Traveling to Gardening…

I recently cancelled the last booking that I have left in my travel calendar which is in December to Barcelona, Spain. Sad but must accept that there is no way we can have an international travel anytime soon. I was so looking forward to spending the Christmas holidays in Barcelona and Madrid with my family. I was daydreaming of eating paella, tapas and drinking vino or sangria in the dead of winter. I want to take a stroll in the streets of Madrid and stop at a quaint cafe to eat churros with hot chocolate. I want to go inside the supermarket and spend a lot of time browsing all the goodies that I can buy and bring back home with me. Yes, my first stop in every country that I visit is probably a big supermarket or grocery store. It’s disappointing but what can we do? Airlines have limited flights and I am thankful to Singapore Airlines for giving us an option to refund our tickets. We will surely book again and travel with them when it is safe to do so and restrictions are lifted. And of course, when a vaccine is available.

I am not the only one disappointed we can’t travel to Europe. The whole family is. But it’s too difficult to push through even if we can travel. The uncertainty of being quarantined at the destination country is one factor. We also don’t know if the tourist sites are open. There are no Real Madrid football games that fans can attend at the moment. So it’s not going to be a lot of fun for some members of the family. Going inside the stadium and watching a football match was in the itinerary. Well, Spain can wait for us. It won’t go away and hopefully there will be plenty of time in the future to explore it.

Since traveling or moving around is restricted plus majority are working from home, there’s a lot of free time now for most people. What do you do with your new found time? Have you tried something new? As they say, one can have a lot of money but not enough time. With more time and nothing better to do aside from watching netflix and korean dramas (let’s talk about that some other time), I started to look closely at my backyard. Yes, the plant craze got me. Blame it on social media like Instagram and Facebook. The celebrities did not help when they post their plant collection because it made me want to acquire what they have. Just kidding! I could not afford the plants that they have. But, I have really found solace in gardening. I always have plants “strategically” placed around our house but not that many and only a few resides inside the house. That however changed especially when the lockdown or quarantine is extended month after month.

I have plants given to me by family, friends and neighbours. I must say I took good care of them. I have to admit I buy plants like a crazy plant lady too. It is costly right now because of the demand so I just bought those that I can afford. The exotic plants are way out of my league and I cannot bear to shell out thousands for a monstera deliciosa plant. People are either buying from the garden center because they are collecting plants or they are buying because they want to be resellers. The latter is the cause of the price increase because some people buy an exorbitant price for a plant that is aesthetic in a pot. I guess entrepreneurs made money because there are now a lot of online sites to purchase plants as well as pots. Some would rather buy online and have the plants delivered to them. They just have to manage their expectations because the photo can be a far cry from the actual plant.

My personal favorite is the snake plant or for some they call it Espada. I liked it because it can help clean the air around the house and very easy to take care of. You can leave it for days without watering and they won’t die on you. I have it inside the house for ages. Way before the ongoing plant craze. It’s the only plant inside the house until the pandemic happened. Now it’s no longer lonely as some Philodendron, Golden Pothos, Alocasia, Monstera Adansonii and Zz plant keeps it company.

Snake Plants

I like Caladium and Calathea or Prayer Plant as well. I collected some of their varieties. They are all outside though because I noticed that they like it better in the patio. They are thriving really well and giving me a sprout or two of new leaves. Since I don’t shop clothes now because I work from home, I buy plants instead. I have utmost respect for true blue gardeners. It’s not an easy job or hobby. You have to be patient with your plants. Some plants I consider them diva! You have to really understand them and since they don’t talk, you have to guess or observe what they want or what works for them. Do they like less water, more water, more light or shade? The list goes on and on. I read on plant care but most of the time I do it my own way. Experimenting is exciting.

Pink Caladium

I’ll probably write more about gardening in lieu of travel stories in the next few posts. I should document my gardening journey. It would be an interesting read for when I look back at the crazy year 2020! I could even extend my stories to my foray in the kitchen and cooking skills plus weight management. Ha!ha!

xoxo,

the traveling KANGaroo

Quarantine Hobby…

What are your coping mechanism with a prolonged stay at home directive? Most of us still have movement restrictions. We aren’t able to go out as much as we like. And even if we are allowed to go out, most of us are still afraid to do so with the covid-19 virus still out and about. During this pandemic we found ways to cope. I did experience cabin fever so I went out of the house and just drive around! Sometimes without leaving the car. Just go on a joyride to see the outside world and then drive-thru at the nearest McDonald’s.

During the first few weeks of the pandemic, my activity was cleaning the house. Arranging things and trying to have a Marie Kondo moment. Then after that, it was learning how to cook and actually liking it. Yes, I don’t know how to cook but was able to learn how while on quarantine. I got good feedback for my Baked Salmon, Sushi Bake, Chorizo Pasta and BBQ Ribs. I guess this pandemic is not so bad. Forced to stay at home. Boredom kicked in and boom! You find something worthwhile to do that your family will appreciate. Ha!ha!

After the kitchen stint the next one was looking at the garden. This by far is the most expensive hobby that anyone can have during this pandemic. It’s addicting but nope, I am not yet that crazy to buy an expensive Monstera Deliciosa. But, I did revamp our garden which cost a lot of money. Plus I bought plants, pots and plant racks! I am a certified “Plantita” now because not only do I go straight to my plants to water, talk and check on them but I also know how to repot and plant! Slowly, I can feel my “green thumb” sprouting as well. I never imagined myself actually doing the gardening. We have a gardener that comes every month to tend the garden. Usually, I just watch him cut the grass and repot some plants.

I am not sure if this is because I am getting older. But, I enjoy gardening now. Not only me but my circle of friends as well. We chat and video call each other to discuss our plants! No more discussions on the new fashion, bags or shoes but instead we are excited to share our new “babies”! We collect varieties of Calathea, Caladium, Monstera, Philodendron etc. And mind you, plants are getting expensive everyday. The demand is so high and supply is already low.

My kids were shaking their heads every time I arrived home with new plants. Some plants were given to me by neighbors though but some are bought at the nearby garden center. I know I should stop buying plants. But it’s so hard especially if there’s a pretty one that caught my eye. My usual defense is to say that we are helping revive the economy by buying and spending our money. Ha!ha!

Having plants at home is therapeutic though. It’s like a happy pill. A new leaf sprouting is an eye candy and can make the day a little brighter than yesterday. What about you? What are your new quarantine hobby? I hope you find one that is interesting, totally new and out of character!

xoxo,

the traveling KANGaroo