Bubble Up Some Virtual Travel: A Travel Writer’s Prescription for Wanderlust on Hold

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Travel lovers around the world have had to find contentment with daily limitations, our excursions restricted to attending to basic needs. Cooking, baking and sipping your way through culture can be the remedy to satiating your craving. It will capture your temporarily halted wanderlust and tingle your taste buds.

So many of us lament that we have never watched so many movies streamed into our living rooms. Even more declare a new love for the stove and oven, giving credence to the kitchen appliances’ rapid rise in sales. A new appreciation for adult beverages has skyrocketed as well. We will be debating for years on how the universe at large handled this pandemic, but for now embrace what we have and use it for armchair wandering. So instead of your passport, grab some bubbles, create a destination-targeted dish and perch in front of a screen.

Small, little-recognized movies from independent foreign movie makers are enjoyable junkets. If they have subtitles, that is even better, as it demands your attention as other movies may not. This is especially welcome when watching in your home with distractions in every corner.

Forget the buttery popcorn and pair that movie with a cocktail, wine or beer from the locale you’re visiting virtually, and you are transported. Research the movie’s origin a day ahead and create food to take the experience to further heights. Your evening film voyage need not be a fancy one. Give yourself permission to dream of vacations ahead and reminisce about globetrotting of the past.

A little-known movie made in Venice, Italy, titled Bread and Tulips is an enjoyable Silvio Soldini production from 2001. It’s a bit hard to find, but at least one of the streaming services will have it. Prepare an Aperol Spritz, a quick and easy bruschetta, and magically, you are seated at one of the cafes surrounding Piazza San Marco transformed into an enchanting evening with the summer orchestras. Venice is, of course, stunning, but this movie takes you through the lesser-known canals and communities thriving along them. Each twist and turn over and under bridges provide glimpses that tourist attractions lack. I have always believed that Venice’s visitors need to get lost within the canal system to learn about the city.

While Bread and Tulips is very comical and entertaining, other world jaunts can begin with a good documentary. A Year in Champagne is an excellent example of one that entertains and informs. Pour yourself a glass of the movie’s namesake and prepare a simple charcuterie, then sip your way through one of the most picturesque regions in France. Take the opportunity to learn about the bubbly wonder’s grace and humility, and you will enjoy it even more than ever before.

Like a Disney World ride flying over the Eiffel Tower and along The Great Wall of China, you can be one moment in Europe and on the continent of Asia the next. An evening excursion to Asia can contain a stunning movie from 1985 title A Time to Live, A Time to Die.

A Time to Live, A Time to Die, a Hou Hsiao Hsien masterpiece, will require a box of tissues to completely release yourself to this thought-provoking film. Hou Hsiao Hsien’s own unique cinematographic style is considered visual poetry. Along with the stunning settings, the emotion will take your breath away.

Warm sake and some tangerine beef made quickly at home is perfection; however, a simple restaurant delivery works just as well. This particular combination of food, beverage and film from the comfort of your living room is good for the soul.

Currently, the biggest celebrities of the day are celebrity chefs, and chef-led cooking classes are abundant. Live streams of concerts from far away slices of heaven, as well as complete tours of the world’s finest museums, are just a few clicks away. There are so many creative outlets to evoke the spirit of travel. Grab a glass flute, unwrap that tagine and roam the world from your 2021 headquarters, home. ■