It’s January. It’s cold, it’s snowy, it’s dark, the holidays are over and I’m guessing I’m not the only one who wants to escape to a fictional land. Winter is a perfect time to plan a trip and escape. Today I offer my contribution to the High Five series with my Fangirl Ways to Escape the Winter Blues. Perhaps one of these vacations are in your budget… but if a quick getaway is unrealistic, there are a number of ways to embrace your favourite fandoms right here and right now!
5. Game of Thrones
Very high on my list is a trip to Dubrovnik. This city was on my list prior to it becoming King’s Landing for Game of Thrones, but has since jumped up a couple spots.
But it’s January and why should I escape to King’s Landing when I’m living in the North! When I’m living near Winterfell! Become a Stark and embrace the snow! This is the first way to escape the winter blues. Simply embrace it! Kris and I have our Game of Thrones dresses and this weather is the perfect time for a photoshoot. I don’t expect everyone just to have a Sansa or Margaery dress but why not use this as a perfect opportunity to closet cosplay? Find some black and find some fur – easy Jon Snow! If you have red hair, instead find some fur and a bow and you’re Ygritte! Or else find a blue, pink or red dress and discover your inner Margaery or Dany, Sansa, Cersei or Melisandre!
4. Star Wars
A chance to take a sunset shot on Tatooine must be on the bucket list of all Star Wars fans. This can easily be accomplished through a quick trip to Tunisia. Or if you prefer the scenery of Naboo, you can find a nice villa to rent on Lake Como in Italy.
However, living on the opposite site of the world doesn’t make these a short trip. Looking out my window I’m instead reminded of Hoth, the snow planet. Why shouldn’t I take advantage of this! Bundle up and go on an adventure! For a taste of the danger Hoth presents I’d take a trip to the mountains. This is a great opportunity to test your mountaineering skills. Or if you prefer something a little less intense I’d suggest a skiing adventure. Nothing says ice planet like a trip down the slopes. And if this is still too outdoorsy for you, an evening in a hot tub with with the cold air and snow around you sounds like a perfect escape.
3. Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit
Every Lord of the Rings fan wants to visit New Zealand. It’s Middle Earth! It’s where everything was filmed. I’m positive I would cry upon seeing Hobbiton. However, a trip to New Zealand isn’t exactly in my budget these days. But that won’t stop me from finding my own Middle Earth right here.
Inspired by my Hobbit marathon in December I would start any Middle Earth adventure with a Lord of the Rings movie marathon. What could be better than snuggling up on a frosty day for 9.3 (or 11.3 extended edition) hours?!? If you then become inspired to go on a quest I suggest fashioning yourself a cloak, finding a walking stick and going on an adventure! Find a park or some trails and explore. I find the snow makes everything look a little more magical. A little bit more like something you’d find in a fantasy world.
2. Harry Potter
There are so many Harry Potter places I want to visit. I got a good start on my trip to the UK a few years ago, but they’ve since added the Harry Potter Studio tour in Leavesden. I also still want to get to the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland. A little closer to me and just as exciting is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando.
I have discovered a few places closer to home that constantly remind me of the Harry Potter world. To find something in your hometown I’d suggest a visit to your local university. If this is anything like my university, it is one of the oldest buildings in your area. When it comes to studying and writing papers I love nothing better than finding a desk in one of the old libraries. I always feel like I’m studying at Hogwarts here. We even have a space people have nicknamed the ‘Harry Potter Room’. It’s set up like the Great Hall with long tables and high ceilings. A perfect place to escape. I encourage you to get out an explore; Harry Potter inspiration can be found anywhere!
If someone wants to visit Arendelle, a trip to Norway is the way to go! Here you’ll find frozen fjords and snow covered mountains. A delightful winter escape.
Closer to home I can think of many ways to embrace the ice. My hometown has an ice festival every year and I’m always amazed. Ice sculptures are an art I feel Kristoff would excel at. The next thing to do in embracing the Arendelle spirit is obviously skating! I love to skate and where I live there are an abundance of outdoor rinks. Grab a pair of skates and some friends and have some fun. Hot chocolate at the end is always a great way to warm up.
Let me know what trips and activities you’ve got planned! What fandoms are you embracing?