Illness, loss of a job, limited resources, and travel restrictions can derail our travel plans. Surely, all travel enthusiasts can relate with Trippy user Anna, who asked:
How do you deal with the travel bug when you can’t travel? I guess the situation is familiar to most of you: You want to travel so badly but you can’t because of work, money, family, health, time issues. How do you satisfy your need to see new places and to meet new people, to be in nature and to escape your daily life?
Here are 10 ways to deal and satisfy your wanderlust:
1. Read travel books
You can understand and discover more about exciting places through travel books. Trippy user Joao from Berlin answered Anna’s question with this:
Read. Read as much as you can. This is the best “medication” — maybe it’s the only. I’m not sure if it works for you, but you should give it a try. I say this knowing that nothing can replace the feeling of being in the wild, of being in the unknown, but at the same level, travel can’t take you to places that books can take you. Think of this as a trade. Read and reach farther than ever the next time you travel. Travel and reach real and authentic places in your next reading. The wonder we’re gifted on both experiences gives us new ways of seeing the world.
Some of these books may help you deal with the travel bug:
1. The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca by Tahir Shah – wonderfully written about a family’s move from London to Casablanca, Morocco, and the lessons learned about the Moroccan culture, bureaucracy and more.
2. The Beach by Alex Garland – if backpacking in Thailand is in your travel plans, read this book.
3. On the Noodle Road, from Beijing to Rome by Jen Lin-Liu – travel with food writer Jen Lin-Liu on the ancient Silk Road from the east to the west and learn about the history, politics, food and the role of women in each place.
4. To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins – learn about the writer’s cycling journey from Oregon to Patagonia in 16 months.
2. Listen to the music from the destinations you plan to visit
Kelly from Massachusetts wrote:
One time I played Hawaiian music on my internet radio and just pinned tons of pics & tips of Hawaii. It sounds crazy, but it made me feel like I took a short vacation.
These days with the availability of YouTube channels and Spotify, you can easily find songs and music from around the world. Try listening to Italian, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indonesian, or any music of your preference.
3. Go to an ethnic grocery store in your hometown
Besides wandering through the ethnic section of your hometown’s grocery store, you can venture out to one of the Asian, Latin or Caribbean grocery stores and learn all about the different types of comfort foods and ingredients for ethnic cooking. In fact, in these stores, you’ll be transported to China, Korea, India, Mexico, Brazil, or Jamaica, depending on the type of ethnic grocery store you visit.
Trippy user Tiffany suggested:
TALK to people. Be inquisitive. Talk to the farmers, bakers, chefs, historians in your home town. Learn as much as you can about the people around you and ask about behind-the-scenes opportunities to photograph, learn, and possibly write about what you’ve seen.
You may get tips on how to cook a dish from fellow shoppers or the store manager. We learned so much about Indian cooking when we stepped into one of the Indian grocery stores in Jackson Heights, New York, if you live in New York City, head over to Patel Brothers in Jackson Heights.
4. Learn to prepare meals in a variety of ethnic styles
There are plenty of bloggers out there who write recipes and produce videos online. If you’d like to visit Japan, you can start learning all about Japanese food and try making it at home. Check out JustHungry.com, Little Miss Bento, and DelishKitchen.TV.
Or eat in an ethnic restaurant that you’ve never been to in your hometown. Tiffany said:
Eat! Even on a small budget, you can try little things. Stop in a restaurant you’ve never been to and try new food – even a small appetizer. Try a new wine/beer, learn about all the things cooked/grown locally.
5. Explore new places and meet new people in your hometown
Heny from Jakarta wrote:
Traveling can simply mean exposing yourself to new places, cultures, and environments. The easiest thing I would do is to change my routine or to try something new, i.e., taking public transport if I’m driving, trying a new restaurant/cuisine, attending a cultural festival, or visiting new parts of the city. Basically, introducing the excitement of adventures that I usually get from traveling to everyday life.
Liz from Pittsburg wrote:
If you’re stuck in the same-old with the same-old people and same-old routine every day, start paying more attention and really engaging with those people — shake things up, do something unexpected every day. And save up a little every day towards your travel goal. Ask even the random people you run into what’s a travel inspiration they’d like to share with you. Ask them who you should look up if you actually go where they’re recommending. You may be surprised what opportunities are out there — people are usually more than willing to reminisce and may have thought of a way to do it better or cheaper if they had to do it over again.
6. Play with the 3D and 2D maps
Apple’s 3D maps will transport you to the cities and places you want to visit. You can zoom in and get a 360-degree or a bird’s eye view of a destination.
Patrick from Minneapolis preferred Google maps, and he shared:
I like to open up google maps and zoom in. There’s so much stuff about Minneapolis that I learn from just zooming around the map: new restaurants, shops, coffee bars, or a new drive to try. It’s also fun to learn the names of all the parts of town and look up strange-sounding streets or local history, which adds the dimension of time to your environment.
7. Watch travel videos on YouTube
There are hours and hours of well-produced videos online that you can ‘transport’ you to the places you want to visit. Ragan, a Trippy user from Nebraska, said:
Lots and lots and lots..and LOTS! Of travel shows, movies, books!
For extreme travelers, we recommend the following on YouTube:
- Meet the Stans: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan Part 1 and Part 2 by XBN – you’ll get almost three hours of entertainment and lessons about these former Soviet republics in Central Asia.
- Holy Land: Start-Up Nations by Wired
- Peru’s Lost City of Gold by Tracks
- Namibia Travel Documentary by Lucas T Jahn
If you like food and travel, check out all the travel videos by Mark Wiens.
Trippy user Jared has this to say about watching travel documentaries and other things related to his travel experiences:
I usually write about the adventures I’ve had, look through old photos, and plan for the next travel destination! Sometimes escaping the monotony of daily life and work is easily found in reading someone’s blog, living vicariously through a book, or watching stunning documentaries.
Jared also shared one of his insane travel experiences with other Trippy users. He wrote:
One of the craziest adventures I’ve had was in the Northeast Iceland. A snowstorm had rolled in overnight, and the conditions on the Ring Road were awful. We’d never driven in snow, but we did have a 4WD, so we attempted the journey. A trip that usually takes 2 hours took us 6. Snow drifts three times the height of the car was on one side and a cliff on the other. The scariest drive of my life! But we finally arrived in beautiful Lake Myvatn and were rewarded with a winter wonderland of volcanic fields, underground hot springs and amazing food (highly recommend Daddi’s Pizza!). Plus, the area was relatively deserted due to the storm, so we had it all to ourselves! I had many adventures in Iceland – it’s undoubtedly a place where crazy can sneak up on you!
8. Host couchsurfers
Edna from Paris said:
I love being able to meet new people from around the world and learn about their cultures, language, food, etc. Showing CSers around also helps me rediscover my city through a visitor’s eyes, and the forums are a great place to meet new people and talk travel. If you can’t travel the world right now, bring the world to you!
What exactly is couch surfing? According to the Couchsurfing’s website:
Couchsurfing is a service that connects members to a global community of travelers. Use Couchsurfing to find a place to stay or share your home and hometown with travelers. Couchsurfers organize regular events in 200,000 cities around the world. There’s always something to do and new friends to meet.
Check out their website and learn more about how you can be a host in your hometown. Cristobal from Buenos Aires has been hosting couch surfers, and he shared his experiences with Trippy users. He wrote:
I’ve been hosting people for a while now. I haven’t surfed yet, tried once, but got no replies to my request. However: I consider my experience with couchsurfers as an overall positive experience. I have learned that: My house is suitable for only one couch surfer at a time. My patience is ideal for only a couple of days-long stay. I like to be honest with my couch requests about what they will find in my house and how they will find it. I have met very interesting people from all around the world and hopefully will never stop sharing my home with whoever asks for it nicely.
9. Watch House Hunters International
Heidi from Colorado said:
I watch House Hunters International. True story.
You can be a subscriber to Hulu and binge-watch House Hunters International. Currently, Hulu has seven seasons and 91 episodes featuring couples and families moving to Prague, Nairobi, Faaborg (Denmark), Warsaw, and many parts of the world to create a new life overseas.
10. Take time to plan a trip of your dreams
Actually, the best part about a trip is the planning stage. According to a study by NCBI, vacationers’ happiness level is higher at pre-trip than at post-trip.
Diane from New York City shared:
I satisfy my need to travel when I can’t by planning in great detail my next vacation. I explore hotels, restaurants, tours, places to visit, etc. using many websites and books. My husband calls it “traveling in my mind.” This way, when I am ready, the information I need is all there, and planning is something I really enjoy. Looking forward to the trip is great too.
Wow, that is EXACTLY what I do. I call it “having something to look forward to.” Even if it’s a while until my next big trip, I ALWAYS have something on the horizon. I see I’m not alone in that!
So, start planning your trip!