The pandemic continues, and we’re faced with the second year of being stuck for the summer at home. For better or worse, we’ve all gotten into some kind of routine — working, playing, and generally living at home — but as the summer months roll in, we’re once again reminded of summers spent outdoors.
The way things are going, it’ll be a bit of time before we can get back to getting outside to enjoy the season, but not all is lost. With a little creativity, some effort, and a small change here and there, we can still enjoy the summer, even in our own homes.
Summer at home doesn’t necessarily mean staying indoors. If you have a yard with some space, you can hang out there! If you have camping gear, it’s time to take it out of storage. Set up the tent, lay some sleeping bags in there, and enjoy an afternoon and evening out in the yard under the sky. You can even take the experience up a notch with a portable stove and do some cooking while you’re out there. It’s a well-known fact that food tastes better when it’s prepared outside, so go break out some of the camping staples like instant noodles with rice, sardines with garlic and onions, and luncheon meat. You can even have some easy desserts like s’mores over your camping stove or even a flower pot with some charcoal.
If you don’t have a tent, find an old sheet and some string, and make one, running a line across your space and draping the sheet over it, then weighing the sides down with rocks, water bottles, or whatever you can find. It doesn’t have to be typhoon-proof; it just has to be fun!
Once you’re done eating and the evening settles, spread a mat out and stare at the stars for a bit. You’ll feel a lot better just being outside the walls that you usually face.
“What about those of us who don’t have a yard?” you may ask. If you’re a condo-dweller, more some furniture around, and put the tent up anyway! Point the entrance towards the TV, switch off the lights, and head over to YouTube and take your pick of scenery to keep you company. My wife and I live in a condo and, so far, we’ve indoor-camped at a beach, in the mountains, and in front of a roaring bonfire. You may have to prepare the food in the kitchen as usual, but do as many of your activities in your “outdoor” space as you can, just to get the feeling going. It’s a lot of fun, we swear!
Travel the world
While there are more restrictions on travel than we care to think about at the moment, this doesn’t mean we need to be stuck. Relive your own travels! Open up Google Photos, and do a search for places you’ve visited, then cast the photos on your TV. There are probably a lot of nice memories you’d love to recount as you go through some of your own travel photos.
You can take it a step further. Quite a number of tourist places all over the world have opened virtual tours that you can take just with a screen and an internet connection. Most recently, the Louvre has opened its virtual doors for people from all over the world, so you can see some amazing works of art, without the hassle, crowds, or danger of actually having to go there.
If you run out of official virtual tours, scour YouTube for any number of travel videos for the full tourist experience, and enjoy your summer at home.
Eat your feelings
Travel isn’t ever complete without the eating. Take a world tour through global cuisine! Look through the Internet to find your favorite dishes from places you’ve been or places you want to go and make a list of ingredients you need. On your next grocery run, get everything you need, and have a culinary adventure. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you’re good at cooking! There’s always a place to start! Once you’re done, take a few photos, maybe make a post about it, and, if you’re really feeling it, try something new the next time!
If you’re more of a visual learner, once again, YouTube offers great resources that you can cook along with across regions of the world. If you’re feeling up to it, plan a dinner with your friends, and have everyone pick a dish from different parts of the world, so you can have a virtual potluck dinner with some nice company.
While the “summer bod” these days is something more closely related to having a built-in salbabida, there’s no reason to keep things this way. From online workouts to apps, and fitness trackers, having all this time spending summer at home means there’s no better time to work on your health. While going out for a jog or a bike ride might not be the best idea (even though it’s technically allowed), there are a lot of workouts you can do at home with little to no equipment necessary. Bodyweight exercises are a great way to stay fit, and something as simple as a large bottle of water can provide enough weight to keep you in shape. Stay motivated with some music or, better yet, a group video workout with friends, so you have someone to be accountable to, and you can have a beach bod worthy of pre-pandemic times!
As we’ve shown, there are a lot of things you can do to keep cabin fever at bay. Summer indoors doesn’t have to drive you nuts. Do what you can to stay sane and occupied, and know that things will be better.
Words by Ren Alcantara
Also published in Gadgets Magazine April 2021 Issue