What if you could travel from home?
Updated: Apr 29
We are all adjusting to the new norm that is new to all of us. It is something we have never experienced before.
We want to feel as normal as we can in a current climate but the norm is not there or not the same anymore. So how can we make it to feel as if it is the norm from the pre pandemic times?
People who love to travel, find it incredibly hard, and maybe like me you had your trips cancelled and you are asking yourself a question "what if I was there now, what would I do?" We are grounded for 3 weeks, or maybe 3 months - no one really knows! The urge to travel is huge and we now miss every part of it: the hustlers on the markets, taxi drivers cheating on fares, waiters in Paris who forget to serve you, and locals trying to sell you artisan products which they calim to be locally produced but we all know they are made in China :-) we miss it all!
However; you are confined by the walls you build yourself - so what if you could travel from home? Here is my 10 ways on how to travel from the comfort of your home:
#1 LEARN NEW LANGUAGE or learn at least 100 words of the language of your next destination. This will not only help you to learn about the country from a linguistic perspective, but I am sure you will learn some interesting facts too. I am learning French at the moment as I had my trip cancelled due to the virus spread, and I have already learnt so many interesting facts I feel I am getting to know the culture so well at the same time.
#2 PREPARE ITINERARY and think of the next country you are going to visit after lockdown is lifted, and learn all you can for your next trip. Start your research with photos and blogs, pin those photos on Pinterest, and research food you want to try. Look up places to stay, attractions you want to see or the experiences that are worth putting on the list. This will keep you dreaming for sure. The international travel may not be allowed straight away, so think of places you can visit locally to not only support local traders, but also be on the road as soon as possible. Think of the places you could visit during the weekend for a short trip or some place you always wanted to go but somehow there were always other places to go first (for me this might be Wales).
#3 GET COOKING food from a country you have been to and you enjoyed, something that when you think of it, it automatically reminds you of the place, where you were eating it, who you were with. I have already cooked my favourite Pad Thai which I endeavoured in Thailad, fresh and delicious Tabbouleh salad from Morocco, I now have the more time to prepare breakfast and I am trying to recreate smoothie bowls seen on all Bali photos. I spent some evenings with home made margaritas that remind me of my favourite Mexico (there might be a taco to go with it too). Thankfully UK has been having good warm weather recently, so I am also preparing Caffee Frappe that reminds me of Greece. Few days ago I bought Italian recipe e-book and I am planning on cooking Italian staples too. You can also be more experiential and try food from a country you have not been to yet! Why not?! You can then compare the flavours once you get there and see how well you recreated it.
#4 Read TRAVEL BOOKS which is my favourite pastime, and of course I do not mean travel guides, but the books that transport you to the location, where you almost feel as if you are in the middle of that hot busy street in Havana, or you can feel coldness of the winter in Seattle. I found I also learnt a lot about many countries and its cultures just by reading books. It is such a great feeling when you are travelling and see the places where your characters were spending their time. Recently, I read a book about Iceland after I returned from a trip to the island, and it was a great reminder of wonderful places and customs I encountered while I was there. Of course, I encourage you to read other travel blogs and travel magazines - whatever takes you to new places! (I am working on new post with my favourite travel books and I will link it here as soon as it is done - stay tuned or sign up via newsletter not to miss it)
#5 Look into the depth of your drives and look through your old travel photos. You can create PHOTOBOOKS to have a great memory and remind you of the country you visited. I feel that it is always so good to watch the photos in the book as opposed to digital copies. Additionally, if you have some old videos maybe it's the time now to create great new travel videos too?
#6 Start a research on new travel destination by PHOTOS RESEARCHING that location, the best platforms to use would be Instagram, Pinterest, or travel blogs with some unique photography. Google Maps can be handy too. If you are obsessed with great photo locations, you will have your research done for next destination.
#7 If you are not a keen reader, you could turn to TRAVEL MOVIES which are plenty and there's an amazing blog post by Helene from @heleneinbetween (link here) where she lists best travel movies - the list is long - I am sure it will be enough for quarantine days! This is more visual than book reading so you can have some great ideas for locations too or just be inspired to visit some of the locations.
#8 Learn new countries by learning part of its CULTURE. How to do that? Well I mentioned language and cooking which are part of the country's culture, but how about learning to dance - Salsa anyone? You could find a video on You Tube and learn few basic steps - better yet if you live with a partner, it could be fun for both of you. I can also think of Thai Chi, maybe some karate, or play a game of French balls - if you have a piece of garden at your disposal? Why not try yoga which may transport you to Asia, more precisely to India which is considered a birthplace of yoga.
#9 Create a BUCKET LIST of places you want to see. And yes having a list is great, but how about making plans to visit those places? Take a piece of paper, or use an app, or any e-document (whatever you prefer) and create list of all countries that you want to see - do not think just write down whatever country comes to your mind. Let's say in 12 month after lockdown lifts, you have enough money, time and resources to travel anywhere you want - where would you go? Out of that list think of countries that would be your priority - and why? What benefit would visiting those countries give you? Which country is easiest to visit? Which country will take the longest to plan? I am sure you have now a good plan for your next trips? If yes, just let me know in comments where are you planning to go?
#10 Finally, you can TRAVEL VIRTUALLY. During this pandemic a lot of museums, exhibitions and even landmark locations (including Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, Sagrada Familia and 60 others) are making their displays and interiors available to access online. Well, think of it as ticking some of the museums off your list to see and when you finally get to travel there, you can spend time seeing other places. This is also a great option if you know you may not be able to travel to a certain location just yet (perhaps India is not within your financial reach yet, you can visit it online for now) or spend time visiting details of the location so when you get there you have better knowledge (e.g. I am reviewing now Machu Picchu in detail). The website with many places to visit virtually is linked here. Better yet, you can research areas of the country that you did not manage to see during your last trip, and catch up on what you could not squeeze into your itinerary.
The final question from me is; how did you like my 'Travel from home' ideas? Have any of this ideas made you smile, or encouraged you to do something from this list? Do let me know in comments or on my Instagram.
Stay healthy, stay safe - travel from home