How many times have we heard it from our children or grandchildren: "I’m bored"? I have more than enough to occupy my time, from household chores to hobbies. Today, I’m feeling restless. Everything on my To-Do list, reading list, or in my craft box feels mundane, holding little interest to me. Instead, I have made a cup of my favorite tea and will be doing a little traveling.
The homebound traveler
When my husband and I retired, we had plans to travel. Many road trips through the United States, an Alaskan Cruise, a scenic train ride through parts of Canada, and a few European countries were on my wish list. Severe COPD has changed many of those travel dreams. Thanks to my television and computer, my dreams are not lost.
I have always enjoyed travel shows. They provide me with a glimpse of destinations I would never have thought of on my own. For years, I traveled through Europe with Rick Steves on PBS. Recently, I fell in love with the sheep pastures of Wales in Off The Beaten Path. With British actor Martin Clunes as my tour guide, I am currently visiting many breathtaking and interesting islands in both America and Australia.
Live webcams provide a view to animals and locations around the world. Today, using explore.org, I checked in on my favorite bears in Katmai National Park in Alaska catching salmon for dinner and watched some of the wildlife at a South African Wildlife Sanctuary.
A world of museums and learning
Almost every museum offers a few virtual tours on their websites. I have spent many afternoons navigating my way through the Louvre, the Smithsonian, and even the Vatican Museums. YouTube or Google your way through virtual castle tours. Another interesting site is webcamtaxi.com. They provide camera views from around the world. A search of the internet or on YouTube videos can give you an opportunity of traveling just about anywhere world.
Recently, I signed up for a short writing course on udemy.com. There are hundreds of courses on this site. They vary in price and learning is at your own speed. I have my wish list of a few more to take. YouTube has videos that can teach a new hobby, watch a full music concert, travel, cooking, television shows and so much more.
I love to play games. All my favorite board games can be played digitally and most are free. Simulation building games are enjoyable because I can take my time and build a large city. Many of these games can take months to complete. I have been playing a farm game called Hay Day for six years, slowly expanding it and growing and selling crops to other players. Not only is it entertaining but I have chatted with people from many different countries. Hidden object games and word games are good for keeping the mind stimulated. Most of mine have been downloaded through the app store on my cell phone or tablet.
Craft trading groups
I have belonged to a few of these. They are fun and creative. You trade and correspond with various groups made up of beginners to experienced members. I used to belong to an Art Trading Card Group (ATC). We paired up with another member and swapped cards made specifically for them. Currently, I belong to a polymer clay coin swap group. There are many of these groups available, including trading quilt squares, fabric, sewing or wood crafting patterns, vintage recipes, art journal pages to handmade holiday ornaments. A search through Facebook Groups or Pinterest will lead you to a hobby you enjoy.
Don’t be bored
The next time you have that restless feeling of needing a change in your daily routine, go on a trip, watch a concert, or learn a new subject. With the technology we have available, there are so many interesting activities we can do without leaving home. There should never be a reason to be bored again!
Editor's Note: We are heartbroken to share that Carol passed away in February of 2022. Carol's storytelling and advocacy will be deeply missed, but her legacy lives on through her articles and in all the people she inspired.
Do you struggle to afford your COPD medications?