What do you during isolation? A topic I’d never think I’d have to write about. This month has felt like a dystopian novel as monsters over prepare or take advantage and buy up everything in the meat and toilet paper department. Our elderly are left with empty aisles as they should to be at home in comfort.
In addition to this I am cancelling a trip I had planned for the end of April to the USA. At first I was confident I wouldn’t have to but then after listening to David Chang’s podcast with guest Ian Bremmer, my confidence in world leadership began to dwindle, not that I had a ton to begin with. A week later the USA has shut down their borders and is advising no group settings with more than 50 people for 8 weeks. At work our customers and and cohorts have one by one been called back to their home countries and advised to work from home. Locally businesses are getting inventive by providing delivery to local customers during the isolation. While monsters over prepare or take advantage buying up everything in the meat and toilet paper department. Don’t be those ass holes!
But I am left asking myself, ‘What to do during isolation?’
I’ll be working from home of course but with my son with me we’ll also need to find things for him to do in the meantime. I’m looking for ways to introduce him to new foods and textures and I’m sharing some of those tips below as well as how I’ll be preoccupying myself during the down time.
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Escape and keep on planning your travels! Fellow bloggers need their readers in order to support themselves financially. I am able to write this blog as a passion and hobby but many others rely on clicks and their readers. Please consider reading these bloggers below who generate fascinating and insightful stories.
Misadventures with Andi
I’ve been following Andi for as long as I have been writing a blog...nearly a decade. She loves all things French but has a fascinating history of going from a media maven (covering awards shows & premiers) to selling everything and travelling the USA in an RV. Now she has settled down in South Carolina after a stint in Arizona. I always look forward to what she has to say and share!
What a Girl Eats
Cynthia is a foodie like me and is passionate about Italy. The nation is going to need help getting back on its feet (as is most of the world’s nations) so why not read her latest post “Slow Food & Wine in Langhe, Italy.”
Christina won the genetic foodie lottery…she’s Italian and Scottish and has the most incredible recipes to express her heritage. She also loves to travel and in spirit of supporting Italy she is sharing “What to See & Eat in Naples, Italy.”
Where Ever I May Roam
Mother/daughter travel writers who are fellow culinary travellers. Check out their latest post about their experience in Greenville, South Carolina.
Janiel has lived in 4 different states within the last 6 years and currently calls Utah home. She’s incredibly real and isn’t afraid to tell it how it is sharing real moments in travel that change you forever. See her post about “5 European Cities You’ll Love.”
National Park Bucket list by Lauren “Lo” Montiz will make you realize you need to explore North America even more than you have. Because of her I am planning a trip to Yellowstone!
Love in the City of Lights
Handbag designer Kasia Dietz covers “Paris in the Time of Corona” on her latest post. The photos break my heart and makes you appreciate that travel is really about the people as much as the place.
I normally listen to podcasts during the isolation that comes with commuting to work. Now it is when my son is napping and I can’t stand to hear anything more about this crisis! These are some that I have been listening to in order to keep the crazy at bay.
Vastly different topics covered each week, recently you can learn about the ‘The Weird Job of Covering What The Candidates Eat’ or ‘How the Protests and Coronavirus Have Impacted Restaurants in Hong Kong’. However, there is also lighter episodes from ‘Inside the World of a Cookbook Ghostwriter’ and ‘Why Britains Most Influential restaurants is Moving to L.A.’ Enjoy!
Bon Appétit Foodcast
If you prefer to learn about food and recipes you might prefer Bon Appétit. Latest episode topics include ‘The Basic Guide to Better Baking’ and ‘Creamy Vegan Pasta
David Chang Show
In particular, episode 101
As I said in my intro, David Chang’s podcast episode from March 3rd with Ian Bremmer was fascinating. Bremmer coined the phrase GZero which implies that no country is taking the lead anymore. The USA used to be sherriff of the world but no longer wants that role…no one does. There is no longer any nation looking to lead the world in terms of organization which is why we are having this crisis. Each country has tried to handle it on their own, rather than working together, which has only led to chaos and borders closing.
Splendid Food Podcast
Francis Lam hosts this podcast that began as a public radio in 1997 and has since expanded to include more voices and topics. Check out latest topics like ‘Spring Cookbook Picks’ and ‘Food & Marriage’.
Wine for Normal People
A wine podcast that doesn’t contain an ounce of pretentiousness and covers many walks of life behind wine making. See their latest episode ‘Women of Bordeaux’ if you are feeling the wanderlust grip you. Get a bottle of Bordeaux delivered to your door and listen to this podcast to actively learn while tasting.
Netflix & Chill
If you ask anyone how they are filling their time during this crisis most might answer Netflix…if they are being honest. If anyone profits from us all staying home it is Netflix and other streaming services. My family settles down for the evening putting on some kind of family friendly show until my little one goes to bed…then we switch it to Amazon’s Hunters. Otherwise, these are my favourite foodie shows on Netflix.
My two year old loves the movie Chef with its bright latin music. That same music has made its way into the inventive and conversational The Chefs Show where celeb Jon Favreau and Chef Roy Choi explore different cities through food and various dishes made and fed to fellow Chefs & celebrities. I particularly love season 2 for its exploration of the Las Vegas food scene.
Chef David Chang is a real favourite of mine. Have you ever been or heard of his Momofuku restaurants? If you like food you should! I was first introduced to him by Anthony Bourdain when they collaborated on The Mind of a Chef. After that I subscribed to Chang’s Lucky Peach magazine which has been out of print since 2017. Now you can check out Ugly Delicious’ latest season which is profoundly more personal and better for it. Season 2 begins as Chang is struggling with the loss of Anthony Bourdain and discovered he is going to be a father the following day after his friend’s suicide. I cried, I laughed and it is one of the best Netflix foodie shows out there.
Also a David Chang show but with a very different bent. On this show he travels to various areas of the world with a celebrity friend who selects the location. They explore food, history and talk about their lives. The best episode, and maybe I am biased as a BC resident, is Seth Rogen and Chang exploring the Vancouver food scene!
3 experts travel to various desirable areas of the world (Ontario, Hawaii, Slovenia, Hong Kong and elsewhere) where restaurant owners are in need of help, focus and a redesign. It is Gordon Ramsay’s Hell on Wheels but without the drama or scolding. I admit, this show feels a bit contrived like everything they show you is meticulously scripted and not an ounce of candid expression captured.
No drama whatsoever which makes it more of a travel show but even in this aspect it is lacking. So why am I tell you to watch this? There’s no drama. In this crazy mixed up world right now we could all use a bit of easy watching programs. Restaurants on The Edge fits the bill for our current mood.
Another easy watching program that is a simple joy in my son’s and my life. When I want to watch something that is full of happiness and sheer delight that comes with experiencing a new country or cuisine Phil Rosenthal, creator of Everyone Loves Raymond, is a physical embodiment of that joy. At the end of each day he Skype’s his parents back in New York and it is really this beautiful and personal travelogue that hooks you.
Watch his face light up as he bites into a Portuguese tart or Chef Massimo’s pasta. People also gravitate toward him so many fun and impromptu moments ensue. And that’s what travel is all about. Watch for the new season coming this year.
What to do during Covid-19 with kids edition! I used to love these games and activities when I was little. My young one is only 21 months but you can bet these are in my back pocket when I need them.
Baking Around the World
Kids love cookies but do they know that each country has their own incarnation of the biscuit? Take them around the world in the form of cookie.
In Italy they have the biscotti or delicious lemon anginetti!
For a trip to Japan think matcha cookies!
Try these spicy and eggless Nan Khatai cookies from India.
Looking for a trip to my home and native land, Canada? Try this take on a Nanaimo Bar.
Pistachio Palmiers will take you straight to France.
With all the restaurant closures during this self-isolation period it might be fun to play restaurant with the kiddos. Get the kids to make their own menus, prices, decor and so on. Get them to choose a theme to help their focus. I used to play restaurant as a kid a lot with my friends on the block. Special of the day: Cheese and crackers with antipasto anyone?
Use Play Dough
There are so many non-toxic and environmentally safe versions of this old favourite nowadays. A local gal begin PlayGrowDough on Etsy is making her own version with delicious scents like matcha, lavender, rose, lime and cinnamon. You can purchase kits for holidays like St Patrick’s Day and Easter!
Take Them Foraging
Getting some fresh air is much needed. Head to the forest where there is no one and do some foraging. If you don’t feel comfortable with seeking out food in the wild then get them to collect rocks to build their own inukshuk.
Explore Museums Virtually
There are so many museums and galleries to explore virtually with the help of Google Arts & Culture. Click below to explore each one and search for many others!
Musée D’Orsay, Paris
Chateaux Versailles, France
MASP, Sao Paolo
Doge’s Palace, Venice
and so many more!
Can’t travel? There’s an app for that! No, it isn’t Expedia or any other travel booking site. There are some great avenues for feeling like you are away from home while you work out.
Choose an area of the world to explore while you run, bike or use the elliptical with your tablet or phone in front of you. As you move on your machine you are propelled forward in the Swiss Alps, the Veneto of Italy, running through the lavender fields in Provence or the seawall in Vancouver! And priced at $10 a month it is a very affordable travel package.
A YouTube channel with virtual trail runs in various areas of the world like Italy and Hawaii for only $2 USD per month. Explore nature in various areas of the world as you run from the comfort of your at home treadmill.
What are you doing to keep busy during this crisis? Let me know in the comments!