Home from Work and Can’t Travel? What to do with your Downtime

I had an amazing RV trip planned for April-June. I was going to see Texas bluebells for the first time, attend a couple of festivals, see the emergence of the largest bat colony in the world, ride a steam train, and taste more awesome Texas wine. There were even more things on the list to research. But now, just like everyone else, all my travel is on hold. With people home from work and even ordered to stay at home, it is so important to keep a positive attitude. What are your plans for your downtime from work and travel? Here are some of the things I plan to do to occupy my downtime.

travel trailer and tow vehicle with text overlay: Home from work and can't travel? Things to do in your downtime.

What I Plan to do in My Downtime from Work and Travel

I have to admit that things are not a lot different for me — yet. I went to the market about ten days ago, just as all this was hinting at starting, and I’m good for another week or so. Then I will have to venture out for dairy, produce and meat. Somehow I had the foresight to get extra meat for the cats the last time I shopped. That’s the only thing I stocked up on. Oh, and cream and sweetener for my coffee! When I do need fresh food, I will order online and pick up curbside at the market. Hopefully, meat will be easier to get then, otherwise I don’t know what I will do for the cats.

cat in cat tree

I’ve been “retired” for a long time. I work at home on my blogs and other activities. As an introvert, I’ve never been big in to large gatherings or even really needing much human contact. I could probably easily turn into a hermit if not for this blog forcing me to get out to see and do things. So what will I do now?

Try to Master My New Photo Gear

In my last blog post, I talked about my new superzoom camera and learning to use it to its full potential. I purchased this Nikon P900 superzoom for better bird and wildlife still photography. I’ve done some bird photography with it but I can’t wait to go back to some zoos and wildlife parks! Although it does do video, and I will use its zoom capability to supplement my other wide angle shots, that is not its strong suit.

bird (thrasher) in a tree
two turtles on a log

I got a DJI Osmo Pocket for video. My thought here was that it is so small I will feel less conspicuous and might really start doing this. Actually saying that is a little funny. I have no problem taking a photograph anywhere but I feel a little self-conscious when shooting a video. Go figure. Since I am so new to video except on my iPhone, there will definitely be a learning curve here.

When I ran across a great deal on a GoPro Hero 8 Black, I decided to add that also. I have an ancient Hero 2 and have been wanting an updated GoPro.

I brought lights and backdrops with me from California so I’m thinking of setting up a bit of an indoor studio. This would mostly be to practice portraits of the cats since I have no intention of doing talking head videos. I’m very uncomfortable being on camera which has probably been the biggest factor in delaying making travel videos. I keep hearing practice, practice, practice!

Learn to Speak Spanish

When I was in junior high school, I took one semester of Spanish. Foolishly, in high school, I took three years of French. I say foolishly because in the US there isn’t much opportunity to use French. Spanish would have been a much more practical choice but what does a 15 year old know.

I’ve thought about learning Spanish off and on over the years. I’ve even bought some CDs here and there. Now that I live in the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas where upwards of 90% of the population is Hispanic, it has really been on my mind. Of course, most everyone here speaks English but it would just be amazing to me to be able to have a conversation in Spanish. Also, when my friend Linda and I go across the border, it would be great to be able to communicate better with salespeople myself rather than relying on her.

Shopping in Nuevo Progreso

I’ve been looking into Babbel and was just about to take the plunge when I learned that a resident in the park is starting a Spanish class here. What timing! I do a lot better with the structure of a class rather than self-study so I’m especially excited about this.

Up My YouTube Game

I have had a YouTube channel almost since the creation of this website. I’ve always just used it for short videos to help illustrate a blog post. Here’s one of my favorites. Animals have a way of soothing us in stressful times. Speaking of animals soothing us, check out my friend Sage’s post on Everyday Wanderer about animal live cams.

In the beginning, I didn’t even think about making travel videos or vlogs. Lately, however, I’ve been studying vloggers I enjoy and admire along with a lot of how to videos. I got the DJI Osmo Pocket and the GoPro for this purpose and I’m going to see what I can do with them.

It may be a while before you see a video in this new vein. Between things shut down, learning how to use new cameras, and learning new editing software, this might be a slow process. And before I begin this project, I have a fair amount of old iPhone footage that I should edit. I’ll probably use the new software to experiment on that while I wait for something new to film.

Update My Website

The whole travel industry, including even travel blogs, is suffering during this crisis. Traffic to most travel blogs is down by at least half. This makes working on the blog, especially struggling for new post ideas, a little disheartening.

I’ve been working on creating lots of new Pinterest optimized graphics for old posts. Pinterest recently changed their best practices and are now looking for fresh content. Fresh content for them is a photo that has never been on Pinterest.

I have several blog posts that need updating due to business closures or moves. However, I’ve decided to wait on that to see how the current situation might effect other locations I’ve written about.

Working to improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and checking for broken links are also both on my list.

Other Things to do During Downtime from Work or Travel

If none of these things apply to you, here are a few suggestions that might.

  • It’s spring! Start your garden. If you can’t get out, order your seeds and plants online.
  • It’s spring! Do some deep cleaning.
  • Try new recipes. Challenge yourself to see what you can create from what you have on hand.
  • Start a new hobby or spend time on one you’ve been neglecting.
  • Create that scrapbook of previous travels that you’ve been wanting to do.
  • Don’t overlook physical activity, even if you have to do it in the house.
  • Get out in nature if you can.
  • Read – books or blogs.
  • Write – a journal, short stories, blog and social media posts or even that book you’ve been thinking about.
  • Binge-watch a series.
  • Connect with friends and relatives through text, email, Facetime or Skype.
  • Things will get better. Research and plan that next awesome trip.
  • And don’t forget to get dressed every morning, even if that just means changing from your night pajamas to your comfortable daytime pajamas.

Final Thoughts about Filling Downtime from Work or Travel

I’m really excited about starting the Spanish class. Don’t worry. It’s just a few people from my park and we will practice social distancing.

I’m also looking forward to seeing what I can do with my new cameras.

What are you doing to make the most of any downtime from work and travel during these uncertain times?

nature scene with text overlay: Home from work and can't travel? What to do in your downtime
travel trailer parked among the trees with text overlay: What do you do when you can't travel: What to do in your downtime

Until next time…

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  1. In the midst of handling aspects of the pandemic from the healthcare side of things, I hadn’t spent time hearing the perspectives of travel bloggers. Obviously, I needed to hear how they are affected too. And I like you, I’d love to work on my photography skills, even if the subject matter is just from my home or perimeter of property. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Imei! I haven’t done as much with my photography as I had hoped so far. I need to buckle down on that! I have been quite diligent with my Spanish studies though.

  2. Ava, so sorry about your kitty. My cousin sent me your Blog, newsletter.
    She thought since my life seemed so much like yours, as I just bought a travel trailer to hit the road and continue inspiring others with my writing, I would like to get to know you better and I am enjoying your writing. Look forward to keeping in touch.
    Be well and stay strong. Sharon

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