We Can Still Travel — With Photoshop and a Dream

We Can Still Travel — With Photoshop and a Dream

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Travel and travel planning are being disrupted by the worldwide spread of the coronavirus. For the latest updates, read The New York Times’s Covid-19 coverage here.

On March 19, Marty Pollak and Monica Palenzuela journeyed from New York City to Patagonia, where they hiked the Perito Moreno Glacier, explored Torres del Paine and hung out with a herd of guanacos. Santiago and Buenos Aires were next.

Although stay-at-home mandates, travel restrictions and social distancing had become a new reality for billions of people all over the world, Mr. Pollak and Ms. Palenzuela’s five-month trip was very much alive — on Instagram.

Guided by their canceled itinerary, the couple has been posting meticulously staged (and often Photoshopped) images and videos of themselves enjoying what would have been their adventure: say, gazing at a snow-capped peak, getting lost while hiking and taking a bus ride to Puerto Natales, Chile.

“You plan and God laughs,” said Ms. Palenzuela, 35, who is studying to be a winemaker. “But we’ve found joy in looking at what would have been. Seeing the itinerary day by day has helped us realize two things: One, this would have been an epic trip, and two, we can do it another year.”

With little choice but to stay grounded for the time being — and with plenty of time at home — avid travelers like Mr. Pollak and Ms. Palenzuela have devised creative and meaningful ways to celebrate the vacations they have had to cancel because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Credit…Suze Shih
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Credit…Suze Shih

“We travel to escape — to unwind — but also to feel the thrill of doing something entirely new. So why not fake a vacation, if only to laugh and smile and feel something good for a minute? I’d plan a ‘fauxcation’ every day,” said Laura Dannen Redman, the digital content director at Afar, a travel media company.

As technology becomes an increasingly critical tool for everyone and everything, celebrations of “fauxcations” on social media are increasing. A video of a septuagenarian Australian couple — feet up, wearing robes, holding wine glasses and watching a YouTube video of the ocean on a flat-screen TV — went viral when their daughter tweeted: “Cruise cancelled? No problem.”

One post in Afar’s #TravelAtHomeChallenge, which started on Instagram in March, shows Ms. Dannen Redman wearing an all-white outfit with a red belt, being chased down a driveway by her 2-year-old daughter: a riff on running with the bulls in Spain.

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