The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every aspect of life including the way people travel and hang out.
Young and old, adults and children, men and women, are all locked at home because of national social distancing. But this doesn’t stop them from ‘travelling’, or trying to at least.
"My mother and I love travelling. We often have several long trips abroad plus some other journeys locally every year. We have not crossed the border since last year because of the pandemic outbreak," Nguyễn Thuy Hằng told Viet Nam News.
"Staying home for such a long time makes us feel cramped and uncomfortable. I was inspired by people's trend 'I faked going on holiday', so I decided to organise it for us."
After a few minutes setting up beautiful beach background and changing clothes, everything was ready, and it was Hằng's job to choose the best angles to take pictures of her mother who had unsurprisingly denounced the whole idea as weird and crazy.
The photos show a woman at ease in a swimsuit, laying in a deck chair, reading a book with a cocktail next to her, all in front of a TV which shows an image of a sunny beach.
"Nothing can compare to the feeling of real travelling where I can experience everything with all of my senses,” said Hằng, who after three days successfully persuaded her 73-year-old mum to join in.
“This photo collection is just for fun and to create positive vibes for ourselves to beat the lockdown boredom.”
Le Khanh Linh from HCM City also faked a vacation recently, and her photograph collection of the ‘trip’ soon went viral.
Linh's husband helped set lights and became photographer, while Linh prepared common travel items such as suitcases, a camera and toys to replicate the feeling of being on holidays in style at their favourite destinations. Though, they were actually just at home in their apartment.
With a photo featuring Linh standing next to her daughter wrapped in a big scarf and holding a bottle on a high chair, the duo is visiting New York.
In another photo, mother and daughter are on three small plastic chairs. They are by a stepping stone bridge stretching across the river in the middle of China's Fenghuang Guzhen ancient town.
With an ikebana-styled flower arrangement, they are hanging out in Japan.
Moving to the bathroom, opening the shower, Linh's daughter is being cute next to the famous Niagara Falls.
"HCM City is tense these days because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Travelling is something far away. My family could not go holiday, and only go out when necessary to protect ourselves and the community," said Linh, who spent more than an hour at home faking world travel.
"People are worrying a lot. We took photos, firstly for us to release our tension, and then to help people to ease their worries. We hope that they can feel comfortable and have fun."
In Ha Noi, Tạ Tuấn Anh, a father of three, also took up the unlikely trend.
"We have a small garden in front of my house. I put my youngest son in the stroller and my daughter followed us to pretending we were visiting a park," Anh told Viet Nam News.
"In the 'park', we were walking while I became a tour guide for the kids, showing them different kinds of plants, flowers, vegetables and herbs and their uses in life.
"Near the end of the park, we moved to a 'zoo' where they could watch chickens, ducks, dogs, cats, guinea pigs and some kinds of birds. My kids were also provided some basic information about them, and they especially enjoyed witnessing some quail eggs hatching.”
Anh said his son might not have understood much but his three-year-old sister was really happy with what she saw and learnt, and now wants to visit the park and zoo again and again.
"What a beautiful and useful journey! These are lessons that they might not have from a busy daddy if there was no social distancing," said Anh.
Nguyễn Văn Tam lives in District 5 in HCM City.
He completed a tour of the country and returned home in May.
After three months at home due to the lockdown, Tam has organised some camping on his terrace to recreate the travel he misses so much
Camping is also an idea of Kim Ngan in Bình Tan District and Hải Vy in Hóc Mon District.
"I cleaned my terrace to be a campsite for my family. Father and children take care of setting up a tent, while mother prepare seating and food. All members have their jobs and are happy," said Ngan, who previously used to regularly go camping in Đa Lạt.
She said her children could not enjoy wide green space like Đa Lạt when they camped at home. Nor could they play football, go biking or swimming, but cooking contests and outdoor cinema were available to give them new experiences in home entertainment.
Meanwhile Vy and her family, who have canceled their frequent tours to Tay Ninh Province, are enjoying a terrace picnic every Saturday.
Eight members of the family have a chance to chit-chat in their tent and take part in a BBQ party.
"Camping at home is simpler. In this COVID time, we spend most time at home so it is easier for people to join,” said Vy.
“Events can be organised four times per month, while it was just once when we travelled outdoors. At the same time, we do not have to care much about power and water. The weather is also no big problem."
Traveller Tam said that although terrace camping did not provide the same feeling as a real one, during the pandemic it was the a most wonderful idea.
“It is a good way to stay safe from the coronavirus and a good chance for family members to talk and share everything together and understand each other,” he said.
He also said that in this worried period, a little change of living space or new habits could create a new journey for everyone.
"It is not time for travel but we have to have a break and set up plans and nurture our passion. Whenever the pandemic is well-controlled, we will make our dream come true," said Tam. VNS
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