It can be really tough when you get that itch to travel, but circumstances prevent you from traveling too far or for very long. A big year at work and our first year of having a mortgage to pay off mean that there hasn’t been much scope for overseas trips in the last 12 months, but I have developed some strategies to help keep myself sane and grounded when all I really want to do is take flight. Here are some of the ways I help myself find that exhilarating and/or comforting feeling that travel always brings into my life.
Many mornings when I have to get up, shower and go to work, I try to visualise the excellent life place I was in when I was travelling solo for six months, back in 2013. The physical place that represents my adventure mindset that I always end up returning is Whistler in Canada, because I was there in summer and the landscape, hiking and people I met were amazing. I felt so free and grounded there. Most mornings when I am in the shower, shampooing my hair etc, I imagine I am back in the shower of my dorm at the Whistler Hi Hostel. This helps me start the day with the same peace and sense of wonder that I have when I am travelling. Every day is an opportunity to recapture the person I was that summer.
Prepare Your Body for Future Travel
Traveling requires endurance, and we are often far more active when traveling than when at home. Lately I experimented with being as active and adventurous in Sydney as I am when traveling, and found it really lifted my spirits. I bought new active wear that I love so much I would wear it all day if I could, and started getting up at 6am at least 3 mornings a week to take the dog for a 7 km walk around Sydney Harbour near our house in Balmain. I also started cycling 10 km to rock climbing twice a week and going for drives to the beach on weekends for an early morning swim. Not only do I feel much more fit, strong and capable, I feel encouraged by the fact that I am living the same active life that I would be if I were off on a long adventure. Let’s just say that I have already started my training regime for a life of future travel.
Downsize Your Possessions
After having been home for a while, most of us tend to start to accumulate possessions again. While I love having shelves full of books, an ice cream maker, and at least three big fluffy petticoats for wearing under vintage dresses, I often feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that I have. I often lie in bed at night doing an audit of my wardrobe, working out what would make the cut if I were to head off traveling, and what would stay behind. I’m making a point at the moment of selling or getting rid of a lot of possessions that I just really don’t need in my life any more, and whenever I buy anything new I think about whether this is something that will help me in the future if I decide to live a more transient life.
Make the Most of Your Weekends
Even when you work full time, there are weekends (especially long weekends) when you can get out of the city and go somewhere different. Even though it has been a very busy year without any overseas trips (NZ doesn’t count), I have been lucky enough to go on several short trips in the last year, including to Queenstown, Noosa, Melbourne, Mudgee, Brisbane, Tasmania, and the Hunter Valley. Even if you can’t jump on a plane or drive for three hours, there are still plenty of ways to explore your own backyard. Check out national parks near your home, cheap rental properties near the beach for the weekend, special excursions like walks or kayaking trips. I especially like We Are Explorers, an Australian community of adventurers who curate awesome microadventures that you can go on close to home.
Travel in Your Own City
Even if we spend much of our time dreaming of far-off or exotic locations, most of us are actually not that great at spending time alone. If you are thinking about traveling in the future, or just want to capture that magic travel feeling, try wandering your own city. Pick a suburb you have never been to before and visit for the day, go to museums alone, take solo ferry journeys, take a book to a restaurant or cafe with good atmosphere and eat out alone, visit bookstores and art galleries. Exploring your own city is a great way to revisit that sense of wonder you carry with you when you travel and gives you a chance to see your own home with fresh eyes.
Travel in Your Own Mind
Even if you can’t leave your home any time soon, there is no reason why you can’t expand your own experiences. Read world literature, watch foreign films, and cook meals from other cultures. Food is one of the most amazing things about traveling, and is something we savour and remember long after we have moved on to our next destination. A great way to live like you are travelling is to eat food from the places you would like to go (or have been). We love French and German Rieslings and have been thinking about going to Alsace for a long time. We planned to spend a month in France in 2017, with part of that time spend in Alsace, but unfortunately (due to a number of circumstances) it looks like we may not make it in the next 12 moths. But last night, to help myself imagine myself there, I cooked Coq au Riesling, and it was delicious. You would be surprised how many ways there are to travel to a place you have never been, even when you are in your own living room.