Cabin fever much?
I think we can all relate during these crazy times.
For a travel addict like me, being forced to stay inside is tough enough, let alone not being able to hop on a plane to a faraway land. But right now, the safest thing we can do for ourselves and each other is just to stay home. That doesn’t mean however that we have to give up our wanderlust completely!
So while you can’t travel quite yet, here are 10 travel-based things to do at home in the meantime to cure your travel bug
Top 10 Travel Bug Cures When You’re Stuck At Home
1. Learn a New Language
Many of us are working less hours and watching extra Netflix, so there really isn’t any excuse left not to finally learn that new language. Even if you set aside 20 minutes a day, after a month or two you can really make a dent on basic fluency.
My favorite ways to learn a new language (or practice the Spanish and bit of Italian I already know) is to use Duolingo. It’s a free app that has 35 different languages you can start learning, even at total beginner stage.
2. Cook Cuisine From Different Countries
Maybe it’s just me, but the thing I remember most about each place I visit is the FOOD. Since being stuck at home these past few months, I have started to re-visit places I’ve visited through the meals I’ve had there. For Thailand: Red Thai Curry and Pad Thai, for Bali: Dadar Gulung and Mi Goreng, for Japan: Sushi and Udon Noodles.
Try making some dishes you’ve had abroad or research a bucket list countries most popular dishes and make them to inspire you to travel there once you can!
3. Watch Foreign Films
Depending on your taste in films, you can have a movie marathon with films in foreign languages (with subtitles of course), or you can simply watch English movies about travel or that are set in exotic places.
I really love watching foreign films in their native language because I love hearing how they sound. Korean, Punjabi, Italian, French, Japanese… it’s all music to my ears. Plus, I find I learn a lot about small details in the culture that the guide books won’t tell you about.
4. Read Books Set Abroad
If you’ve had enough screen time, then go manual and pick up a good book that takes place in an unfamiliar land.
You can deep dive into literary classics or binge read some modern thrillers, whatever you enjoy reading the most. Just make sure the tale is set abroad in a different country so you can get lost in the culture.
5. Research a New Destination
Being a full-time travel writer and watching my blog’s traffic go down by 90% during this unprecedented time… I really feel for others in my industry. Not many people are looking up travel tips and guides because they can’t actually take the trip in this moment. However, taking the time to research a new destination, especially on privately owned travel blogs will not only help you get inspired, but it will help support bloggers who’ve lost their income.
Instead of reading the same old ‘big box’ sites that give you a basic summary of a country, try researching someone who has spent lots of time there personally and has some great insight to share. Reading travel journals, blogs, guides and tips prepared by writers and bloggers is a really great way to learn unexpected things about a destination.
6. Make a Travel Bucket-List Board
While you are researching new destination ideas, put them all into a visual board or a diary list so you have something to look forward to! Just like many people make a vision board for all their life goals, you can also make one for your travel goals.
The board can be physical like something hanging on your wall or it could be digital, like a Pinterest board or a desktop collage on your computer.
Doing a travel bucket list board might help to keep you positive and focused on the good that is to come.
7. Have a Mini Staycation At Home
Get creative with this! If you have a backyard, go camping. Get out the sleeping bags, pitch a tent, make smores and sleep under the stars. If you are locked down in an apartment, try turning your place into a day-spa with music, treatments, and essential oils.
The whole point of the staycation is to do something different and completely out of your normal routine at home, almost to the point where it feels like you have gone somewhere else. If your city has some flexibility on going outside right now, there might be some other cool staycation ideas to do in your area that are outside your house.
8. Research Your Ancestry For New Travel Ideas
Last year I took the 23andMe DNA test and was really intrigued by the results. I had a basic knowledge of my ancestry but learning the exact areas where my ancestors came from is driving me to explore those areas. In fact, I had already been to some of the cities prior to getting the test done, and now I want to return as I will appreciate it under an entirely different lens.
There are two major tests out there you can take to find out more about your heritage: 23andMe and Ancestry. Either one is great. Once you have your report back, start to dig into the cities and countries it gives you to see where you might enjoy reconnecting to your roots. Who knows, maybe you even have family there that can host you!
9. Get Stocked Up For Future Trips
Have you ever started packing for a trip and suddenly realized that the zipper on your luggage was broken? Or you forgot to order silicone travel-sized bottles for your conditioner? Or that your passport is expiring soon?
10. Take Free Online Courses at Harvard
Nothing says “I love travel” than doing an online Humanities course at Harvard. They have lots of super interesting courses, and yes they’re free, on subjects like ‘China’s First Empires’ and ‘Ancient Egyptian Architecture’.
Many big-name colleges offer free courses online, so do some digging and see if you can find one that will also inspire your travel curiosity.