The pandemic has kept us all indoors at various stages. In South Africa, we are not allowed to spend a day at the beach or the bar under the current lockdown level 3, and many are missing not only exploring the outside world, but international travel too.
South African travel blogger Sharon Waugh has allowed many of us to travel the world with her – all while she stays within the confines of her home. Called “the Sharonicles” Waugh posts pictures which recreate world-famous attractions and monuments to help her readers practise their travel poses until they are able to travel again.
“When lockdown started I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post on how to survive lockdown for the travel-obsessed. Apart from sampling the national dish of Coronaville (Banana Bread) and enjoying the architectural wonders in your own living room (like its couch cushion fort), I also suggested that people could use the time to practise their cheesy travel Instagram poses until they can travel again,” Waugh said. “I snapped a few pics to demonstrate and posted them on my Instagram. Then, as the ideas kept coming, I just kept taking and posting more and more.”
According to Waugh, the response to her “travel” pictures has been overwhelming.
“I have gained a lot of followers in the process. In the last six months, I have also made the news in over 30 countries and I was even interviewed on a breakfast television show in Germany,” she said. “I also wrote a comedy travel memoir a few years ago. These pictures have helped me get the attention of a notable South African publishing company and it looks like I will be a published author soon.”
While her followers love her entire body of work, Waugh’s favourite picture is of her trip to the Pyramids of Giza, in Egypt. Or her lounge, rather.
“I quite like the Giza pic where instead of trying to look like a very serious travel influencer, I gave that job to my niece’s Duplo man and embodied the magnificent instantly-recognisable landmark of the Sphinx in all its glory,” she said.
“I was challenged by the German breakfast show to recreate a picture that included the Cloud Gate in Chicago. I couldn’t find a good public domain image online so I had to ask all my friends, with the added pressure of a deadline,” Waugh said. “Then, figuring out the forced perspective to make myself appear the same size as the ninja turtle took quite a few attempts. I’m just so glad I had that kettle!”
Out of all the places she misses visiting in person, Cuba is the one that holds the most special spot in her heart.
And where would Waugh like to go when she is able to travel again?
“There are lots of places on my list, but I’d love to go to either Colombia or South Korea,” she said.
Picture: The Sharonicles