Down, But Not Out

Down, But Not Out
Here is OT's guide to surviving the lockdown , Photo Credit: Shutterstock

When the going gets tough, the tough get doing. Here is Outlook Traveller’s guide to surviving the lockdown

Labanya Maitra
July 06 , 2020
07 Min Read

We don’t know if you remember, but the world was a beautiful place. we were birds with our aluminium wings, flying across countries and continents. Sand in our toes, pine needles in our hair, the greatest cities, the deepest forests, it was all just hours away. we were a thing of envy, the ones to be: we were travellers. And although all that might seem like a distant dream now, trust it will return. As you spend these few weeks travelling between your bedroom and your living room with occasional stopovers at the refrigerator, we have a few things that might make it just a little more fun. 

Culinary Trends
Who are we kidding, we’re all Masterchefs now. When you’re trying your hand at the new gourmet creation from your pantry leftovers, give these a shot. On, Abhishek Gupta, executive Sous Chef, The Leela Ambience Gurugram, can walk you through some at-home quarantine recipes, or you can get your hands on one of the cookbooks we’ve curated to spend a few hours of me (or we) time in the kitchen. Get down and dirty with some new and ingenious cocktails with your leftover stash like the Ratnagiri Martini or the Cucumber- Basil fizz. Throw on some Salt.Fat.Acid.Heat, whip up a batch of jhal muri, and enjoy your 5-o’clock-somewhere treat while listening to the British History podcast. You can also try recipes online of crowd favourites from Disneyland. Mhmm, churros. 


Hobby Mongering
Pick up a hobby this lockdown

Speaking of hobbies, if there’s ever a time to DIY, it is now. The site is full of ideas and inspiration to upcycle household items into quirky statement pieces for whenever holiday season comes next. If you’re looking for something out of the box, have you considered lending your computer’s power to boost COVID research? You can download the Folding@home app developed by Stanford University and get started on your own scientific breakthrough. In the same vein, you can also help with research in science, arts, and culture at Zooniverse. Become a citizen scientist and work on some super-unique projects. Would you like to be a famous painting? No, not a painter. The Getty Museum has put out a new challenge to test your goofy remixing levels. Pushing quarantined followers to creatively use time at home, the company announced an artwork recreation game for viewers old and new. Practice your expressions in the mirror, play with some good lighting, head to their website, et voilà! 

Virtual Tours
Hop on to your couch and get going on a virtual tour
Believe it or not, but spring’s blooming outside and Keukenhof—the world-renowned Dutch flower park in South Holland—is bursting with colours. While the park might be closed, you can still experience the vibrant hues of the tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, orchids, roses, lilies and more virtually!

While you’re at it, you can also trek up el Capitan at Yosemite, tour the volcanic Mount Bromo in Java, trudge through the Namib Desert, or join in on a three-hour-long game drive through Ngala and Djuma private Game Reserves in Africa. And yes, even climb Everest and watch the northern lights.

We made it through April, and summer is right around the corner. While you may be itching to go sightseeing and tour exciting museums, why not consider doing them from the comfort of your couch? The planes might be grounded but the Museum of Flight, in Seattle, has opened its wings for visitors to browse through its air and spacecraft collection, and even rummage through the cockpit. for the art lovers, museums like the Louvre, Dalí Theatre-museum, Vatican Museums, Uffizi Gallery, and the Palace of Versailles all offer virtual tours.

In fact, the Google Arts and Culture project grants access to content from over 1,200 leading museums and archives across the globe. you can get curated content daily, right on your screens. What else? you can literally (well, virtually) explore the 5,000-year-old Egyptian tomb of Queen Meresankh III from your living room in the morning and spend the evening at the empire State Building in Manhattan! 

Virtual Performances
Unfortunately, there might not be any garden concerts to look forward to this summer, but hey, art has no bounds, remember? Artists from across the world are coming together to bring you performances you can watch in your PJs. Radiohead’s 2006 show at Bonnaroo, Nirvana’s MTV unplugged show from 1993, Red Hot Chili peppers’ Live at Slane Castle in 2001, and Arctic Monkeys’ 2011 concert at the T in the park festival are just a few you can binge from your couch.

For those of you who don’t need no education, Pink Floyd has streamed their full 1994 ‘Pulse’ concert on youTube, for free. But that’s not all. from opera to Broadway, spike your at-home date nights with a little bit of oomph, as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Royal Opera House, Berlin Philharmonic, and the Vienna State Opera all release their performances regularly on their websites.

And for $8.99 (approx. Rs 681), you can get access to the entirety of Broadway’s musicals. P.S.: They also offer a free one-month trial. New York City has taken it a step further with the Met, MoMA, and the Frick Collection, all offering virtual tours. The cherry on top comes with the New York Comedy Club and the Tribeca film festival also going virtual this year. Speaking of film festivals, you can also stream SXSw, Greenwich International film festival, TCM Classic and CPH:DOX online. 

Travel Shows
Binge watch your travel shows
We’re not going to sit here and pretend that about 90 per cent of our existence doesn’t revolve around Netflix, Amazon prime, Disney, and Hulu these days. So, if you’re trying to satisfy your clichéd ‘wanderlust’, might we suggest some classier offerings? A refreshing cocktail of comedy and travel is presented in Vir Das’ Jestination Unknown, where he travels to various destinations in India in an attempt to understand the culture, heritage, history and of course, the local sense of humour. 

Most Dangerous Ways to School is a documentary series available on YouTube that highlights the trials and tribulations of children in various countries as they take on the rough road for a better future. Dark tourism has seen an incline in the past couple of years with Chernobyl and Auschwitz being turned into tourism hotspots. Dark Tourist is a Netflix show on which journalist David farrier visits spots around the world that have gained fame through tragic events. Head to for a list of shows you can binge on, COVID-free! 

Get Travel Ready
Plan for your next trip while at home
Because how could we not dream of lands near and far? Start a travel journal with a solid idea. Plan the colour scheme and overall vibe, and get on the hunt for household materials. Use maps, illustrate, draw, paint, write, make your journal stand out so that no matter where you put it, it’s a constant reminder of where you’d like to head next. Don’t forget to pay attention to your body  while you enrich your mind.

Make sure to get a few hours of exercise each week to maintain a healthy balance. YouTube channels, such as Athlean X, put you through the ringer with their carefully designed, punishing home workouts. If videos aren’t your speed, fitness apps such as Freeletics design full workouts of varying difficulties, and offer a collection of these in front of the paywall.

If all this fails, just solicit the help of your gym-rat friend to show you the ropes on a video call. Energise and plan, plan, plan! One of the best ways to prepare for a trip is to learn the language of your destination or at least a few basic phrases. Spend up to half an hour on Duolingo, learning any language of your choice daily. By the time you’re out and about in the world...¡Estarás listo! You’re ready! But remember, if all else fails, memes are always the answer to get through the pain.

Related Articles


Here to there

Explore Directions(Routes) and more...
to Go

Our Other Editions

Outlook’ is India’s most vibrant weekly news magazine with critically and globally acclaimed print and digital editions. Now in its 23rd year...

Explore All
  • Check out our Magazine of the month
  • Offbeat destinations
  • In-depth storytelling
  • Stunning pictures
  • Subscribe