So. Covid-19. The virus we hadn’t heard of at the end of last year has turned everything upside down. And no one has any idea when normality will resume. Travel plans? Forget it. Not safe, not possible. Not in the way we used to know, anyway. Lack of mobility and weeks spent in the house have gotten me finding different ways to scratch the travel itch. Step forward, You Tube. The social media platform that started out with a video of a guy at the zoo has evolved into a brilliant, diverse, creative platform full of content that will get you ‘out’ without actually leaving the house. My current favourites…
London with Joolz Guides.
London. It’s a city of secrets, layers of history and stories galore. Right up my street. Obviously, any plans to actually explore the city streets are now on hold. When I do get back to London, I’m going to get a lot more out of my time. I have been obsessively watching Joolz Guides, the work of Julian McDonnell, award winning travel film maker and actor. Also a man with a sense of humour, a unique style and a genuine passion for all the fascinating things, past and present, in and around London. From mud larking to museums, the stories behind place names, who lived where and what happened when they did…there’s a bit of everything on this channel. Including a few personal anecdotes from Joolz himself.
Check out Non Touristy Things to Do in London for sightseeing ideas off the usual tourist trail and a little story involving his testicles. It’s not that rude, promise. As with all of his videos, giggles and fascinating facts guaranteed.
Vienna with Vienna Now
As I write this, I actually should have been landing in Vienna. It’s a city that has been on my to-visit list since we lived in Germany and although we made it to Austria on a road trip , we didn’t venture to the Capital. Sadly, that trip has had to be shelved but I’m still enjoying getting an inside view via the official channel of Vienna. Watch for practical travel information, tips to doing the city on a budget and videos from Vienna-based guest presenters. This is the channel for you if you want to be a Vienna visitor, but in-the-know like a local.
As a coffee
addict lover, a big draw to the city for me was the coffee scene. From historic coffee houses to newer venues that are creating a modern version of the traditional Viennese coffeehouse culture, coffee is part of the Vienna experience. Coffee and Vienna is a bite size look at the city’s coffee scene. Just don’t forget the cake…
Prague with Honest Guide
I love Prague. I made my first visit in the early noughties with the husband, and went back a few years ago with the family. A lot of things had changed, but some things remained the same. The beautiful architecture, the history, the great food and drink scene.
A quick google will get you a standard ‘must-see’ list of the most popular Prague attractions but to get the most out of your time and money, a little bit of inside knowledge will go a long way. Created by two Prague based journalists, the Honest videos cover everything and anything and that might matter to a visitor. Recommendations, places to avoid, scams to be aware of and some places to visit that you definitely won’t find in a guidebook. Since current restrictions have put a hold on filming in the city, the Honest lads are branching out and have made a video showing you (sort of) how to make the delicious Czech Trdelnik. Have to say, having seen exactly what goes into them, I’m not sure eating three in three days when in Prague was such a great idea.
For an insight into how Prague looks during the Covid-19 crisis, watch Abandoned Prague During Coronavirus. The pair behind this channel also have a second channel, Honest Vlogs, featuring some footage of the city shot just before free movement in the city was restricted. It’s very eerie.
Russia and Beyond with Bald & Bankrupt
If money, time, objections from the husband and visa applications were no object and Covid-19 was but a bad memory, my dream trip would involve a bit of touring round Russia and the former USSR.
That’s not going to happen anytime soon, so for now I’ll just be exploring vicariously via Bald & Bankrupt. He’s engaging, funny and he has a great knack for chatting to everyone he meets sometimes with hilarious results. He uses the word Soviet a lot. He’s also got a good heart, watch the Last House in Chernobyl Village and Return to the Last House in The Chernobyl Zone to see him forge an endearing connection with an elderly man he meets on his travels.
A note to end on…I am aware, of course, that for many people the Covid-19 situation is a huge source of anxiety and difficulty. I don’t make light of that, at all. But I also think in times of crisis, it’s important to celebrate the things we love, support each other, remain creative and connected. This is a tough time for the travel industry, for those employed within it and for those who want or need to travel. In my opinion, this is a good time to celebrate all that we love about travel and show some love and support to our favourite places, hotels, content creators, bloggers. Lets look forward together to the day we can all get back on the road.
I hope you are all keeping well despite current restrictions and difficulties. Do let me know in the comments how you are coping and if there are any travel blogs, channels, books you’ve enjoyed that you think I would like too. Stay safe and healthy,