First, I need to share my friend Lindsay’s newest post over on her fashion blog Lindz Look! We went to a Women’s March together in Concord, New Hampshire last weekend and she so eloquently expressed a lot of similar things I’ve been feeling about the current political climate–something that is a little hard to process when we’re so isolated out here on a tiny island. Read it or don’t, but I just wanted to share because it was such a beautiful and humbling day!
Okay now on to the travel stuff!
Traveling at your whim, without barriers of money, time, or student loans is a dream of many–but that’s not the real life most of us know.
Now, I really do try and make a point to travel outside the country at least once a year by saving a bit along the way, but sometimes it can be overwhelming to plan and finance. When you’re as obsessed with traveling as I am the travel bug hits hard and holds tight, so I’ve found myself constantly trying to satiate my wanderlust with different activities I can do at home.
I’ve found that it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing, just as long as it spurs the similar feelings you get when you travel. For me those feelings come from discovering and learning new things, challenging myself, getting out of my comfort zone, and meeting new people.
Keep reading to find out what I do to curb wanderlust!
Study a New Language
I read a book about a woman escaping to Paris for two years, Paris Letters, and I immediately wanted to do the same–not realistic, right? So instead I decided I wanted to learn french on the spot. I spent one evening on duolingo trying to learn how to say black cat (chat noir!). Now my french is still a work in progress but with the internet and abundance of free apps, there is no reason to not to challenge yourself and learn the language of your dreams.
Watch a Foreign Film
A few of my favorites Amelie (duh–and practice that french while you’re at it!), Zwartboek (Black Book), Les adieux à la reine (Farewell My Queen), Volver, and a few favorites from film school Pierrot le Fou and Ladri di biciclette (The Bicycle Thief). I’m a huge movie buff and sometimes this is all it takes for me to escape to another country for a little while! Combine this with the language you’re trying to teach yourself and you’ll feel worlds away.
Read a Travel Memoir
In the same vein as watching a foreign film, I love finding new stories about people who made travel a priority in their life! It’s inspiring and fascinating to hear how many ways others travel the world, how they make it happen, and what motivates them. Definitely allows me to escape for a bit. A few favorites are Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod, The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rues des Martyrs by Elaine Sciolino, What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir by Kristin Newman, and The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
Take a Cooking Class
Bonus points if you take a cooking class about an international food. The other week I went to a Middle Eastern cooking demonstration for a date night and it was SO GOOD. Not only was I learning about the cooking techniques, but I was also learning about the culture and why certain spices were used for practical purposes like preserving meats. Not to mention that any activity involving food makes me incredibly happy, so there’s that. If you live on Nantucket, the Culinary Center offers a wide variety of cooking classes even throughout the off season which is such a godsend during these “quiet” months.
Try Something New
This is something I try to do often whether I have wanderlust or not–but who am I kidding, I always I have it! I’m just saying it’s always a nice reminder that there might be something right under your nose that you’ve never tried. Like booking a flight lesson with your local airport, renting a kayak or canoe on a nearby lake or pond, or simply trying out a new restaurant or taking a new route on your dog walk. It’s all about mixing it up and discovering new things!
Meet New People
This is probably the hardest one, especially if you’ve lived in one spot for years. Why look around to reach out to others when you’ve found your “people”, your “tribe”? But I think this is such a vital part of lives, connecting with people and broadening our network. It will only open our eyes to more realities and perspectives of the world around us. This is something more people are open to on their travels, but I think we can do this at home. Just signing up for a class about a new hobby you’re trying to break into (on your own! not with a friend) like knitting, photography, videography, editing, coding, rock climbing, cooking, pastry making, horseback riding, scuba diving, painting etc. is a great way to meet new people. You can take a page out of Rob’s book and simply try meeting new people for no reason–check out his amazing project Robs 10k friends .
Have a Staycation
This is one of my favorites–and I’ll admit, the laziest of them all. There’s two ways to do this: on a budget, and well–not. I always fall into the former! Also, make sure you have no obligations or chores to do for at least one day if not the whole weekend or you’ll just feel stressed out about not getting stuff done when you’re trying to pretend you’re somewhere else.
a) Book yourself into a local hotel/airbnb/bed and breakfast, make reservations at a restaurant you’ve never been to and act like you’re on vacation! Drink cappuccinos, wander into the local museum you’ve guiltily never been to and that used book store you’ve been meaning to check out, order cocktails before dinner and dessert after.
b) Spend Friday night giving your apartment a good scrub, wash your fluffiest robe and clean your sheets, and get some fresh pastries and really nice coffee. Spend the morning sleeping in and enjoying your pastries and coffee in bed as if you’ve ordered room service. Use the same agenda as above et voila, it’s as if you’re on a vacation but at home!
Be a Local Tourist
Go to tripadvisor.com and find all the number one rated attractions, restaurants, landmarks, museums, things to do…make a game of it and try to go to all of them in a month, or longer depending on the size of your town or city. Keep in mind that someone somewhere has probably thought of visiting your region. Put yourself in their shoes and try and see your local area through fresh eyes.
Take a Day Trip
Hopefully you see the progression from simply reading a book or watching a movie in bed, to getting out in your own town, and to finally just exploring a little further! All it takes is a short bus ride, train ride, or drive to make you feel like you’ve “escaped” town for a little while. New small town to explore, new winery or brewery to taste, new mountain to climb, new lake to swim in…heck even just the trip in the car is enough to fulfill my wanderlust sometimes. There is so much of this world to see, and you can start in your own back yard. It just takes a little bit of effort and even if it doesn’t seem that adventurous or exotic, it’s different and that’s good.
This may seem a little off topic compared to the rest of this list, but I think it’s a great opportunity to broaden your horizons, meet new people, and get a fresh perspective. So often I come back from a trip feeling enlightened and full of purpose…I get a similar feeling from volunteering and I suggest you try it out too! There are plenty of causes these days that could use support, and it’s a humble way to keep everything in perspective.
How about? Do you feel the desire to travel a lot? What do you do to curb your own wanderlust?