My husband and I were meant to be going to Vienna in Austria in August of this year but we’ve made the decision to postpone our trip until 2021 as the restrictions in place due to Coronavirus are likely to spoil our holiday somewhat. However, I refuse to get upset about it and instead I’m keeping myself excited and doing some extra preparation for when we eventually get there. In today’s Monday Matters post, I’m going to share some of the ways that I’m keeping the excitement going so that I’m still really looking forward to our trip. Hopefully, this will give you some ways to minimise the disappointment you may be feeling if your plans have been put on hold for the time being.
Checking out Pinterest
I’ve recently created a Pinterest board called ‘Vienna Trip‘ and pinned lots of ‘best things to do in Vienna’ ideas plus information about the city in general. This is great for keeping all the webpages in one place and it will help me to create planning spreads in my BuJo nearer the time.
Vienna Photo collage Bullet Journal Spread
Whilst visiting various Vienna related pages on the web, I came across lots of stunning photographs of places within the city. I saved mini versions of these on my computer and have printed them off on photograph paper to create a two page collage for my bullet journal. I typed out the names of the places using MS Word and my favourite font of the moment which is Tox typewriter. I used Pritt stick to attach everything as the double sided tape that I have takes ages when you have lots of little fiddly bits and pieces to stick on.
Educating myself about the country
This is something I used to do with the children in my class when I was teaching. We would do a mini geography topic based on a particular place and learn everything we could about it including where it was in the World, the capital city and other popular tourist spots, the flag, traditions, weather, food etc. The information collected would then be used to create a fact file either electronically in our ICT lessons or in our topic books. I’ve been doing the same sort of research to create a spread in my bullet journal. I typed in search terms such as ‘Austria facts for kids’ etc into Google as I only wanted to know the basics and this made an easy starting point for further research. This website was a gold mine of information and has stuff on other countries too.
Before creating my BuJo spread, I set up an MS Word document in which to put random information about the country in no particular order. This helped me to decide on the sections and headers I would need for my bullet journal so I could make it as well organised and logical as possible.
Immersing myself virtually
There are some amazing views in Austria as I discovered during my research online. I’m not sure how much of the wonderful scenery we’ll get to see with us being in the city so I’ve chosen a stunning view for the desktop of my computer and I’ve stuck some beautiful photographs in my BuJo of some of the images I found. And according to Lee Bacon, head of digital at the BBC’s Natural History Unit, “Even viewing nature digitally has been scientifically proven to help peoples’ mental wellbeing” so yay for Google images!
Learning about the city
I usually do most of my reading about the city we are going to on the aeroplane on the way over or in a mad rush a few days before we travel. This time, I’m going to be super well prepared about the layout of Vienna and what to expect when we get there. This will help us make the most of our time as we will know how spaced out everything is and how we can travel around the place on foot or using different transport systems. So far I’ve done one page but I shall be continuing to add information each week until I have everything I want written down. By the time we go on our trip, I’ll have moved into a new BuJo but I can photocopy my pages to take with us.
I found a great site that has comprehensive descriptions on the various tourist attractions and also has a number of maps that you can download as PDFs. I printed one today on sticker paper, backed it onto some coloured paper and then laminated it. Now I just need to find somewhere to keep it until next year so we actually remember to take it with us.
What about a pre-trip virtual tour?
Whilst checking out a variety of websites, I came across this site which enables you to preview different sights around the city. It’s really useful for photographs of the different tourist activities and you can look on a map to see where things are located. I expect there are similar websites for other cities across the world too. I know Sunderland have created virtual tours of popular places across the city for people to view during lockdown.
Checking out the eateries using Happy Cow
My husband and I are both vegetarian and I’m particularly strict about what I eat too. I need to be sure that if I eat cheese, it doesn’t contain animal rennet and I also like my drinks to be veggie friendly too (vegan if possible). Therefore, when we go abroad, we choose to eat in vegetarian or vegan eateries, as unlike in the UK, cafes and restaurants don’t usually label their dishes with a V or Ve symbol. Before we go anywhere, we do extensive research on Happy Cow. I actually chose Vienna for our holiday as I know that vegetarians and vegans are well catered for there. I haven’t created a bullet journal spread of places to eat at yet but this is definitely something I intend to do nearer the time. The information will include if the café or restaurant is completely vegan or veggie with vegan options and I’ll also add the location and how far away it is from our hotel. As you can see, there are plenty of options for our stay!
I know the lockdown and coronavirus have caused so much worry, disappointment, anxiety and general upset, but hopefully this post has given you some ideas on how to keep the pre-holiday or trip excitement going for a while longer. Obviously, re-arranging travel dates and accommodation present their own difficulties but once things have been sorted out, you can hopefully do some extra planning to ensure when you do eventually get away, you have the best time ever!