For most of us travel has been put on indefinite hold, or has become much more difficult and risky thanks to the global pandemic of 2020. This doesn’t mean we don’t wish we could get off to some amazing exotic destination every other week, like the good old days!
The reality is this is just not possible all the time (especially right now!). Lucky for us there are actually many ways you can “escape” without actually physically going anywhere.
In this post, you are going to learn 15 ways to cure your wanderlust without leaving home. Feeling stuck and like you’re missing out of the adventures of life is not a good feeling especially if you are a nomadic free spirit.
But you don’t have to feel like this, with a bit of imagination (& compromise) you can bring the world to your doorstep. Continue reading to learn how!
1. Read travel-inspired books
Travel inspired books are an amazing way to ignite your wanderlust and to keep your travelling spirit alive.
Even if you can’t travel right now books can make you fall in love with travel all over again and inspire you for your next adventure.
Books allow you to create powerful and palpable visualisation and elicit strong emotions. Let your imagination run wild by getting stuck into some juicy novels and be transported to where you wish you were.
Here are some recommended travel-inspired books:
- A Short Walk In The Hindu Kush by Eric Newby (Middle East)
- Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (India)
- Backpacked by Catherine Howard (Central America)
- In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson (Australia)
- Eat Pray Loveby Elizabeth Gilbert (Italy, India, Bali)
- I and Claudius by Clare de Vries (USA)
- Little Princes by Conor Grennan (Nepal)
2. Travel inspired movies
While we can’t travel, the good news is that there are movies from every corner of the globe to help soothe your wanderlust.
There are countless travel-inspired movies that show off the beauty of the world while telling truly incredible stories. Movies can help transport you physically, mentally and emotionally. They tell the real stories about the world as well as beautiful fantasies.
Movies can be so nostalgic and really take you back to a place or time in your life which can make you feel so good!
So snuggle up with your favourite snacks and watch some of these amazing movies:
- The Mummy (Egypt)
- Into the Wild (Alaska)
- The Beach (Thailand)
- The Bucketlist (Worldwide)
- Under the Tuscan Sun (Italy)
- Love Actually (London at Christmas)
- Home Alone 2 (New York at Christmas)
- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (India)
- Mamma Mia (Greece)
- In Bruges (Belgium)
- Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Spain)
- Out of Africa (Africa)
- Seven Years in Tibet (Tibet)
- Slumdog Millionaire (India)
3. Watch documentaries & travel shows
Documentaries and travel shows are another incredible way to feel inspired by our amazing world (and to learn a lot at the same time!). From nature documentaries to personal memoirs and food shows, there is no shortage of footage from around the globe.
Here are some great travel-inspired travel shows and documentaries to get you started:
- Anything by David Attenborough- Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Africa, Our Planet, Frozen Planet
- Samantha Brown’s Places to Love
- Anthony Bourdain: Part Unknown
- Street Food- Asia & Latin America (Netflix Series)
- Jiro Dreams of Sushi
- Dark Tourist (Netflix Series)
- Asian Provocateur (Netflix Series)
- The Architecture of Peace - India
- Jane - Africa
- 180 Degrees South
- A Map for Saturday
4. Cook up a storm
When it comes to travel, trying the local food has to be one of the most important parts of the experience! Food is an integral part of culture all over the world. It is so unique and can really open your eyes to new ways of experiencing food.
Our senses have the ability to transport us back in time to people and places. This makes food an amazing way to relive your favourite travel memories. You can also use food to inspire you to go to a new destination.
Have a think about your favourite meals from your travels, find a recipe on Pinterest, Google or splash out on a beautiful cookbook! Then get to the supermarket and start cooking!
There are so many amazing dishes from other countries you can create! From Vietnamese pho to the perfect Indian Dhal to fresh homemade basil pesto pasta.
You could even curate your own wine tasting and cheese night, turn your kitchen into a dim sum restaurant, learn how to make your own pasta and so much more.
The sky's the limit! You will also be able to pick up some new knowledge and skills to impress your friends and family and show how oh-so cultured you really are.
If cooking just isn’t your jam research your local takeaway restaurants and order in something new to try.
5. Travel locally
When borders are closed, or crossing then is restricted or just plain risky there is another option. Travel the country you are stuck in! Whether you are stranded in your home country or are staying put abroad, there is no doubt plenty to explore wherever you are.
For many travellers who find themselves stuck at home, this gives them a unique opportunity to discover the magic of home (which so often gets neglected by travellers). When you meet people overseas they often admit to not exploring their own countries.
The country you are in right now is probably a dream destination for millions of people! So take the chance you’ve been given to get to know your home country. You can’t run away anymore.
Find the beauty in your land, your people and your culture. Support the local businesses in the tourism industry who will be suffering more than most during this pandemic.
Do something really adventurous and intrepid that you would normally reserve for a big overseas trip. Go camping, hiking the highest mountains, make an effort to explore beaches and towns you’ve never been to before. Turn your life at home into a big adventure and step outside of your little box. There is so much to be discovered in every corner of the planet.
6. Listen to travel-themed podcasts
Podcasts are an amazing way to learn and entertain yourself while you are working, walking, driving or doing anything really. There are so many incredible podcasts out there and new ones popping up all the time as this media stream gains momentum.
Here are some travel-inspired podcasts to keep you entertained and inspired while you go about the regular mundane activities of daily life:
- The Amateur Traveler Travel Podcast by Chris Christensen: This podcast gives you the inspiration to travel anywhere all over the world. Want to investigate a destination? Be sure to check out this podcast and browse through the episodes for some serious information and inspiration.
- Zero to Travel by Jason Moore: Learn how to travel the world on your own terms and budget. This podcast is designed to help inspire and educate first-time travellers through to seasoned globetrotters. It’s full of actionable advice, resources, and real experiences.
- Travel with Rick Steves: Rick Steve is a travel rockstar who has written 30 best-selling guidebooks and has been entertaining people with his antics and advice for more than 20 years. He is America’s leading authority on travel in Europe and beyond. This podcast is full of conversations with travel experts and topics include travel, culture, people and anything else we find in the world.
7. “Active” or virtual travel ideas
This category may seem weird or even boring to you at first but this is a great way to stimulate your mind and is more actively engaging for you and your brain. These ideas are great if you are stuck at home in lockdown and can’t work or if it’s a gloomy weekend best spent inside.
- Puzzles: Try Double-sided Italy, 3D Hogwarts, 1000 piece Cinque Terre
- Virtual Museum Tour: Many museums allow you to digitally experience their art, monuments and artefacts. Popular options include:
- The Louvre (Paris)
- The Guggenheim (New York City)
- The British Museum (London)
- National Museum of Natural History (Washington D.C.)
- The Met (New York City)
- The Vatican (Rome)
- Live Cams: These will transport you to a destination in real-time for your live streaming entertainment pleasure. From city streets, mountains to national zoos, there are live webcams all over the world.
- Unesco Virtual Tours: Tick some famous sites “virtually” off your bucket list.
- Learn a new language
8. Browse through memories & reminisce
Browsing through old travel memories can be a really beautiful way to spend your spare time. Dig out your photo albums, dust off your souvenirs, and find those travel journals.
Guaranteed you will be surprised by how much you have forgotten! Set yourself up with a hot drink and transport yourself back to your cherished travel memories (the good & the bad) and relive the moments that have helped shape the person you are today.
You will most likely come out of this with a travel adventure planned to revisit your favourite places.
9. Arrange your photos, journals & souvenirs
After you are finished reminiscing, spend some time arranging all your travel memoirs. From journals to photos, souvenirs, coins, receipts, old passports and anything else you have kept.
You can arrange them neatly in boxes according to country so you can easily go and reminisce again when you feel the urge. Or you can take it one step further and get creative by making a scrapbook to collect and organise all your favourite memories into a beautiful travel story.
The great thing about creating travel scrapbooks is you can keep them forever to show your kids and grandkids one day.
10. Start a travel blog
Have you always wanted to start a travel blog but have been putting it off because you don’t have the time? Well now is the time!
Starting a blogis pretty easy especially when you have copious amounts of time to figure it out!
WordPress is the best blogging platform and it's free. All you need to do is buy a domain, get web hosting, install WordPress and start building your website. There are tons of free and paid-for templates which make it relatively simple for technophobes.
Once you’re all set up start writing. What a great time to curl up and write about past travels. Keep your travelling spirit alive! This will create a bank of memories for you to go back over in time and reminisce.
If you have already done step 9 then documenting your past experiences will be easy!
11. Host a themed cocktail party
This is a fun way to transport you and your friends to another country. Like food, alcohol can also be a major part of many cultures around the world.
You could have a Mexican themed party with margaritas and tacos or caipirinhas with rice and beans for Brazil or Pisco Sours for a taste of Peru and Chile. You can also keep it more simple and get your hands on some French, Italian or Spanish wine or local beer from your favourite country.
Another fun idea is to have these themed parties in line with major holidays such as Diwali in India, Cinco de Mayo for Mexico and Bastille Day for France.
12. Redecorate your home
If you’re surrounded with travel-themed items in your home, it’s going to fuel your wanderlust at all times. Pick your favourite country or countries and theme your whole house, one room or even give different rooms to different countries.
It could places you’ve been or places you are dreaming of going. This is a great way to utilise any souvenirs you purchased overseas that are collecting dust in a cupboard somewhere.
Bring some freshness into your home in the form of travel-themed décor.
Here are some ideas:
- Travel-themed pillow covers
- Travel-themed bedding, blankets & throws
- Vintage globe
- World wall stickers
- Photo frames
- Paintings and art
- Fairy lights & lampshades
- Tropical plants and shells
- Jewellery displays
- Sheet wall hangings
- Coffee table books
13. Make the effort to watch sunrise or sunset
When we travel we can usually get pretty obsessed with catching those famous sunsets and sunrises whether it is in India, Greece, Brazil or a tiny tropical island in the Pacific Ocean.
Bring that adventurous spirit home with you. This will seriously nourish that urge inside you to travel and explore the beauty of nature.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your balcony, a nearby hill, or even a coastline the sun will rise and set no matter where you are in the world.
You can make a little trip out of it by researching the best sunset and sunrise spots nearby (have you ever done that where you live before?!) and try and catch the sun in all its glory.
14. Make a travel-inspired playlist
Ever listened to an old song you used to love and were instantly transported back to a particular memory or feeling of a time in your life?
Sound and music have the most incredible ability to take you back to certain memories by hardwiring connections between sound and a time and place in your brain.
This makes music an incredible tool for transporting you back to your travels. Make a playlist of songs for each country you want to remember. Include songs that you just loved listening to at the time as well as music that is from that country and was played all the time by locals, on the radio and in the streets.
You will be surprised by the intense emotions and memories that will come up by listening to music in this way.
15. Prepare & Stay inspired for when we can travel again
There is no better time to dream and prepare for your next adventure. When the world opens up again you want to be armed with a healthy bank balance and some serious travel plans.
Make a new and improved bucket list, create inspiration boards on Pinterest with images and blog posts, come up with a rough plan and save your pennies!
Keep up to date on news and what countries are safe to travel to.
There you have 15 fun and creative ways to cure your wanderlust without stepping foot on a plane!