HOW TO SATISFY YOUR WANDERLUST WHEN YOU CAN’T TRAVEL
We are in the midst of unprecedented times. In the not-so-distant past (though it feels like an eternity), the world was our oyster. Now travel is not an option and self-quarantine is the norm. This amidst a great deal of uncertainty and fear.
I choose not to subscribe to that fear. I choose to focus on the things that I can be grateful for and the opportunities that this quarantine time actually presents me.
And I am also a bit lost without travel. Travel is one of the epicenters of my personal universe, being my passion both personally and professionally. My April trip to Jamaica is of course cancelled. And beyond that here is no international travel on the horizon for me to plan or look forward to.
So it feels like a part of me is a bit missing. Maybe you can relate? You too have a serious case of wanderlust that is not being satisfied right now.
Good news! I have the cure for you. Or at least some ideas that might tide you over. Read on…
I’m going to start with food since that’s basically the only thing sustaining many of us right now. So you have a couple options here – have you travelled somewhere and become obsessed with a dish. Moqueca from Brazil, tagine from Morocco, basically anything from Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and Mexico come to mind for me! So if you’re like me right now and spending more time in the kitchen, why not search out are recipe (or recipes) for that favourite dish and perfect it. Yum!
Want to make it more formal? What about an online cooking class? Learn to make classics from an Italian granny on Nonna Live Pair that with a class of Chianti and you're good to go!
Another option is to order take-out – pick up an order of that delicious food that returns to that place in your mind OR why not experiment with a new cuisine you’ve never tried before? Small local business are struggling to survive right now so the bonus to this option is that you’re supporting them too. And a win-win situation is never bad.
Another one of my favourite past times. The recesses of our imagination can take us anywhere. So let a book transport you to another country and even another time. There are of course of plethora of options, both fiction and non-fiction. Get cozy, turn off your social media notifications and dive in.
Some great recommendations for travel books can be found here: Best Travel Books: Must-Reads to Inspire Wanderlust
Maybe books aren’t your thing? Find some new travel bloggers who’s vibe you like, or old favourites, and search their blog posts for topics/places that particularly interest you.
Here's some recommendations for great female bloggers: Top 100 Solo Female Travel Blogs & Websites in 2020
Instead of mindlessly binge-watching the latest Netflix series (hey I’m not judging, you’ll catch me doing the same at times!), explore the wonders of the world. There are so many options you can stream these days. From documentaries that transport you to remote cultures, or to famous cities, or through whole countries, to those that focus on wildlife, to those for you history buffs. Me, I love the series that focus on food and anything Anthony Bourdain satisfies my soul.
Netflix and chill with these recommendations: 16 Best Travel Documentaries on Netflix in 2020
And then of course there are movies from the classics like Out of Africa and Casablanca to modern faves such as Wild, Eat Pray Love, and the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, as well as more recent releases such as Crazy Rich Asians. So pop that bowl of popcorn and nestle in.
Find your next movie here: The Ultimate List of Best Travel Movies of All Time
CREATE A TRAVEL BUCKET LIST
We can still dream. And I mean, if you’re reading this I can’t really believe you don’t already have one?! But I’m not judging if you don’t. And I’m updating mine all the time. One of the ways I prioritize is looking at what physical fitness levels/mobility requirements will the place/trip require. Some places will be out of the question as I age. As well hiking/biking type trips. Another way I organize is by experiences. For example, this year my trip focus is on ethical animal encounters. And already I’ve seen lions, tigers, bears, wolves, so many dolphins, fish, whales, fishies and swam with whale sharks and sea lions.
Need more help to create your own travel bucket list? How to Create Your Travel Bucket List
CREATE A BUCKET LIST TRIP
Along the same lines, with all this time on your hands, why not plan the ultimate trip. Tailor your reading list and binge-watching towards this dream trip. Pick up a guide book. Make a Pinterest board or Google doc to organize all the highlights and details. Research actually shows that anticipation of a trip brings greater happiness than the actual trip believe it or not!
REMINISCE ON A PAST TRIP
On the flip side of planning for the future, why not spend some time looking through photos from past trips. And if you haven’t already organized them into albums, why not now?!
Needing some social connection? Set
up a virtual happy hour with one of your past travel buddies or friends you met
along the way and share the memories and some laughs together!
LEARN A NEW SKILL
Always wanted to learn a new language? Wish you could take better photos and/or videos? Thought about starting your own blog or vlog? Aspire to tell better stories? Now’s the time to learn or enhance any of these or other things that can only enhance your future travels. It’s actually the perfect time since so many institutes of higher learning, and others, are granting free access to many courses and resources. Take advantage of those coupled with the extra time on your hands.
I will also suggest Duolingo for learning a new language as it allows you to spend just a few minutes a day learning a foreign language in a fun game style. It's free and there's even an app for kiddos.
Another interesting option might be to research your family tree. Ancestry has a free trial which gives you access to billions of family records. Maybe this will be the inspiration for your next trip to the land of your ancestors!
TAKE CARE OF FUTURE TRAVEL NEEDS
Along the same lines, and not the most sexy – get that broken zipper on your suitcase repaired (or plan to when non-essential services are back in business), or research and order a new travel credit card with no foreign transactions fees and/or a great points scheme, or review your packing list, or take stock of your gear and plan to supplement it.
MIMIC THE HOTEL EXPERIENCE
Need some extra pampering. But we’re supposed to shelter in place?! Order breakfast, lunch, dinner delivery (ie. Room service) for a day. Put some fresh sheets on the bed and hang some fresh towels in the bathroom. Put that device on airplane mode and leave all the chaos behind. Flowers, chocolates, fancy bath bombs…whatever feels indulgent to you, throw that in the mix! Hmmm I think that’s going to be my plan for this weekend…
I have actually been astonished by the incredible offerings out there that can take you anywhere in the world. Explore Google Earth for example and see some astonishing satellite pics. Then there’s Google Arts and Culture which has teamed up with 2500 museums and galleries around the world to grant you entry to virtual tours and online exhibits. We’re talking about some of the most famous museums around the world – I say head to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City first, I’ve been in the flesh and it’s exceptional! What about visiting the opera? The Metropolitan Opera is offering free virtual shows, among others. #museummomentofzen is happening on Twitter where museums are showcasing everything from artwork to pictures of frogs. I’ve seen zoos doing virtual cams of animals. Loving the creativity of organizations and people right now!
Here are some ideas for your virtual adventures in travel:
For more adventure, check out Google Maps Virtual Treks amazing!
Unesco World Heritage Sites - a list of 1,121 sites that have "outstanding universal value"
How about a walk in the park?! Google Earth has some outstanding options! Like:
Or find options on Youtube. Like Gros Morne National Park which is most definitely on my bucket list!
Alright people, I hope in this list you’ve found at least
one or two ideas that will help tide you through and satiate that travel bug.
We will be able to travel again but until then take good care of yourself, and
stay the heck home until you’re told otherwise. We are all in this together, and
if nothing else this is showing us how truly interconnected we are, no matter
where we live.