Innovative Ways to Stay Connected

We’re all either struggling or getting creative (sometimes both) while the planet remains, in varying degrees, locked down. We can’t go far, it’s true, but there are some inventive ways to bring a little of the outside world into your home. So here are a few suggestions on innovative ways to stay connected.

Learn new recipes; it’s as simple as typing “Thai food recipes” or “Spanish tapas recipes” or “ANY COUNTRY recipes” into your browser and voila, the world is at your fingertips. Depending on where you live, you can order the ingredients online or go old-school and grocery shop, while respecting the new rules (masks, sanitizers, social distancing). One great Chef that has been simplifying this idea online is Chef Daniel Green with his series Fire Up the Pantry.

Another option is to choose foods from faraway lands from one of those increasingly popular meal-prep-delivery services. Either way, you’ll cook and enjoy the food journey along with a great meal that will take your taste buds on a trip. Want to immerse in your dining locale even more? dress the part, put on appropriate music and perhaps even wine-pair or make a cocktail that fits the destination.  

Buy some art; available at every price point, adding the right art can take you to Europe, Asia or even simply the great outdoors. The fantastic photography of Gray Malin, taken around the globe, may be to your liking, or if bringing stunning botanicals into your home is the escape you seek, you should check out artist Rea Kelly, where you’ll find a wide variety of landscapes, flowers and more from Canada’s great outdoors.

If you are looking for something a little more budget wise, many online sites offer affordable prints of everything from cool city maps to Chinese traditional landscapes, such as this seller on etsy starting at prices as low as $30.00. There is nothing like a new piece of art for the perfect in-home escape.

Throw (or join) a party. We can’t throw a traditional party right now, but virtual parties are growing in popularity for a reason: they’re fun! Zoom is one of the easiest and fastest growing platforms right now (sidebar: not so great for privacy, as they have had hacking issues), and there are also other platforms like Google Hangouts, Facetime, Skype or Marco Polo. Whichever platform you choose, the party-options are virtually endless (pun intended). From virtual dinner parties, to online book clubs or dance parties hosted by great DJ’s from around the globe, you can meet people from other countries, discuss great literature (or beach reads) or have a group of friends all try the same Ethiopian? recipe. You can even have a tutored wine tasting with a celebrity Sommelier, such as Toronto Star Writer  Carolyn Evans Hammond.

Additionally, musicians, performing artists and many theater groups are going live on Zoom as a platform to perform in front of an audience, this  Los Angeles based theater company has done very well with this model. You’ll get credit for helping transport a group of your friends to a new place and have a great time.