Using technology to bring the world to you

Ashley Chalmers

Senior Contributor

There's no denying that the world is a pretty scary place right now, but there's a lot to be grateful for, too. No matter what phrase you use: social isolation, social distancing, quarantine… living in the age of technology ensures that we don't have to feel truly alone. Try one of these ways to leave your home digitally, by bringing the world to you.

Organise your travel photos

Our unlimited ability to take photos of everything and anything is truly a blessing and a curse, but there’s no time like the present to sort through your digital archives! Finally take time to design a photo coffee table book, or edit shots from your favourite trips to print out and hang on your walls. Going through old snaps can be therapeutic in the best of times, and we could all use a tangible reminder that life will return to normal.

Once you’ve selected and edited your images of choice, try to then use small companies to create your final product—like a local printshop or a local framer, if possible. You can send everything digitally, and arrange for future pick-up.

Teach yourself a new skill

Speaking of travel photos, now could be the time to up your game. Sure, VSCO is great… but have you ever learned to shoot manual on your DSLR? If your fancy camera isn’t collecting dust, then consider signing up for an online Lightroom class, tutorial, or refresher, or practice editing your travel videos into movies with iMovie.

Learn a new language

Dedicate time to learning a language, using an app like Duolingo. Duolingo is great for learning basic phrases before a trip, but there’s so much more you can do, too. Best of all, it doesn’t have to be a solo enterprise. You can join communities through the app, add friends and monitor one another’s stats, or join a league and compete with players from all over the world. Oui, c’est vrai… it’s one of the best ways to feel connected while learning.

Start a book club

Organise a digital travel book club, or maybe turn your pre-existing book club into a Google hangout? Best of all, this works with people next door or on the other side of the world. Just set a weekly group video conference to chat, and agree to each make your own food and drink inspired by the book. Even if the book isn't inherently about travel, you can pick a theme that is!

A few ideas to get you started: celebrate the lost art of the road trip playlist with Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, or pay a visit to Ancient Greece, by way of Madeline Miller’s Circe.  

Clean out your Instagram and Twitter feeds

There's a lot of chaos at the moment, so don't feel bad if you need to cut out the noise. And no, this doesn’t need to be a drastic measure, like deleting all your social apps. Instead, follow inspiring accounts like @upworthy or @tanksgoodnews, or check out @timeoutlondon, @timeoutnewyork, or your city of choice. The Time Out team has momentarily switched their feed to be Time IN, focusing on all the things we have to look forward to or can still do outside. 

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