Aside from occasionally watching a random music video or finding out how to fix something in the house, I’ve never been all that much into YouTube. I never understood subscribing to particular channels and waiting for a new video of XYZ YouTuber to be released. Normally, I barely use our Netflix subscription and would rather flop on the couch and read a book instead of staring at another screen when I’m not writing. The unforgettable year of 2020 changed all of that.
With the pandemic, many people with travel-related businesses had to shift how they made money. That was the case of a friend who has (had?) a business catering to Black queer women who travel. She regularly hosted wellness retreats and had planned on two major international trips in 2020. But because of the virus, she and her family, who’d been living in Malaysia, had to make life and work decisions based on not only interest but safety. They eventually moved from Kuala Lumpur to Vietnam and then on to Merida in Mexico, all the while blogging about their experiences. To distract myself from being stuck at home, I’ve been following their journey on their YouTube channel Wandering Soup. There, they talk country-to-country relocation, traveling while lesbian, traveling while Black, and, of course, eating good food. Check them out at the link.
Although I’m learning Spanish, my grasp of the language is not what it should be. So, I sometimes cheat to get my news by reading the newspaper, El Pais, in English or watching Spain Speaks. It’s a channel run by a Madrid-based Australian who’s lived in Spain for ages now and who keeps abreast of most things pandemic-related all over the country. Before the pandemic, he traveled around Spain and Portugal, exploring parts of both countries and giving his take as a long term English-speaking immigrant. See what he has to say at the link.
I’m a sucker for a good recipe. And by “good” I mean one that’s delicious, more or less easy, and beautiful. That’s why I follow Recetas Que Funcionan (Recipes that Work). It’s a Spanish speaking channel but the chef gives the ingredients in English has well and the end result is always gorgeous. It’s no secret that I could watch recipe videos all day like they’re the latest Netflix action movie, but I’ve made at least two of the recipes featured here and have loved them. See him in action at the link.
I watch and listen to those channels for fun, but I’m also a big fan of using binaural beats to increase my productivity. Psychology Today defines binaural beats as “an auditory phenomenon in which two tones of slightly different frequencies are played in separate ears simultaneously, usually via headphones.” Many believe binaural beats are able to alter brain waves to induce relaxation, bring on easier sleep, focus the mind, etc. I’m basically one of those many. I listen to binaural beats via YouTube when I need to shut out distractions, including my own lack of motivation, and get work done. Most of the time, I listen to the Magnetic Minds channel but I’ve dabbled in others as well. If you’re interested, give a listen/watch.
There are a few other channels I check out on a semi-regular basis but these are my main ones. I basically feel better for not falling into any Netflix stupors lately. Checking in on these channels between periods of productivity makes me feel like I’m actually getting things done. So, if you’re looking for a nice distraction—or some good recipes, come join me.
Do you have any favorite YouTube channels you want to share?
PS My new superhero duology came out this week! Get it at Ylva. Soon to come as an audiobook.