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  • 10 Best Virtual Museum Tours In 2020

    The COVID-19 situation has placed some business on a halt, some may have even closed their doors. We have seen how entertainment centers, tourist attractions, zoos, and even museums were affected by this outbreak. There is no denying that technology has made life simpler, making us feel that the world is at our fingertips. As travel bans have been imposed all around the world, you may have heard about virtual traveling. Exploring the world at the comfort of your home might not give you the best experience but think about its convenience; you don't have to deal with the crowd! Even better, some of these tours are free! From the deepest part of the world to local zoos to historical and art museums; there's an abundance of virtual tours made available for you. Can't travel to visit these iconic museums? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Here are 10 best virtual museum tours you need to check out in 2020!  via GIPHY   1. The British Museum, London Image Credit: Ryan Stefan on Unsplash The British Museum in London was opened in 1759 and was the first national public museum in the world. You can learn about human histories and culture dated way back to over two million years.There are several ways for you to enjoy these historic artifacts. Explore the virtual museum tours through Google Street View. You can visit up to 60 over galleries like the Egyptian sculpture gallery and The World of Alexander. You can also view an infographic timeline of each artifact through History Connected. You can easily read through the facts or even listen to the audio made available. It is very informative and must not be missed by all history buffs! For those of you who had always dreamed of visiting this museum, this is your chance. And the best part is, it's free! Website 2. The Broad, Los Angeles Image Credit: Tu Tram Pham on UnsplashThe Broad in Los Angeles features contemporary art from the 1950s to the present. With almost 2,000 pieces of artwork, you can find collections from influential contemporary artists like Andy Warhol and Yayoi Kusama.Get inspired by the effort made by The Broad to bring this wonderful experience to you at home. Watch one of The Broad's famous installations, Yayoi Kasuma's Infinity Mirrored Room, over some lights and sounds environment. If you want to find activities you can do with the kids, get inspired through the family workshops at home series. It contains step-by-step tutorials that you can enjoy with your family. If you can't get over the Infinity Mirrored Room, then you can learn how to create one from one of the videos.Website 3. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Image Credit: Mitchell Luo on Unsplash National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, is one of the oldest museums to exist in the country. Founded in 1861, you can find artworks from both local and international artists, ranging from contemporary art, fashion, architecture, and dance.Fans of KAWS, you no longer have to feel disappointed about missing this exhibition. Now available via virtual tours, head down to the website to visit KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness exhibition. Other exhibitions you can visit virtually includes the 'Japanese Modernism' and 'Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines.' The latter exhibition is worth visiting as you can listen to the audio tour by the curator himself. Wonderful isn't it? Website 4. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul Image Credit: National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art has established four museums in different venues; Gwacheon, Deoksugung, Seoul, and Cheongju. It is one of the most famous museums in Korea that showcases Korea's art and culture. The four museums are unique; each showcasing different aspects of art and culture in Korea but are geared towards a common goal which is to provide a rewarding cultural experience to visitors. You can find various artworks ranging from literature to calligraphy, architecture to design, and family-oriented space and children's museum.One of the ways you can enjoy a tour around the museum is through the official website. You can watch tour videos on Jonathan Borofsky's Singing Man or Kim Whanki's Two Moon. Meanwhile, on Google Art & Culture, you can view more collections from renowned artistes or even go on a virtual tour on all levels.Website 5. Musée d’Orsay, Paris Image Credit: Armand Khoury on Unsplash Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France, holds French artworks dated way back in 1848 to 1914. These artworks range from painting, sculpture, furniture, and photographs. Fans of impressionist will find solace in this museum, witnessing artworks from renowned painters like Monet and Van Gogh.As Musée d’Orsay used to be a railway station, you may catch a glimpse of its history through an online exhibition called From Station to the Renovated Musée d'Orsay. Apart from that, get inspired by the canvas painting and oil painting made available for you in Google Art & Culture. You can now enjoy the artworks from this exhibition in the comfort of your home!Website 6. China Paper Cutting Museum, Yangzhou Image Credit: China Paper Cutting Museum on Discover China  The China Paper Cutting Museum in Yangzhou holds a diverse collection of paper-cutting arts from around the country. With almost 400 pieces of artwork, its genre ranged from landscapes, birds and flowers, and plants, and insects. Paper-cutting art has always been important to Chinese folk culture. These delicate and detailed arts may leave you in awe and keep you inspired in many ways.You can view the artwork virtually from local artistes via the online exhibitions made available. If you wanna try making some paper cutting art, how about watching the online exhibition called 'The Art of Cutting Paper by Zhang Muli?' All you need is just a pair of scissors and some paper. Time to get crafty! Website 7. Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts, Kyoto Image Credit: Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts The Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts, also known as Fureaikan, features Kyoto's traditional crafts. With almost 500 collections ranging from Kimonos, lacquerwares, and textiles, there is always something to see and learn on Kyoto crafts.The traditional garment Kimono has always featured beautiful and intricate designs. Learn its history from the online exhibition, 'The Ancient History Making and Wearing a Kimono' and 'Historical Development of Kimono Pattern'. The beautiful textiles of a Kimono will leave you in awe, as you learn to appreciate them more given that the time and effort it takes to make the textiles can be excruciating. Website 8. Singapore Art Museum, Singapore Image Credit: The Singapore Art Museum The Singapore Art Museum is dedicated to contemporary art based in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Whether the museum is closed for major transformation or due to the COVID-19 situation, you can still visit the museum and view the exhibitions virtually. Singapore Art Museum has been an organizer for the Singapore Biennale in four different years. If you missed it, you may get the chance to view the last years' collections in the online exhibition 'Singapore Biennale 2019: Every Step in the Right Direction.' You can also go on a virtual walk in the museum and explore all levels that are made available.Website 9. National Museum of Natural Science, Taichung Image Credit: National Museum of Natural Science on Taichung Travel Net If you want to skip the art and history, or if you are just into nature and science, then this museum is for you! The National Museum of Natural Science in Taichung, Taiwan, covers exhibitions like astronomy, space science, and ecology. With over 50 permanent exhibitions to look out for, there is always something for everyone to learn from, be it adults or children.As one of the most visited museums in Taiwan, there shouldn't be a reason to skip this museum especially when you can visit it virtually!. Run through the 100 specimens of different departments; geology, botany, zoology, and anthropology in this online exhibition. You will never leave this virtual tour without learning something new, we promise! Website 10. Fubon Art Foundation, Taipei Image Credit: Fubon Art Foundation Fubon Art Foundation may be a little different from the rest of the museums on this list. Its aim is to promote art education and support art-based events. To incorporate art into one's lifestyle, it is not necessary to visit a museum or a gallery. Hence, "Very Fun Park" is established where people can experience art from the streets and alleyways in the city.Don't be sad if your trip to Taiwan is canceled, and you can't witness these awesome artworks. Now, you can navigate through the online galleries and view the various installations from different contemporary visual artists. The colorful and unique installations are interesting to look at; it makes you want to witness them in real life too!Website If you think that you can't experience new things without leaving your house, then you are wrong! This list of virtual museum tours will occupy your time, give you some inspiration, relax your mind, and perhaps, allow you to learn something new. If these museums piqued your interest, then you can include them in your itinerary the next time you are traveling!  via GIPHY...

  • Here Are 10 Best Family Road Trips In Malaysia

    Planning a family trip where everyone can enjoy themselves can be exciting but stressful as well. After Covid-19, it is expected that domestic travel will recover first. Why not use this time to plan for a road trip in Malaysia? Going on a road trip is a great way to bond and spend quality time with your family! Whether you are planning for a short weekend getaway or a vacation, Malaysia has so much to offer! Malaysia is ideal for family road trips as there are so many destinations that you can explore and enjoy with your family. Here are 10 best family road trips in Malaysia!  via GIPHYAlso Read: Here Is What Travel Will Look Like After Covid-19 1. Kota Tinggi to Desaru Image Credit: Kota Tinggi Waterfalls Resort It will take approximately 50 mins to drive down from Kota Tinggi to Desaru, hence making it an ideal short weekend getaway to enjoy with your family. Bring your family for a picnic and take a dip in the Kota Tinggi Waterfall. This spectacular view offers serenity, allowing us to relax and unwind. If you have more time to spare in Kota Tinggi, you can also visit the Kota Tinggi Firefly Park. Participate in outdoor studies with your family and get close to nature. This can be a fun yet enriching experience for the family! Image Credit: Desaru Fruit Farm More family-fun activities await you in Desaru. Drive down to Desaru Fruit Farm and learn how to grow various kinds of fruits. On top of that, you can even do a taste testing of the fruits you have picked. You can also bring the kids to feed the ostriches at the Desaru Ostrich Farm. My best pick will be the Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark, which can be enjoyed by people of all ages - adults and kids alike.    2. Port Dickson to Malacca Image Credit: Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson This trip is another ideal short getaway that you can consider. Stay for a night in Port Dickson and the following day, you can drive down to Malacca in less than 1.5 hours. Port Dickson is the best place to relax and rewind. Book one of the water chalets available like Lexis Hibiscus and enjoy a night stay. Nothing can go wrong with spending quality with the family in a private pool. Image Credit: St. Paul's Church on Lonely Planet The following day, you can take a drive to Malacca. There are many historical sites that you can visit in Malacca, which is known for its rich history. Head down to A Famosa and walk up the small hill to reach St. Paul's Church. Image Credit: Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum There are also plenty of museums around the area that you can visit too, like Flora de la Mar Maritime Museum and the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum. If you happened to be in Klebang area, you must not miss the Klebang Original Coconut Shake! Nothing can beat teatime with some traditional Malay kuih (delicious!) and a cup of coconut shake topped with vanilla ice cream (yummy!). 3. Kuala Lumpur to Penang Image Credit: Wayne Chew on Unsplash No matter how long you are planning to stay in Kuala Lumpur, there are always things to see and do. It has become mandatory to take a trip to PETRONAS tower whenever one is in Kuala Lumpur. There are various things to see and do around the area like exploring Aquaria KLCC, visiting the aquarium, or shop at Suria KLCC. After spending some time sightseeing and shopping at Kuala Lumpur, continue your journey down the road for about 4 hours to reach a UNESCO heritage town, George Town in Penang. Image Credit: Dark Mansion More fun-filled activities await you in Penang. Visit Dark Mansion, a 3D trick art museum unlike the normal, because they glow in the dark! Your kids will definitely enjoy this, we promise!  Image Credit: Penang Hill on Facebook One of my best take in Penang will be Penang Hill. Ride up the funicular ride to enjoy breathtaking views, learn heritage and culture, and enjoy mother nature. Make sure to feast on their local delights like Char Kuay Teow and Assam Laksa. Penang houses some affordable cafes too so be sure to check that out with your family! 4. Ipoh to Cameron Highlands Image Credit: Old Town Ipoh on Lonely Planet  If you are looking for a lush greenery view on a trip, this road trip is made for you. The drive from Ipoh to Cameron Highlands takes about 2 hours. Firstly, wander down Old Town in Ipoh and discover the street arts and cute streets. You can also visit the city's gem such as Kellie's Castle and Birch Memorial Clock Tower. Once you're done exploring Ipoh's beautiful landmark and art, take a trip to Cameron Highlands. Image Credit: Strawberry Farms on Meanwhile, at Cameron Highlands, you can bring your family out for some outdoor activities. Don't miss out on fun activities like strawberry picking in the strawberry farm, visiting the butterfly farm, and exploring the lavender garden. At the end of the day, spend some quality family time over steamboat in Cameron Highlands.  5. Johor Bahru to Mersing Image Credit: Legoland Malaysia on Facebook Our trip down to Johor Bahru will always be about the food or groceries on the usual days. How about a short getaway, let's say a 2-days 1-night trip with a detour to Mersing? In less than 2 hours drive, you can get to Mersing from Johor Bahru. Over at Johor Bahru, you can visit Legoland, a popular theme park that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Spend a day with your family here; enjoy the rides and attractions it has to offer.  Image Credit: Kishor on Unsplash After having some fun at Legoland, you can drive to Mersing. Mersing is all about the beautiful beaches and white sands. You can opt for snorkeling and island hopping in Mersing if your family is up for it. My best take in Mersing is to book a resort and enjoy a relaxing time at the beaches with your loved ones.  6. Sepang to Genting Highlands Image Credit: Sepang International Circuit  If you think that Sepang is only home to Kuala Lumpur International Airport, you are wrong. There are some fun-filled activities that you can do with your family here. In less than a 2 hours drive, you can get to Genting Highlands and the fun continues. Sepang is known for its Formula One race circuit, but if you're not in Sepang to watch one, head down to Avani Gold Coast Resort. You may choose to stay a night here or visit the Extreme Park for some activities like Go-kart, archery, and ATV jungle trail. Image Credit: Resorts World Genting Next, take a 2-hour drive to Genting Highlands. Enjoy the rides and attractions at the outdoor theme park, which caters to both kids and adults. You might also want to check the indoor theme park and video game park. Hop on the Awana Skyway; you can enjoy the spectacular view from a distance together with your loved ones. 7. Kuantan to Kuala Terengganu Image Credit: The Sungai Pandan Waterfall on Hotel Grand Continental Kuantan For me, Kuantan is an underrated city. Not many tourists visit this beautiful destination. In less than a 3-hour drive from Kuantan, you can reach your destination, Kuala Terengganu. In Kuantan, you can find several beautiful waterfalls. In my opinion, Sungai Pandan Waterfall will be an ideal spot if you are on this road trip with young kids or the elderly. Make a trip to Kula Cakes to eat the local's favorite Mango Cheesecakes. This store should be in every cheesecake lovers' list as they serve other unique flavors as well. Image Credit: Terengganu State Museum on After all that fun, drive to Kuala Terengganu for a heritage tour. Visit the Terengganu State Museum to learn about the history and culture of this place. Don't forget to also visit Pantai Batu Burok to enjoy the scenic beach view. 8. Bukit Tinggi to Kuala Selangor Image Credit: Berjaya Hills on Another two locations that are off the beaten track should be on your list if you want to have a unique experience. It takes a 1.5-hour drive to get you to Kuala Selangor from Bukit Tinggi. The Japanese Tea House in Bukit Tinggi, also known as Berjaya Hills, offers you a soulful retreat. Explore the French-themed Colmar Tropicale and the zen-inspired Japanese garden. The rabbit farm is a must-visit for families; you can play and feed the cute little furry friends. Image Credit: Mount Melawati on The Star Next, drive to Kuala Selangor which takes about 1.5 hours. You can hike up Mount Melawati with your family and learn more about the history behind this notable hill. Also, make time to visit the Kuala Selangor Nature Park and walk through the mangroves. You can spot various species of birds here too! You should also try the Cendol Bakar. The preparation of the gula Melaka in this cendol is different from those of the normal cendol out there. 9. Banting to Sekinchan Image Credit: Tadom Hill Resorts This trip is catered to you if you're bringing along pre-teen kids or older who are adventurous and love outdoor activities. It takes 2 hours to reach Sekinchan by car from Banting. First, enjoy various adrenaline attractions in Banting. Head down to Tadom Hill Resorts, where you can enjoy activities like ATV and water swings. If you want to try some paragliding, you can hike up Bukit Jugra. Otherwise, you can just enjoy the scenic view from the peak with your family. Next, take a 2-hour drive to Sekinchan. Expect to see the lush green field of paddy in Sekinchan as it is home to the Paddy Processing Factory. Don't forget to drop by any of the small businesses selling tropical fruits nearby. The juicy giant mangoes, soursops, and guavas can quench your thirst over the hot day (Yum!). 10. Kota Kinabalu to Kundasang Image Credit: Sosodikon Hill on Facebook Located in Sabah, both Kota Kinabalu and Kundasang offers you scenic locations with fresh mountain air. Just about a 2-hour drive, you can get from Kota Kinabalu to Kundasang. You don't always have to hike up Mount Kinabalu when you're in Kota Kinabalu. If you still want to enjoy some mountain views but don't want to break a sweat, visit Sosodikon Hill. Don't forget to visit the Asquare Kota Kinabalu, the first creative container night food market in Kota Kinabalu. You will be spoilt for choices with over 60 varieties of food to choose from different street vendors. Image Credit: Desa Dairy Farm on Facebook Next, take a 2-hour drive to Kundasang. You can visit Desa Dairy Farm in Kundasang with the kids and feed the calves and goats while enjoying some freshly made gelato. I'm sure your kids will enjoy this activity! Also Read: 10 Tips On How To Prepare For A Road Trip There you have it, the 10 best family road trips in Malaysia. So what are you waiting for? Start planning for your next road trip to Malaysia now! via GIPHY     ...

  • 10 Tips On How To Prepare For A Road Trip

    During this Covid-19 pandemic where most of us are staying home to prevent the spread of the virus, I'm sure many of us have thought about travelling after Covid-19. Some of us may have spent some time at home thinking about the perfect destination to go. It could be somewhere new, or somewhere with a beautiful view, as long as we get to spend quality time with our family and friends.  Domestic travel is expected to recover first after Covid-19 and going on road trips would thus be the most common way for people to travel with their family and friends. Imagine all the scenic views you can enjoy with your loved ones! A road trip is certainly one of the best ways to enrich your travel experience. To help you out in creating the best experience for a road trip, especially for first-timers, here are 10 tips on how to prepare for a road trip! via GIPHY 1. Prepare Your Vehicle Image Credit: Ian Noble on Unsplash To have a pleasant and safe road trip, pick the best vehicle for this road trip that suits the terrain and the number of people you will bring along. Will it be a 4- seated car, SUV, minivan, or RV? You surely do not want your vehicle crowded with people. A pleasant road trip could be obtained by planning which type of vehicle best suits the number of people you are bringing along for this road trip. Furthermore, it is very important to check your vehicle performance before going on a road trip. Make sure to do checks on your vehicle and if possible, get the mechanics to check your vehicle’s fluids, tires and brakes at least 3 days before a road trip. Also, prepare a fully inflated spare tire, vehicle jack, basic vehicle repair tools, jumper cables, and wiper fluids. After that, be sure to clean your vehicle before going on a road trip and be sure to dispose of trash at the right place during the trip. Having a clean vehicle would certainly elevate everyone’s mood and make travelling more comfortable.   2. Plan Your Road Trip Ahead Image Credit: Simon Migaj on Unsplash Plan your road trip ahead by doing some research. Have insights about your road trip’s destination and its routes. It is important that you are fully aware of where you are going, how long you will take to get there, and the route options available. Also, book your accommodations ahead to avoid going to a fully booked one. This is to save you time from all the hassle on the day of the road trip itself. Also, think about the rest stops that you can stop at to perform Salah, have a meal, and restroom breaks. However, to have the best road trip experience, be flexible. Planning for the road trip is important but try not to be too fixated on sticking to your timetable as road trips can be really fun if it is done more spontaneously.  3. Travel With The Right People Image Credit: Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash We must add this to our list! Traveling is not only about where or how we travel but also with whom we travel. Picking your best travel buddies can be an important factor that makes this road trip fun. By travelling with the right people, those that you are more comfortable with can make the road trip fun and exciting. It is also recommended to have at least two people who can drive on your road trip so that you both can take turns driving on the road. Also, it is better to have someone who knows how to navigate. It is best for the navigator to sit next to the driver to help and assist the driver on the road. This is to make things easier and more convenient on the road. However, if you are the only driver, you can still make the road trip fun. Just be sure to take frequent rest, drink more water as well as eat some snacks to keep you energized.   4. Prepare An Offline Playlist Image Credit: Tobias Tullius on Unsplash Be sure to have enough entertainment on the road. Without it, having a road trip could be boring. It is important to keep everyone entertained, especially the driver to avoid drowsiness while driving. Therefore, we suggest preparing an offline playlist for your road trip beforehand in case there is a bad signal on the road. You can add a variety of songs, as well as songs suitable for kids if you are travelling with kids, in order to keep them entertained. If you like to listen to podcasts on your road trip, be sure to check out our article here.   5. Bring Extra Cash Image Credit: Chris Lawton on Unsplash You might have already prepared a fixed budget plan for your road trip but bringing extra cash will not hurt everyone. Our safety tips for a road trip is to always bring extra cash, at least enough to fully fill up your vehicle’s gas tank. You can put the extra cash inside your pockets or any hidden place to use for any emergency situation. Remember that it is always best to be safe! 6. Bring Enough Essential Items Image Credit: Tai's Captures on Unsplash To make it easier for you, we have listed some essential items for you to bring to your road trip after Covid-19. You can bring face masks, hand sanitizer, a small bag like a fanny pack or sling bag, medicines, enough clothes and a warm jacket or jumper, one pair of shoes or sandals for spare use, fully charged power banks, tissue paper, lotion, mukena, prayer rugs, travel pillow, sunglasses, cap or hat, and a camera. Also, do not forget to bring your ID cards like your driver’s license! 7. Prepare Your Body And Mind Image Credit: Ben Kolde on Unsplash You not only have to prepare your vehicle, but also prepare your body and mind before going on this road trip. To keep yourself and your travel buddies energized, eat a meal before going on this road trip. Never skip your breakfast! A healthy meal before a road trip could sustain your energy, which is important for the road trip. Also, make sure to stretch and make dua before starting your road trip journey. Other than that, plan for driving breaks. Stop for at least 15 minutes for every 4-hour drive. 8. Bring Healthy Snacks And Stay Hydrated Image Credit: Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash Keep yourself hydrated along the way by drinking at least 2 liters of water per day. Make sure to bring enough water for everyone. Other than that, snacks are also road trip essentials. It is believed that snacks can keep you awake and more energized. This is especially important for the driver who may be driving for long hours on the road. You could start with a simple snack such as gums, snack bars, or nuts.  However, keep in mind that everyone has their own preferences when it comes to snacks, so be sure to bring your own favourite snacks. Also, do not litter and ensure that you dispose of your trash in its rightful place. 9. Stay Adventurous Photo by Coleen Rivas on Unsplash You can make your road trip fun by staying adventurous. The keyword to it is to just stay local! Staying local means eating local food, buying local snacks, and getting other local-made items. This is the best way to have an enriching road trip. This way, you can gain knowledge of the local culture. Try popular local food and explore interesting cultural sites on your road trip journey. Be adventurous; you never know what you will find ahead that can make your road trip memorable.  Visiting places with local cuisine and culture can make your road trip memory beautiful and unforgettable!   10. Have Fun Image Credit: Timon Studler on Unsplash The last tip on how to prepare for your road trip is to have fun. Leave your problems at home. We don't need them here, especially on this road trip, because this is the time for adventures and new experiences. This is the time that we have all been waiting for! So, the key to having fun is to be spontaneous. Be open to trying new things that you have discovered on the journey to your destination. Stop by safely at some interesting places along the way and capture these moments with your mobile phone or cameras. That's all we have for today, tips for you on how to prepare for a road trip. Do not forget to perform dua and sunnah on your road trip. For those of you who have worries about missing out prayer times, having difficulties finding Qibla, Halal restaurants, or hotels, simply download the HalalTrip to get the best Muslim travel insights here! Stay healthy and stay safe readers! via GIPHY ...

  • Here Is What Travel Will Look Like After Covid-19

    Travel won’t be the same after Covid-19. The pandemic which has impacted the world today has changed the way we think of travel. There are more factors to consider before travelling right now such as hygiene standards, health and security. It also takes time for travel to recover after Covid-19.  Before international travel recovers, we feel that domestic travel and tourism will start to pick up first. People will start travelling within their own country first as it is relatively safer and more secure than international travel. We have come up with the 5Fs that we think will shape what travel will look like after Covid-19 which would gravitate towards domestic travel and tourism.  Here are the 5Fs that we think will shape travel after Covid-19! via GIPHY 1. Family  Image Credit: Kylo on Unsplash Firstly, we feel that travel will be family-oriented. During this Covid-19 situation, as were advised to stay at home, some of us may not have had the opportunity to visit our parents who are living away from us. During this year’s Eid, instead of going house visiting as per usual, most of us stayed at home instead. We used different means to connect with our family during this festive occasion such as having “Virtual Raya”.  With this in mind, travel after Covid-19 would be more family-oriented as many of us will take this opportunity to reconnect with our family members and spend more time with them. One such way is by travelling together with them. This could be done through travelling domestically with the family by going on road trips, visiting relatives back in the hometown, getting together for family events, as well as going on a staycation.   2. Friends  Image Credit: Noorulabdeen Ahmad on Unsplash After months of not spending time with our friends, we will try to find more ways to reconnect with them and enjoy quality time with them as much as possible. Given the uncertainty of international travel, some of us would find domestic travelling a more desired alternative.  Activities that we used to do together with friends such as cycling in the city, going on walking trails, going on picnics as well as going on short staycations, will be increasingly common. These activities are much easier to plan, more affordable and definitely more convenient. Also, as we spent most of our time at home during the lockdown periods, many of us start to yearn going outside and to spend time with our friends doing activities that were quite familiar to us prior to the pandemic.  3. Fearless  Image Credit: Jeffrey Eisen on Unsplash Travelling to hidden places and non-touristy destinations is not a new phenomenon. However, after the Covid-19 situation, we feel that this would become more magnified as people become more fearless and motivated to discover new and unknown places. Before moving on to discovering new places overseas, we feel that people will start to explore hidden places and cultures locally. Discovering local places will be common and there will also be this emphasis on "local places for locals" as companies start to promote domestic tourism further before travelling overseas gains traction once again.  As we slowly overcome this tough period, we become more equipped with knowledge and information from the long hours we spent on the Internet. This gives us a new motivation to explore and learn more about the hidden places and cultures we never really knew about, fearlessly. We will see a rise in locals going for road trips with their family and friends to discover new and hidden places within their country.  4. Fulfilment  Image Credit: Meritt Thomas on Unsplash If there’s one thing this quarantine period has taught us, it is that we should appreciate local artisans and services more. As such, when people travel, they travel for fulfilment. This means opting for more localised services that can contribute to the wider society and help local cultures thrive.  Certain communities dependent on tourism for their livelihood may face challenges and a great loss to their income. For some of us who are aware of the difficulties that these communities are facing, we might want to render more support to help them cope and recover from this crisis. One way to do so is to opt for their localised services through travel. While we get to learn more and experience local cultures, we also get a sense of fulfilment as we promote and help these local communities thrive.  5. Freedom  Image Credit: Ilya Zoria on Unsplash We also look for freedom from city life. After being at home for so long, many of us would love to experience something different; breaking free from the mundane routine life. When travelling, some of us would start to consider more authentic local hospitality, instead of the usual pristine hotel experience.  Of course with this desire for freedom, comes certain extra precautions that we start to pay more attention to. Things like hygiene, food, health and so on, become important factors when determining places to travel to. Perhaps in the future, carrying hand sanitizers in your bag and wearing a face mask wherever you go would be the new norm.   There you have it, the 5Fs that we think will shape travel after Covid-19! We hope you now have a rough idea of what travel will look like after Covid-19. Perhaps you can take this chance to plan for future travels after Covid-19 better especially with more information and sources readily available on the Internet.  via GIPHY ...

  • Our Collective Responsibility Towards Refugees | Zeenab’s Passage

    Zeenab and her family at their shelter in Zaatari refugee camp, Mafraq Governorate, Jordan. © UNHCR/David Azia In February of 2014, Zeenab and her family embarked on a four-day trek to reach Jordan, eventually relocating to Zaatari Camp, which is close to the country’s northern border and home to some 80,000 refugees. “My house was destroyed, the whole country was destroyed and we really didn’t have a safe place to stay,” said Zeenab, originally from a small town in rural Damascus in Syria. “There were a lot of strikes and children’s dead bodies all around us. I couldn’t bear that sight and I didn’t want my kids to end up like that.” The young mother had seen enough of the raging violence in war-torn Syria and the shelling that decimated her home to know she needed to take action to steer her loved ones out of harm’s way. However, the initial path in search of safety was plotted with significant challenges along the way — namely the lack of supplies to stay warm. “I had five little kids with me and I only brought two changes of clothes for each. It was during winter, and on our way, we had to leave a lot of our belongings because we could not carry them. The journey was very difficult.” Zeenab is now a mother to six children – with another on the way. She is eight months pregnant, and mother to daughter Rahaf, 8, and sons Eskander, 14, Murad, 12, Kais, 10, Laith, 5, and Mohamed, 3. Her family is the recipient of winter cash assistance from UNHCR, providing them with the funds so sorely needed to equip their shelter for the challenging winter conditions. UNHCR has been distributing winter assistance to vulnerable Syrian refugees like Zeenab in both Zaatari and Azraq camps in Jordan reaching more than 24,000 families as of the end of December 2017. Support has come in the form of in-kind and cash assistance, such as money for gas to cover the cost of refills and for shelter maintenance. “Thank God, now the situation is better. At least I feel safe and secure. I can sleep and make sure that my kids are with me.”    How can you support UNHCR’s on-the-ground work with refugees? To facilitate the contributions of Muslims all over the world, UNHCR has launched its Refugee Zakat Fund, a trusted, compliant and effective distributor harnessing the power of Zakat to transform the lives of refugees. Let’s fulfill our responsibility towards refugees.  To learn more and contribute you can visit: *This article is from CrescentRating-UNHCR’s Joint Publication - Forced Displacement : A Reality For Millions Of Women. You can learn more and download the publication here....

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