How much time do you spend travelling every year? Two weeks? Three? Four if you’re lucky?
What about the other 48+ weeks? How can you experience what you love about your holidays and travel in everyday life?
Here are some top tips for creating – or recreating – the feeling of travel at home.
Be a tourist at home
Yes, it’s a cliché.
Godamn it, just wear your Bermuda shorts, hang your expensive camera off your neck and walk really slowly. And give it a rest about the cliché thing 😉
Or … go on that walking tour of your city. Pack a picnic for a day out in the countryside. Head into the gallery you’ve walked past on your way to work for the last two years (note to self: I need to do this!) Visit a neighbouring town on market day and starting taking pictures of fruit and vegetable displays!
Whatever works for you, it’s all good.
Travel at home on public transport*
*Don’t take this advice when you need to get a Benny bookshelf home from IKEA.
The bus, the train, the tram, a ferry … they give you three things a solo journey in the car can’t:
- You can take in the scenery/countryside. Unless you’re in a commuter train. In which case you’ll be too busy smelling someone’s armpit whilst contorted into a position a yogi would be proud of.
- The chance to meet new people. Y’know, in the way you do when you’re on holiday.
- The potential for a travel story to tell. Most of mine seem to involve random strangers offering me food/alcohol. Yup, even in the UK.
Of course, going sans car also gives you the opportunity to vigorously bemoan the price of public transport in your own country: ‘£5!? Are you kidding? I’m only going 10 miles! I could get all the way across Nicaragua for that!’
Find travel events and exhibitions
I spent my Saturday evening looking at pictures of elephants in Namibia and hearing tales from the guy who took them.
You can find photography exhibitions such as the Travel Photographer of the Year, literary events or business festivals featuring talks by explorers such Sir Ranulph Fiennes, themed events and shows such as the Banff Mountain film festival, talks by folks who’ve lived, worked, explored, or snapped pictures in exotic locales … including Namibian-elephant-photography types. They’re all happening at a location near(ish) you.
You just need to put in the Google time to recreate your travel vibe or inspire your next adventure!
Can’t find anything suitable? Create your own! Meetup allows you to create your own groups.
Travel at home through your tastebuds
Can you find your favourite travel taste back home?
I get quite excited by anywhere that sells churros and chocolate; churros being long strips of sugary doughnut awesomeness. They’re the Spanish equivalent of a 2am kebab.
My life was almost complete when a local cocktail bar started serving pisco sours (thanks to Chile and Peru for that particular discovery).
I also get slightly upset if Thai food uses Western aubergine (eggplant) rather than Thai aubergine. Note to self: Western aubergine is not evil and I am not the food police.
Why not go on your own authentic food hunt?
If anyone can find good Mexican food (not of the Texmex variety) in the UK, please tell me where 🙂
Let the written word be an inspiration…
Travel blogs, works by authors such as Paul Theroux, Rolf Potts or Bill Bryson, books set in locations near and far (Our Man in Havana, A Town Like Alice).
The written word can bring worlds from far away into our hands and imaginations.
And … it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune … Apps like Overdrive allow you to download books for free from your local library.
You can also support your favourite travel bloggers by using links on their sites to buy your books online 🙂
Look at pretty pictures on Instagram!
I have to admit, I’ve become a bit of an Instagram-o-holic.
Not only are there some awe-inspiring photos to give you destination-planning wanderlust, there are more formats, light techniques and angles on show to give you photography ideas and tips for when you get there.
I’m currently lusting after the Spanish region of Andalucia. Again. And sunsets over water pretty much anywhere. I’m drooling over these accounts:
@andy_roxby – Yorkshire. Beautiful Yorkshire
@jsftravel – Travel pics from around the world
@esejapan – true inspiration on my recent Croatia trip
@ludesfleurs – colours, colours, colours
@ig_andalucia_ dreaming of Andalucia, Spain
Plus, you can follow me … @thegapyearedit, of course!
How to travel at home: summed up
By expanding our mindset around “what we usually do when we’re at home”, experiencing the travel vibe doesn’t have to be limited to the moment from which we step off a plane.
Don’t be fooled into thinking all the magic happens somewhere else. Some of it is right there, on your doorstep.