The Therapeutic Worth of Planning a Trip You Cannot Take

“When I’m scared, the best thing to do is plan something,” said Anderfuren, a lecturer at Northern Arizona University. “Someday I’ll come to Vancouver. Right now… I can travel around the world – on Pinterest, ”she said with a laugh. Although the trip is over for the time being, Anderfuren said she continues to store or peg items to the board that she originally used for vacation planning because the exercise keeps them on the ground. She chose Vancouver in part because she’s a huge fan of The X-Files, which was mainly filmed in the area. “People created Google Maps and pinned the different locations of the places [where] Things are shot for different shows, ”Anderfuren told me about her Vancouver finds. Her 13-year-old daughter, an obsessive Nancy Drew, was excited to hear that the CW adaptation had been filmed there too.

Pinterest is just one way Angelé Anderfuren and her family deal with the stress of social distancing. (Pinterest)

Perhaps surprisingly, being stuck has become a quarantine activity for the household. Since they are not in school, the children of Anderfuren spend part of their newfound free time to submit their own travel route ideas to the holiday authorities. Although the Arizona landscape allows Anderfuren and her family to retreat to nature relatively often, they mostly stay at home. Pinterest is just one way to deal with the stress of social distancing.

It makes sense that Pinterest’s ambitious audience be prepared to take advantage of the platform amid unprecedented global isolation. Kiara Diaz, a 19-year-old Florida college student, has only been on Pinterest for four months, but given current events, the site’s travel community has helped her stay upbeat for the rest of 2020. “You have so much time to look at your boards, plan online, look at things, and save money on what you want to do in the future,” she told me about the quarantine.

Diaz continues to get stuck in travel post to focus on the joy she wants to return to later. While Diaz waits for the long break from travel, she plans more than usual in hopes of realizing the lofty vacation dreams she discussed with family members before the pandemic. For example, she and her mother had always talked about going to Greece together, and she and her brother wanted to visit Japan. So far, a point suggested by Pinterest has made it onto the latter agenda: “I’m a huge Mario Kart fan and they have a real thing to go karting in,” she said.

Much like Diaz, UK-based travel blogger Imani Adeyemo found some of her most interesting travel ideas on Pinterest. (When we talked, she mentioned that she’d learned about snow monkeys in Japan and the best times for the northern lights in Iceland.) Like Diaz, Adeyemo has started rethinking how she uses Pinterest as a tool for future planning. Before the coronavirus hit, Adeyemo had strong plans to visit the United States. Now that this trip has been postponed indefinitely and in the face of strict social distancing measures, she is wondering if her previous destinations were ambitious enough. “You are in that situation [want to] Go to paradisiacal places … places with a bucket list, ”Adeyemo said of vacation planning during a pandemic. She knows it will be a long time before she starts saving up for post-quarantine travel, but her new goals show how enforced isolation can lead people to look for size.

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