Restaurants may be closed, travel may not be possible, but with just a laptop, a notebook, and a decently stocked kitchen, there are plenty of things you can do from the comfort and safety of your own home to feel connected with the wider world.

Expand Your Palette

The International Marketplace is a local coalition of restaurants and businesses in the Lafayette Square area of Indianapolis. Though many cultural events are on hold, this community of shops is still active. The IM recently released the 7th edition of their ‘Passport to Indy’s Best Global Cuisine,’ accessible for free on their website. Follow their social media pages to see which of these restaurants are providing carry-out or delivery services.

Plus, there’s never been a better time to expand your cooking skills. Many world-class culinary experts like French chef Éric Ripert, Italian chef Massimo Bottura and restaurateur Dave Chang are posting recipes and videos aimed at making amazing international recipes accessible for home cooking.

Reflect on Past Travels

Forget your “stuck at home” blues and finally go through those pictures you took on your Europe trip last summer! Many people have been creating posts centered around a place they have been, including pictures of food, art, music, and language tidbits under #culturalquarantine on their social media pages. This is a great way to go back through your old travel photos, do some research on the place next up on your travel list, or learn about somewhere completely new to you! Check out the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth for some great posts.

Explore the World from your Couch

Our partner organization, Global Ties U.S., has been offering plenty of ideas and resources for those of us feeling culturally disconnected. Global Ties Minnesota has created a ‘Music of the World’ playlist on Spotify featuring artists from Nigeria to Korea to Argentina.

Put away the phone and the laptop, light a candle, open a window, brew a cup of tea and enjoy a good book. A great read can transport to a different time or place, can certainly improve your mood and change your mindset from doom and gloom to intense curiosity. No matter what fears and anxieties we may be going through together, separated, we can always connect through art—whether it be books, food, music, or just a nice conversation with an old friend. This is the perfect time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the world.

Plan Ahead

Fill your planner with ways to get involved in the community in the post-quarantine world. For international volunteer opportunities throughout Indiana, please reach out to The International Center!

Chris Ebersole is the current Protocol Intern at The International Center. Learn more about The International Center, a catalyst for a global Indiana, at

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