Travel has come to a halt due to the ongoing pandemic. As the virus spreads easily from person to person, pretty much every place, every event that involves people spending time in close proximity has been shut down – this means everything from flights to hotels to restaurants and bars are now closed. The current situation is expected to last for quite some time – some say a few months, others, a year, maybe more. One thing is certain: many of us will emerge from our homes with our skins craving the rays of the sun, the touch of the breeze – and as far from home as possible.
Specialists expect travel to see a veritable boom after the strict social distancing measures end. After all, people now have all the time in the world to glean the internet checking out all the places they can’t wait to visit when they finally can. The bucket lists of many people are growing fast these days – so here are a few tips on what the put on it.
What expresses freedom and happiness better than colorful kites flying all over the air? This is probably why the top kite festivals around the world attract so many visitors year after year. Unfortunately, most of the biggest ones take place in the spring or early in the summer – this year, many of them will most likely be postponed or canceled. So, it’s time to check out some new ones.
The Festival of the Winds is an event that takes place each September since 1977. Last year, the event attracted more than 40,000 visitors – this year, hopefully, it will be visited by even more. Especially if the social distancing measures are lifted, at least partially, until then.
Other events taking place later in the year include the Bristol International Kite Festival in England or the Frank Mots International Kite Festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – both of them taking place in September.
(Photo: Adam Foster)
By the time the pandemic ends, you will probably grow tired of takeout – maybe even of the delicious dishes, you cooked at home yourself. By the time you emerge from your home, your face will be craving the sun and the breeze, and your taste buds will be craving exotic and novel flavors cooked by somebody else. So, putting a food festival on your bucket list will likely be a great idea.
Visiting far-off lands and tasting the local dishes – in short, food tourism – is a well-known trend, and there are enough food-centered events happening around the world to choose from. There are quite a few that take place in the fall, like the Espelette Pepper Festival, held each October in Espelette, France or the Salon du Chocolat
that takes place in Paris at about the same time. And if you crave something fruitier, you can check out the Festa dell’Uva in Impruneta, Tuscany (Italy) each September, an event focused on grapes. Hopefully, both countries will be out of the dark by then.
Fun and quirky events
The summer is drawing close, and if the situation doesn’t improve, we may be forced to spend most of it at home. But there are many fun things to check out in the fall, too, that may be worth putting on your bucket list.
One of them is the world’s biggest pub crawl known as the London Cocktail Week: between 5 and 11 October, a 15-pound ($19) ticket will give you access to discounted food and signature cocktails at more than 300 London bars and pubs, plus the Cocktail Village with dozens of pop-up bars, street food vendors, and DJs.
The Concurs de Castells in Tarragona, Spain, is a unique event pitting human towers against each other. Traditionally, more than 30 teams compete in building the highest and most complicated human towers in an event that involves street performers, parades, concerts, food, and drinks.
Finally, there’s the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in Montréal, Canada, that can be a welcome escape for film lovers around the world. The event traditionally features hundreds of films, art installations, conferences, parties, and “transmedia” projects of all kinds. This year’s edition will hopefully take place between October 7-18. Fingers crossed.