I have no major travel plans for fall.
I know, I know, this is a travel blog, but I’m not a blogger-by-profession and I’m not doing a RTW trip as full-time travel bloggers like to say, (for the rest of us, it stands for “Round The World” trip…I think). There are always pauses between trips, and between starting a new job, beginning plans on our house and trying to you know, eat, I haven’t had much time to think about it anyway.
The truth is, in a certain sense I am traveling.
Traveling is about planning, thinking – dreaming. And that’s exactly what I’m doing.
“Travel is not only a destination. Travel is a state of mind.”
My big trip this year will be a trip back to Ohio for Christmas to visit family and friends – the first time back home in over 10 months! In the meantime, I’m planning, thinking and dreaming about my future house that we’re working on, about spring travel plans and even summer travel plans. I read about far-off lands and gluttonously click through pictures of southeast Asia, South America or any other place that catches my eye. It’s all about the travel spirit. So with that, here are my top ways to “travel” without traveling at all! How to capture the excitement, the newness of travel in our everyday lives.
Read about far-away places
This might be one of the easiest. Reading has always served as a way to transport us out of our own heads – to put ourselves in the position of another, whether that’s in the character’s mind or in the land that they happen to be in. In these months I’ve devoured what seems to be only “travel” books: A Moveable Feast, Invisible Cities, The Return, The Savage Detectives, A Thousand Days in Venice. If a story gives me more insight into another culture or landscape all the better!
Watch a foreign film
Or, if you really can’t get into the reading thing, watch a foreign film. Listen in another language, choose an unknown culture or location. Or, choose a film with the setting as its main theme. Italian cinema is fantastic – get lost with Audrey Hepburn in the streets of Rome or find the subtleties of life and death during wartime with Benigni. My most recent “escape” was Life of Pi.
Learn a second language
Though learning a new language is hard work, it’s one of the best ways to truly learn about a culture – not to mention how it helps your travels! Meet the people, explore the country, but only when you start to understand their language will you start to truly understand the culture, the mindset and the history. With a second language you’ll be constantly traveling. Traveling with each verb conjugation, translation and conversation.
Read the world news
Stay updated people! Learn about the politics of a country, study your dream destination and read what’s going on so you’ll be up-to-date for when you’re finally able to go!
Take a class
Learning something new brings you instantly in the travel mentality of having to handle a novel situation. “Prepare” for that dream trip to Thailand or Italy by attempting to cook the local cuisine – whether in a class or even at home. Sign up for karate, yoga or polo. Learn how to hang glide, sky dive or knit. Try something really out of character to open you up to the possibility of many new situations or experiences.
We write for a million reasons. But writing, like reading, can be an excellent way to travel. Let your imagination take you to another part of the world or travel within yourself and you’re sure to discover and experience just as much as when your plane touches down in a new land.
“Travel” in your hometown
Being away from my hometown for so long I’ve realized how little I ever actually played the part of “the tourist.” I would only have an idea of what I could tell an out-of-towner of my hometown if they asked. When I go back I plan to search for some new “see, eat and do” ideas! In the meantime I “travel” Monza every day, choosing new roads and discovering new nooks and crannies – and I’m still attempting to find the best pizzeria in town!
If this blog could have a hashtag I’d want it to be #getoutside. Go outside! When we travel we’re not in our houses all day or attached to our computers, we’re delightfully unplugged (at least from our desks) and excited to explore, walk, and enjoy the day, whether in the city or country. Being outside helps us to relax, stay fit and discover new things, whether about a place or ourselves. It’s an inherent mode of travel!
Duh! Though I don’t have anything planned, I’ve been wildly dreaming of my “next big trip.” Will it be to Cambodia or Indonesia, Turkey or Israel, Argentina or Peru? With each new fact I read about the different countries I grow a larger mental inventory of each destination. In August it’s winter in South America but a great time to go whale-watching in Patagonia. When is the monsoon season in southeast Asia? Which areas of Turkey and Israel might be unsafe for American passports? It doesn’t matter if I take any of these trips or none, my dreams transport me to each place.
Use a Pinterest board, make a list, clip photos; Dream up a trip as if it was real and it’s more likely to become just that!
It’s not just about traveling in the physical sense of the word. It’s about living the travel life, the travel mentality. It’s about being a “yes!” person like I wrote about here, about keeping an open mind to newness, to opportunities, to experiences. It’s about knowing that though the most traveling I’m doing in these months is from work to my apartment, it’s still a part of the journey.
My short, but important, journey.