By now, you’ve all settled into your new quarantine lifestyles and self-isolation has become the ‘new normal’. You’ve reluctantly had to put your adventures on hold and for weeks on end you’ve been finding yourself at home – alone… or perhaps with all family members cramped into the same space, every minute of the day.

Staring out your window, you dream of glorious hikes and endless trails. Not at all what you expected for 2020!

If life is a little dull at the moment and your biggest excitement is a walk around the block or a trip to the shops, read on as we’ve compiled our team’s top tips to help get you through ‘ISO’.

Check out what we’re doing to nurture our souls, give back to the planet and (re-) connect with what matters.

 

  1. Walk, walk, walk

 For most of our team, our connection to nature guides everything we do. That’s why we still get out every day to do what we do best. You guessed it – walking! We’ve been taking this time as an opportunity to explore the walks closer to home on the Mornington Peninsula, walking along back beaches, heading up to lookouts or venturing through bushland. We know we’re spoiled by our location, but you’d be surprised how many parks and hidden reserves you’ll discover close to your home that you have never had the time to explore – perfect training ground for your next adventure. Challenge yourself by keeping an eye on how many kilometres you walk every week – can you get up to the equivalent of your next trip?

Dogs have undoubtedly been the winners with more daily walks from their owners.

        We’ve started to plan a whole range of fantastic local walks for you in anticipation of restrictions being lifted.

 

Mornington_Peninsula_walk

RAW Travel owner Dave out researching new local walks

 

 

RAW’s Camino specialist Sue Chater out with her dog Toby, meeting many other dog walkers

  1. Reading and upskilling:

Many of us have started to use this less ordinary time to read more or even to pick up a new skill or two. Now is the time to dust off the pile of books you haven’t read yet or to join an online course or webinar, many offered for free. Sign up for a language course and learn a little Japanese in preparation for the Kumano Kodo and check out our list of recommended travel books here . Take the opportunity to sit down with a cup of tea and appreciate a slower pace…Some of our recent travel titles recommended on Facebook:

Originally written in Japanese, this passionate, vividly personal book draws on the author’s experiences in Japan over 30 years.
This book decodes Japan’s extraordinary food culture through a mix of in-depth narrative and insider advice in this 5000-mile journey through the noodle shops, tempura temples and teahouses of Japan.
Overweight, overworked and physically unfit, Kerkeling was an unlikely candidate to make the arduous pilgrimage across the French Alps to the Spanish Shrine of St James.
This is the remarkable true story of a couple who lost everything and embarked on a journey of salvation across the windswept South West Coast Path in the UK. An honest and uplifting account of overcoming grief and the healing power of nature.
This is a funny and deeply irreverent account of one man’s journey with his donkey along the Camino.
A gripping read and first hand account of the 1996 Everest disaster, also made into a movie. The lessons are as relevant as ever with recent scenes on Everest.
  1. Buying local

We are very conscious that small, local businesses need our support now more than ever. We encourage everyone to take a little more time to venture to a family run bakery, visit a farm gate, get honey from a local beekeeper. What’s more, the quality is usually better, you reduce your food miles (aka carbon footprint) and put a smile on their face and yours.

The freshest food is the best tasting food – keep up shopping local!

  1. Get gardening & growing

Many of us have turned into passionate gardeners and exponentially upped the time spent growing veggies at home. It’s a great way to connect with nature. If you live in a smaller space, benchtop herbs are perfect and will be awesome for our next tip.

 

RAW’s owner Mel Reynolds has been busy gardening

 

  1. Cooking up a storm

 We’ve collectively cooked up hundreds of amazingly delicious dishes, spending hours in the kitchen, often trying new recipes that we’ve been meaning to give a go for years. For a bit of International flair, google ‘top dishes’ of your next destination. Hmmm, how about a paella night?      

 

RAW’s GM Marko Soltys has been putting his culinary skills to good use

RAW’s operations assistant Ang Morrow bakes delights for colleagues & family

  1. Giving back

 We are still working behind the scenes to support our charity partners, reaching out to those around us who’re struggling.  There are many ways to lend a hand. An easy way is to donate food or items you no longer need. There are still a range of organisations taking and desperately needing goods. With more time on our hands, many of us have cleaned out our cupboards to deliver a big load of clothes, food and equipment to our local partner ‘Mothers Supporting Families in Need’.

 

  1. Plant a tree

We’ve been planting a native tree for every customer for some time now, in an effort to become Australia’s first climate positive walking company. The next winter planting season has officially kicked off and we’re ready to get our hands dirty and support our local Landcare partner. Volunteer numbers are strictly limited to align with restrictions, so we’re ready for long, less social days in the great outdoors. If you live on the Mornington Peninsula and are keen to help, or are further away and looking for ideas in your area, please touch base with Birte, our Sustainability Lead. If you have your own garden, plant a local Indigenous tree in commemoration of this unprecedented time.  

Tree_planting

 

  1. Check in with long lost friends & loved ones

This is the perfect time to connect with loved ones, especially if you live on your own. Pick up the phone or make best use of your screen time to speak to your sibling, long lost friend or a former travel buddy (you might even start planning your next trip!). Closer to home, your four-legged friends love having you home, take joy in knowing – for them it’s the best time ever!

 

     9. Keeping Australia Beautiful

Over the years, we’ve put huge effort into cleaning up local beaches and trails and there is nothing stopping us in our determination to tackle plastic waste and litter. While we don’t organise clean up groups at the moment, you can still do your bit in your own time. Remember just by picking up 3 (or more) pieces of litter, you’ve made a big difference, stopping them from flushing into our waterways and oceans. Take extra care by wearing gloves and washing your hands thoroughly after. If you live in Victoria, check out https://www.beachpatrol.com.au to find street and beach cleanup groups near you, otherwise check out ‘Take3ForTheSea’ to find out more.

 

RAW’s Sue Chater on a beach clean up excursion

 

  1. Celebrate different

With social restrictions in place, birthdays and all other celebrations will not be the same for some time. Time to get a little creative. Here’s some inspiration shared by one of our team members, Inga. Inga’s partner’s Dad turned 80, so they organised a food van to be parked out the front of his house. Neighbours were invited to buy a takeaway meal, wave and beep for the birthday boy. He had the best day ever! Think outside the box to make this year’s celebration a bit more exciting.

Unbeatable creativity and sharing for an 80th Birthday

11. Learning to be a teacher

 Well they say you should never stop learning and the homeschooling scenarios  being played out across the country have certainly put many parents on a steep learning curve! Algebra equations anyone?

RAW’s sustainability lead Birte Moliere is one of countless parents now taking on the role of home teacher with her two boys

If you have any other ideas, we’d love to hear from you. Check in with our community online and share your tips on our Facebook page 

And remember, this time will end and we will get you back to exploring our wonderful world on foot! Start dreaming of wide open spaces and freedom to wander again…

 

 

Dolomites Trek