Updated: Mar 17, 2020
Whether you’re stuck at home because you’re broke or you’re on a coronavirus quarantine, the trip is cancelled and you might be upset about it. It sucks to not be able to go on a trip you previously planned, especially if you already paid for it or were really looking forward to it. But it’s okay, there at 7 ways you can still get your travel fix even if you’re stuck at home.
1. Watch videos or documentaries of places you wish to visit
If you’re dreaming about India, ready for safari in Tanzania or craving a ski trip to Aspen, there is someone who has made a video or documentary about it. Go on Youtube and search your favorite destination and watch an amazing array of tv shows, videos, and documentaries about your dream destination. My favorite show to watch is Planet Earth. I love watching the landscapes of the desert, wild cats, and the tops of mountains. Sometimes it’s nice to live vicariously through Youtube while I’m stuck at home.
2. Learn a new language
This one can take you weeks or months to do but it can surely help you scratch the travel itch. Learning new languages can connect you to places and cultures you want to see. I learned Russian when I was preparing for the World Cup in 2018. I was too broke to buy my ticket at the time but I was preparing for the trip by learning a language about a year before I went. It got me so excited to learn how to say, “hello”, “thank you”, “the food was delicious”, “I’m on fire” and everything in between. Learning a new language is like an appetizer for travel. It can really get you ready to go for the real thing and still satisfy a serious craving to get out into the world.
3. Cook food from a culture you admire
Do you know how many recipes there are for curry? Thousands! How about German bread? Hundreds! Sushi? Too many to count. If you’ve been waiting to dust off a cookbook with a bunch of cultural recipes in it, now would be the time. You’re stuck at home and you have a few of the ingredients handy. Try to make a recipe that you’ve never tried before especially if it’s from a country you really hope to visit. I have always wanted to visit Vietnam and recently found a Pho recipe that I could get behind. It simply required some veggies, broth, noodles and time. It took a couple of hours but it turned out so delicious. It satiated my desire to visit Vietnam for just a little while as I save up enough dough to book the flight.
4. Read a book about a different culture or religion
If you’re excited to visit Jamaica to know more about the Rastafarian religion, you can grab a book and read all about it. Nothing replaces a visit to the real place but for now, you can read about how Rastas eat, pray, and love. Sometimes books can make you feel like you’re in a country and can be a much better way to imagine that culture than watching a Youtube video. One of my favorite books is Shantaram. It’s written about a man who flees to Bombay, India as a fugitive from New Zealand. I love the book because it helps me imagine life in Bombay. The book is written in a way where you can feel the thickness of the air, the smell of the Indian street food and the sound of the busy streets of Bombay. If you’re craving a visit to a certain place, try picking up a book and transporting yourself there through written word.
5. Talk about past travel experiences
What’s better than going down memory lane? How was your last trip to Berlin? Didn’t you have an amazing time in Florence last year? Talk about it with your friends and family. Sit down and share stories about travel, especially if you share those same memories with certain people in your life. I love talking about my trip to Italy with my friends. Even though it happened months ago, people still want to know what I did, where I ate, how safe it was and so on. When I go down memory lane on a really amazing trip, it makes me feel like I was still there and can sometimes postpone the travel bug for a while. Relive your past travel experiences with people at home or online and allow the memories from previous trips to buy you some time while you wait for your next departure.
6. Plan a future trip
There’s really nothing more exciting than planning for your next trip. Where are you going to go? What will you do? Where will you stay? How long do you want to visit? I find that planning my next destination can get me super excited for an upcoming trip. In July 2020, I really want to visit Northern Europe: Norway, Sweden, Finland and maybe Northern Russia. I’ve made my Google doc, and I’m planning it all out. From my budget to which sandals I'm going to wear, planning for my upcoming trip can help me stay calm, cool and collected while I await my next destination in the coming months. Even creating a “dream list” of trips you want to take in the future, can help keep your spirit up if you’re stuck in your house or waiting for your next big vacation.
7. Join a virtual meet up with travelers
The coronavirus has people practicing social distancing but what about virtual meet ups? Meetup.com has a ton of groups that are focused on travel that have now shifted to digital meet ups. Check out a meet up that you might enjoy and jump on a virtual hangout with folks. You can also join the plethora of Facebook groups dedicated to travel and stay engaged with hilarious travel memes and someone's trip photos from earlier this year. Don’t unplug when you’re stuck at home, stay connected and enjoy important conversations and laughter with fellow travelers online.
Which of these travel fixes do you plan to take while you’re stuck at home?