How to Combat the Travel Itch (Without Traveling)

How to Combat the Travel Itch

Ugh. The Summer Travel Slump is on. It’s kind of my own fault really. As you read last week I took my summer trip to visit my friend in Maryland recently and now that I’ve been home for a few days I’m officially experiencing a full-blown case of Wanderlust. It’s like the moment I’m back in my normal routine I want to take off again to parts unknown. While it would be great to be able to do this I am not a billionaire and my boss would be less than thrilled with me basically being an empty chair. A girl’s gotta eat after all  and finance her strange obsession with sharing tips with strangers on the internet(more to come on that in the near future).

So as I lie awake dealing with my severe case of Wanderlust I’ve come up with the following list of helpful ways to trick myself into believing I’m traveling when I’m really not and for all of you who got bit by the travel bug I’ve come up with some alternatives that JUST might stave off the next stage of Wanderlust which involves staring endlessly at my “Places I’m going Board On Pinterest” and sighing wistfully.

So without further ado here’s what I’ve got:

1.) Find a  Local Scenic Byway and Just Drive It- There’s are relatively easy to find and  are a good way to escape for a few hours and see something spectacular (and they’re free minus the gas which is a plus). A Quick  google search usually turns up a few. Also, there are a number of good books about scenic byways National Geographic has a great one with over 300 of them:

I recommend shopping for it on Half.com that place is AWESOME!
I recommend shopping for it on Half.com that place is AWESOME! (click for link through)

2.) Go to an Exotic Restaurant- If you’re looking to get away and you just can’t at the moment why not let your taste buds do the traveling? I’ve sampled Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Polish, German, Indian, Greek, Lebanese and Cuban cuisine without ever leaving my home state (most of the time without really leaving my home county now that I think about it).  I do my research well though to find authentic traditional restaurants and not some watered down Americanized chain. It’s a great way to learn about food culture too! I learned that Ethiopians feel that you should never feed yourself first. That when you eat with someone the first bite of your meal should be your companions.  In fact, you normally have to feed them yourself! It makes for a romantic night out for just me and the fiance AND it’s fun!

3.) Watch a Travel Movie- Similar to the restaurant theme but this time you make some travel eye candy instead. There are tons of amazing movies about travel. I’ll have to make a more comprehensive list at some point, but some of my favorite recommendations are The Way with Martin Sheen:

And the Secret Life of Walter Mitty with Ben Stiller:

4.) Read a Travel Book- Another feast for the grounded traveler’s imagination. You could be curled up in your own bed and still be exploring the peaks of Kilimanjaro, or sailing across the Pacific in a balsa wood raft, or hiking through the North American wilderness. Of course there are a lot of possibilities  here, so much has been written. A good one to get you started is Kon Tiki (the balsa raft story). From there I recommend you search based on your interests.

By Thor Heyerdahl
By Thor Heyerdahl

5.) Do something that only shameless tourists would do- Find the most popular touristy attraction in your area and make it a point to just go there. Most of the time I don’t bother with checking out my local attractions because I live here! I can go anytime, but when that travel itch needs to be scratched those local attraction guides look mighty appealing after a while.

6.) Hone your traveler skills- In between my various trips hither and thither I have been known to brush up on my languages (I’m learning Spanish, French and Italian currently with plans to learn more). I also practice taking photos (sometimes I shamelessly take pictures of my food and post them on Instagram…I’m all about full disclosure). And I do research how to improve my travel IQ like when  is it the best time to buy airplane tickets, what’s the etiquette for the countries I want to visit.

Best FREE App for Learning Languages on the go...did I mention it was FREE?
Best FREE App for Learning Languages on the go…did I mention it was FREE?

7.) Make your next traveling playlist- If you’re seriously running out of options and you have an evening to kill I say pop the cork on a fresh bottle of Reisling and  sit down to craft your next playlist of travelling jams. Whether your need stuff to help drown out your overly talkative plane neighbor or some cruising tunes for your next road trip music has a way of both feeding the hunger while delighting your imagination.

8.) Plan your next trip- this is your last possible chance. If you’re still rolling back and forth in your bed at night wondering why you’re not off exploring your next big adventure then it’s time to break out the memo pad and start figuring out the finer details of your next trip…or you could stay up late blogging about it…just sayin’.

Did I miss anything? How do you fix a serious case of wanderlust when you’re stuck at home? Comment Below!

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