Having wanderlust feels like your soul is lit on fire. Being ‘bit by the travel bug’ makes you feel like that bug had rabies, and now you’re crawling out of your skin.
The only way to satisfy that urge to sell your stuff and jump on a plane is……to travel.
Or, is it?
There’s nothing worse than a wanderlust itch that you aren’t able to scratch. Sometimes, even though we want to travel, it’s just not in the cards. Usually, a lack of funds is a determining reason, other times, it’s debt or a job that’s holding us back.
Sometimes, we want to travel, but we know it’s in our best interest to stay home, work on that career, be with family members, or save for a house. Other times, we have kids and pets to take care of, or a sibling who needs our help.
Whatever it is that’s holding you back from travel, take a moment to evaluate it. If it’s not possible to rid it from your life and hit the road, you can bring the road to you. Seriously.
So, how can you travel when you can’t actually go anywhere? Here are 5 things to try.
Send & Receive Postcards
Come on, postcards are such a fun part of traveling! They don’t take much time to write, they usually show off a pretty picture, and in these modern days of email, getting something in the mailbox is more exciting than ever. Feed your wanderlust by sending some postcards out to your friends and family members who live elsewhere.
Want to take it even further? Join Post Crossing, a free website that generates a random name and address of another user for you. Once you get your person, and check out their profile, you can send them a postcard from your hometown. Your post crossing mate could be from anywhere in the world and once you start sending out cards, you will start receiving them too. The sound of the mail truck will be enough to satisfy that travel itch for a while.
Drink Coffee From Around The World
Do you love coffee? Statistically, there’s a good chance that you do. I mean, what’s not to love? It smells incredible, it gets you motivated for the day, and it’s super tasty, whether you’re a milk and sugar kind of person or like it straight up.
Like wine, coffee tastes different depending on where it originates in the world, making it particularly exciting to sample. Whenever I visit a new place, one of the first things I want to know about is the coffee. And, certain places on the globe, like Hawaii, Ethiopia, and Guatemala, are known for their coffee. On a recent trip to Colombia, another coffee hot spot, I collected bags of beans from different cafes, and shoved as many of them in my suitcase as possible to take back home.
But, when you aren’t able to travel, and Starbucks is your only salvation, you could try signing up for a coffee subscription service, like Atlas Coffee Club, which will send you a bag of beans from different places around the world. You’ll get a new one every month and it will come with a postcard about the destination that it’s from too. Bring the world of coffee right to your AeroPress. Don’t have a coffee maker at home? Atlas Coffee Club will even teach you how to make a perfect cup without one!
Eat Food From Around The World
Traveling and eating are almost one in the same. A trip to a new place wouldn’t be complete unless you sampled their delicious offerings. Who goes to Italy without gorging themselves on pasta and gelato? Who heads home from their Israel trip without trying Falafel or hummus at least once. No one! OK, maybe some people, but they’re total monsters.
But seriously, eating the food of another culture is a great way to feel like you’re traveling, even when you can’t. You can just start off by researching restaurants in your city, trying to find a local Malaysian spot or Thai Fusion restaurant. Perhaps your city has a Chinatown or a Little Greece, where you can submerge yourself in some global grub for an afternoon.
And, if you are a bit on the lazy side, or your hometown completely lacks culture, you can order a subscription box of worldly cuisine. Try The World subscription box will send you monthly hauls of perfectly curated foods from around the world.
Check Out Local Tourist Attractions
Ok, ok, I know you’ve lived in your town FOREVER, but I’m pretty sure that you haven’t seen everything there is to see. And, even if you have seen most of the attractions in your town, there are surely places nearby that you could visit.
Driving thirty minutes or an hour to a neighboring city or town can be done in a weekend, or even a day, giving you the chance to feel like a real tourist without going very far. Also, you should consider broadening your ideas of what a tourist attraction actually is. It doesn’t have to be something that makes it into Lonely Planet guys! Try a state park, historical monument, a farm, an interesting restaurant or an intriguing piece of architecture.
This one really depends on your living situation and your level of comfort with strangers. If you love traveling, there is a good chance that you love to meet new people from all over the world.
Even if you live in the suburbs or in a small town, there is a chance for you to host travelers. You can put your couch or extra bedroom up on Couchsurfing.com, a free networking website for travelers. Once you list your property on the site, travelers can request to stay with you. If you approve, you can expect them to crash in your home, share some great stories, and let you tell them about the best tourist attractions in your town. You can also host people on AirBnB if you want to add a little extra money into your situation too.
And, if you happen to live on a farm, and have some extra room, you can host travelers who volunteer their time to help you in exchange for room and board through WOOFING.com.
If you’re trying to fight off a monster travel bug but just can’t seem to ditch it, try one of these methods of traveling without actually going too far.