As we are approaching a full year of the world being closed to international adventures, your travel bug is likely ready to burst at any moment. Although you might be dreaming of hopping on that flight to Peru or Indonesia, there are other ways to satiate your wanderlust until it is safe to cross borders again. By indulging in the joy of exploration with local travel or immersing yourself in new cultures and places virtually, you can still enjoy a piece of the world without having to go too far.
- Travel locally.
Sometimes the best adventures are in your own backyard. While it may not give you another stamp on your passport, local travel can still satisfy your curiosity and indulge your sense of adventure. You may have previously missed out on discovering local treasures while being occupied with the pursuit of far-flung travel. Go on a spontaneous road trip to visit small towns you have yet to see, plan a backpacking or camping adventure along the coast or in the mountains, or simply explore new neighborhoods in your home city. Make sure to read and respect the guidelines in place for travel in your local area during the pandemic. Outdoor activities, if the weather is permitting, are both safe and optimal for satisfying your thirst for adventure. Be careful when getting taxis too, the last thing you want would be to end up in an Uber accident.
- Watch a documentary or read a book that inspires wanderlust.
You might not get to walk through the bustling markets of Istanbul, taste the street food of Bombay, or watch a lion hunt in the Serengeti just yet. However, you can sit down with your favorite travel documentary to experience a piece of the world you’ve been daydreaming about. Whether you’re a nature lover intrigued by the jungle or savannah, or a history and culture buff, there are an abundance of globally inspired documentaries available on streaming services. Alternatively, pick up a novel that inspires some serious wanderlust. Choose from titles like Wild, On the Road, or The Sheltering Sky, among other travel epics, and get lost in the adventures that unfold on the pages.
- Take a virtual tour.
Technology has made it easier to experience the world remotely. Many museums are offering virtual tours, allowing you to explore some of the most renowned works of art from the comfort of your couch. Virtually walk through the Musee D’Orsay in Paris and explore 19th century French art or take a tour of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam where you can view an impressive collection of Van Gogh’s drawings and paintings. Airbnb also offers online experiences around the world. Learn how to make homemade pasta, meditate with a Buddhist monk in Japan, partake in a Mezcal tasting class, or take a virtual tour of Paris. Technology has a phenomenal way of connecting people and cultures even when we are physically separated on opposite sides of the globe.
- Learn a language online.
One of the best parts about travelling is the opportunity to learn something new. Languages are the gateway to more intimately understanding another culture. Whether you enroll in an online course or download an app, why not spend some of your time at home learning a new language? You can learn a new skill to use on your next trip while satisfying your travel bug in the meantime. Check out Babbel for an online school experience, try out a variety of languages on Duolingo, or learn some local phrases with Memrise.
- Revisit old travel memories.
Take a trip down memory lane by revisiting past trips. Flip through old photos and your old passport stamps, and reread entries in your old travel journals, reliving some of your best adventures from afar. Find gratitude in the opportunities you have previously had to travel and remember that the world will still be waiting for you once it is safe to explore again. You might even be inspired to put together an album or coffee table book with photos and memorabilia from your vacations.
- Create an internationally themed night.
Even though you may not be able to travel to exotic locations at the moment, you can still experience diverse culture from your own home. One way to do this is by creating an internationally themed evening. Choose a country you’ve been wanting to visit– maybe India, Mexico, or Italy– and create an entire evening revolving around celebrating their culture. Research new recipes, cook a feast, add a few decorations for flair, listen to local music, and learn new cultural traditions. Invite a few friends or family members and indulge in an evening of global festivities.
- Plan your dream vacation.
One of the most fun parts of travel (besides the actual vacation, of course) is getting to research and plan the trip. Even though you might not be able to take the trip for some time, planning your dream vacation is a great distraction. Pull out the globe, pinpoint where in the world you want to go if you had your wishes and start researching! Maybe you’ve long dreamt of sipping Argentinian Malbec in Mendoza and hiking through the glaciers of Patagonia; or perhaps you imagine yourself diving in the clear waters of the Indian Ocean and digging your toes in the sand on the Kenyan Coast. Draw inspiration from travel books and magazines and browse through your favorite travel websites and blogs. Make a vision board with the adventures you hope to go on, complete with your dream accommodation, restaurants, and activities. Keep this as motivation and a positive reward to look forward to when the world opens up again.
Bio: Yusuf is the head leather craftsman and oversees the business operations of the popular online leather goods company, Galen Leather. They handcraft unique leather notebook covers, portfolios, wallets, bags and so much more, blending their love for both the analogue and digital.