I feel lucky that my profession allows me some escapism… even if merely mental these days. As we go about our jobs at Live and Invest Overseas, we are constantly launching our minds (and usually ourselves) across borders.
As none of us will be able to get there in person anytime soon, I thought I’d share some of the ways that our LIOS team is keeping our wanderlust alive.
Please join me on this tour-by-text and get out of your own town for a bit…
Events Assistant Gloria Contreras is in Panama during the lockdown. But, like us all, she had other plans this summer…
An avid fan of South Korean culture, she was to visit Korea this month for the first time.
But Gloria hasn’t let a travel ban stop her. These past few weeks, she’s done all she can to bring South Korea to Panama. She’s taken to watching more of her favorite Korean dramas and listening to Korean music. She found a Korean delivery place that brings her delicious kimchi and tteok-bokki (a vegan rice dish).
Koreans love their coffee and often make them so cute, with pretty designs on top, that you don’t want to drink them. “I started trying to make my coffee more fun since confinement,” says Gloria. “I’ve done everything from matcha lattes to Dalgona coffees (a whipped, frothy, Frappuccino-type drink), and even a different type of mocha with layers of chocolate, milk, and coffee foam on top—true Korean-style coffee.
“Then, in April, I began a 22-day vegan challenge—I had to make a different, photo-worthy meal every day. I try to put a Korean twist on these recipes if I can’t find a fully Korean dish to try.
“Otherwise, my two dogs and cat are enjoying my company… I’ve been at home for over a month now. My cat decided she might actually like me (I had never gotten that impression before).
“One shocker for me is that I’ve found I’m spending more money during lockdown than when I was going out to restaurants and malls.
“I confess, I’ve indulged on some comfort foods since isolation. I missed one of my favorite Chinese bakeries in El Dorado so much that I asked a delivery guy to bring me some bread from Misawa. A US$22 splurge!”
I love Gloria’s idea to bring South Korea into her home and started to wish I could do the same thing. Then I realized that I’ve been unconsciously doing something similar. I moved to Paris about a year-and-a-half ago, but between pregnancy and life with a newborn, I don’t feel I’ve been able to enjoy life in France as I had hoped and imagined.
But, since confinement, we’ve been making an effort to bring our new home’s culture inside our doors like never before. We buy local foods we haven’t tried before, make traditional French recipes, put French cable on in the background, try to speak French to one another when we remember to. And we’ve even brought the city’s best museum offerings to our TV screen thanks to modern technology.
You don’t have to leave home to experience some of the best a place has to offer right now. So, if you have a list of Shangri-Las that you’re thinking of visiting or moving to, don’t let COVID stop you from enjoying them… even if you can’t get to them in person. Keep your go-overseas plan in motion by keeping the romance alive—enjoy your new culture’s food, drink, music, literature, movies, nature, and art… even if you have to do it from afar for now.
We can all find some way to get closer to our goals despite confinement.
All it takes is a positive attitude and a hunger for some new experiences.