During these unprecedented times, it’s more important than ever before that we stay in our homes and practice social distancing. It may feel at times like you’re disconnected from the world, but true acts of solidarity and cultural expression across the globe, just goes to show that we are a global community of people who will always persevere and join together.
From Italians hosting spectacular musical performances on their balconies to Londoners launching work out classes on their steps in the hopes of fostering community spirit in their neighbourhood, it’s these random acts of kindness that help to instil a sense of common endeavour. We believe that this sheer determination will help motivate us until the world opens once more.
And while Exodus are hitting the pause button on travel for now, that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped dreaming about it. In keeping with the current situation, our Destination of the Month, this month, is Home. To bring travel into our homes, we’ve reached out to our colleagues (remotely) and asked them what they are doing to keep their travel minds busy.
You’ve got mail
Mailing postcards to your nearest and dearest, written from the comfort of your own living room, is a great way to boost your spirits and your family and friends’ spirits during these uncertain times.
Your descriptions of wandering through vibrant fishing villages along the rugged coastlines from Portugal may have changed to wandering with your dog in the garden, and you may have swapped your beachwear in Amalfi to your comfiest loungewear in front of the telly, but these are the times when everyone will appreciate that letter through the door more than ever.
Instead of sending an email or Skyping, why not get your creative juices flowing with a pithy hand-written postcard. Sometimes the pen is mightier than the keyboard – at least our Head of Marketing North America, Robin Brooks, thinks so.
“I always send postcards when I’m travelling, but inevitably end up with a couple extras in my suitcase on the way home that I didn’t have time or stamps to send. During lockdown, I’ve started putting those leftover postcards to good use, sending them from home to cheer up friends and family around the globe. It’s the perfect way to let them know I’m thinking about them, while transporting me back to happy memories when I was writing them on the road.”
From coastlines to coasters
We should probably resign ourselves to the fact that our kettles are probably getting more of workout than we are during lockdown. The idiom, “tea is like a warm hug in a mug” is a welcomed excuse to drink more during these uncertain times. But apart from trying to master brewing the world’s best cuppa until we’re ready to press play on travel again, it’s handy to have some great coasters to look at in the interim. And what better way to do that, than print your personalised travel photos on coasters?
A great suggestion from Product Manager, Jenny Cox, is to choose and crop some of your favourite travel snapshots, be that of your family dressed in kimonos walking through the streets of Kyoto or that epic moment when you saw the sun break through the clouds at the summit of Ijen Volcano in Indonesia. Simply order online and get these memories printed on drinking coasters.
Jenny was quick to comment, “It’s so nice having these little travel reminders scattered around the house, whether they’re placed on your work from home desk set up or that side table you use when you curl up with a good book.”
Toast your stay at home efforts
When it comes to social distancing and staying home, Tom Wilkinson, Senior Product and Commercial Manager at Exodus, says that one of the best ways to bring travel to your home is through aperitifs.
It may sound crazy, but during these unprecedented times, people have been taking to Skype to share a glass with friends – in what Tom has affectionately coined the “Aperi-Skype”. He explains, “When you work in travel, you end up with a collection of drinks from around the world, so why not take this opportunity to toast a different place every evening with friends.”
Providing us with a photo that showcases his own personal collection, Tom’s proof lies in the pudding – or in this case, the aperitif. Representing Iceland, Lithuania, Greece, France and Luxembourg in a single photo, the aperitifs range from French champagne and Grape Pomace Brandy to the intense-looking, unsweetened schnapps called Brennivín – considered to be one of Iceland’s signature distilled beverages. So why not join Tom and raise a toast to all of the incredible destinations we’ve had the pleasure of travelling through tonight.
Taste the world, one dish at a time
At Exodus, we can’t deny that some of the most memorable dinners we’ve experienced, were while we were travelling. Whether that was tucking into a traditional Zarb dinner with the Bedouin people during our Petra & Wadi Rum Trek, trying the world’s best pintxos at alocal Gastronomic Society in San Sebastian or eating a jack fruit curry with our hands at the Kalu Family Farmhouse in Sri Lanka; it’s the excitement of trying these spectacular regional delicacies and the warmth of free-flowing conversations with the locals around the dinner table that leave an indelible imprint on our memory. And when we recreate these recipes for ourselves at home, we’re transported back to that time with every bite.
Most of our colleagues at Exodus were only too keen to share what dishes they’ve been cooking up at home, but the two that stuck out where from Valentina Chironna, Product and Operations Manager (Italy) at Exodus and Product Manager, Jenny Cox.
Valentina’s go to recipe during lockdown has been to recreate the traditional North African dish – the Moroccan chicken tagine. With a delicious blend of ginger, turmeric, sweet paprika and cumin, Valentina added saffron, sweet onions, yellow sultanas and salted olives into the mix to give it that deliciously rich Moroccan flavour – as if it came straight from the narrow passages of the Marrakech medina.
Jenny’s dish teleports us to the small sleepy cities in northern Thailand, “Having spent a couple of years living, working and travelling through South East Asia, I can firmly say my favourite cuisine is Thai. I’d happily eat it every day for the rest of my life. Recently, I’ve been cooking Thai Green Curry and Som Tam, a spicy green papaya salad with stir fried beans to take me right back there, eating street food in Chiang Rai.”
Lay the groundwork for your next adventure
If you asked any of us, what our favourite pastime is during these unprecedented times, it is planning for our next upcoming adventure when the world opens again. It’s that unrelenting passion for travelling that keeps us going.
Researching where’s next to tick off the bucket list, is a great way to hit the ground running once the dust has settled and we’re back to exploring once more.
Marta Marinelli, one of our Exodus Product Managers says, “I have always loved writing down a list of places I wanted to go through but this time there is more time to hand to research each destination, or search for inspiration online!” While one of our Customer Operations Executives, Katie Watt, takes to the process of elimination by using her scratch map, “To scratch of the places you’ve gone, it helps to remind yourself of how many great places you have left to tick off”.
And for Marketing, when the time comes to travel again, this means Tim Fowler, our Customer Marketing Manager can go back to collecting his statues of iconic landmarks; Caroline Pryer, our Exodus Edits Marketing Manager can continue to add to her tacky magnet collection encrusted on her fridge and Katie Brown, our PR and Internal Communications Executive can pick up where she left off, when it comes to buying international shot glasses for her local liqueur.
We hope that these light-hearted hints and tips for bringing travel into your homes has reignited your spirit for adventure – or at the very least offered a much-welcomed respite from the news. Stay safe and we’ll see you soon!