meals from your own kitchen. Curious Cuisiniere is a website dedicated to recipes from around the world. There’s a neat map feature that you can use to click on an area of interest, I always find it interesting to see what people would put down for my local cuisine. Obviously New England featured lobster rolls and chowder.
Stream a Favorite Band
Music is so important in our day to day lives. I have Spotify playing right now as I type this, it’s comforting and familiar. Musicians realize the power of music and many big names are streaming for free during this time. NPR has a list and so does Vulture that is growing each day, artists like Jack Johnson, Diplo, and Ben Gibbard are streaming from platforms like instagram and Facebook.
Local musicians are doing the same and have been hit hard by this unprecedented time. Gigs that usually pay their bills are all put on hold but they still have the need to get their music out there. I listened to a wonderful set on Wednesday by one of our favorite not so local anymore artists. They streamed live on Facebook for free but did mention they were taking “tips” via venmo. I would have paid to see him play in Portland any way so take my money! Check your favorite artists’ page for information.
Free Opera Performances
Iconic arts institutions, such as The Metropolitan Opera, are streaming live for free. Take advantage of cultural offerings that can usually cost hundreds of dollars. The Met is doing a nightly opera stream with each performance available for a period of 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day. This is a great opportunity to give opera a chance, it’s not just for hoity toity old people! We’re big opera supporters in this house so needless to say I’m pretty jazzed about this. (and I can watch in my jammies)
Learn a Language
Whether it’s French, German or Spanish, learning a new language is one of the most useful skills to have, especially when traveling. Spend an hour or two practicing a day and before you know it you’ll sound like a pro! I’m dusting off my Rosetta Stone but I’ve heard good things about Duolingo, which is a free app available for your phone or computer.
So this is what I’ve been doing in between meetings, emails and online planning for my students. What has everyone else been doing to pass the time? I need more ideas or we’re going to run out of flour.