8 Ways To 'Travel' When You're Stuck At Home For The Summer
For 99.99 percent of the population, more time is spent "not" traveling than actually traveling, although quite possibly 100 percent of the time is spent thinking about traveling.
Traveling is normally associated with taking long-haul trips and covering far distances, particularly for Aussies, where an 8-hour flight is a "short" trip. But travel can also happen right in front of you on an everyday basis if you open your mind to it.
Here's how to travel the world when you're not traveling.
1. Discover your own backyard
You often forget about, ignore and take for granted what is right in front of you because it becomes part of the familiar and the routine. But, when was the last time you really looked at and explored your hometown?
Put your tourist cap on and wander the streets of your own backyard: study the buildings and the architecture, read the historical plaques, try a different route than you normally would to see what you may uncover and even consider taking a guided tour.
It may surprise you to find out how much you still don't know about your home after all of these years.
2. Plan a short weekend trip away
Whether it's a weekend dalliance in the countryside or a weekend interstate trip away, it's nice to break up longer stints of travel with shorter and cheaper pockets of travel, as well as having a perfect excuse to get away for the weekend.
When you're at home, you often start thinking about the endless list of chores that need doing like the washing, scrubbing the shower, paying the bills… you get the drift. It's great to occasionally escape for some much needed R&R, especially when your next overseas trip may still be a while away.
Plan ahead and take advantage of public holidays and long weekends.
3. Indulge in armchair travel
This is an easy one: Become an armchair traveller. Armchair travel is fantastic because you can transport yourself to all kinds of amazing destinations, and find inspiration for your next trip, without spending a single cent.
Although I suppose all of those Lonely Planet guides do start adding up after a little while. Lose (or find) yourself in a travel book, peruse online travel blogs and forums, or watch movies set in exotic locales. Watching "The Beach" with Mr. DiCaprio never fails to make me want to book flights to a tropical island in search of my own "paradise."
4. Reminisce over old travel photos
Let's be honest: No one else is all that interested in looking at the 3,657 holiday snaps taken from your 2008 trip to Thailand except for you. But that's OK because you'll never ever get sick of looking at your photos and remembering all of the significant moments attached to them.
Take the opportunity to look back over old holiday shots and reminisce about the memories, the people, the sights and the sounds. And once you're done looking at the photos…
5. Make a travel scrapbook
If you're looking for an art project, consider making a travel scrapbook which can be done by anyone regardless of your ability in arts and crafts; my talent peaked at finger-painting in Grade 1.
Most of my travel photos exist on a hard-drive so scrapbooking is a great motivator for printing off my photos and putting them in a more accessible album. Also, if you're like me and keep most (read: all) of your transport stubs, museum tickets, brochures, etc. from overseas trips, then a scrapbook is the perfect home for all of your souvenirs. (When I first started traveling, I kept napkins from cafes so I feel like I have progressed somewhat in my travel souvenir hoarding.)
The best bit is having something tangible to hold on to and flick through once you're done; it's perfect for those days when you're dreaming of faraway pastures.
For the more tech-savvy individuals who are GoProing their travels, why not find time to edit your footage into a video for all of your friends and family to enjoy?
6. Start planning your next holiday
They say that planning a holiday is almost as fun as actually going on a holiday and there may be some truth to this. I love planning holidays and often the best way for me to survive until the next trip is to read as much as possible about the destination that I'm going to and to plan accordingly.
I like having an idea of what there is to do and see in a new city so that more time is spent on doing things rather than figuring out what to do. It also gives me a perfect excuse to while away the hours reading travel blogs all in the name of research.
7. Learn a language
Learning a new language is challenging, but ultimately rewarding in the long term. Try and learn the mother tongue of your next travel destination or a country that's on your bucket list so you can impress the locals once you're there.
For bonus brownie points, extend this to learning how to cook the local cuisine of a country or even learning about the traditional customs and rituals of another culture.
8. Start a travel blog
I had to include this one as I've recently started this travel blog as a "passion project" and it has been the perfect way to travel the world without leaving the comfort of home.
Digging up old travel snaps and reflecting on past travels through my travel journals has been a nostalgic process and has also reminded me about the reasons why I travel.
Travel blogging is a great way to share your experiences with other people and to connect with the broader travel community who are such an inspiring and passionate group. Travel blogging requires a ton of dedication to the task at hand, but it won't feel like work if you love what you're doing.