Between global lockdowns and being short on time and money, sometimes you just can't scratch your travel itch. There are ways around that. From cooking to reading to virtually traveling online, you can capture the spirit and feeling of traveling to wherever you want to go without ever leaving home. Pack up your mental suitcases and put on your best traveling pajamas. With these tips on how to travel without leaving home, you'll be ready to make the journey when the time is right.
Read Travel Books and Blogs
Never underestimate your brain's ability to take you somewhere else while you're sitting comfortably at home. Travel books and blogs share the thoughts, feelings, and observations of professional and itinerant travelers, exploring the same old sites in new ways and finding obscure locations you might never visit in a hundred lives. Select your favorite potential destinations and choose a stack of books or browser bookmarks to cozy up with. You may discover reading is enough, leaving you free to pick another place or pathway whenever you want.
Explore Another Culture's Cuisine
Memory and experience are most strongly based in the senses of scent and taste. Before you cross the border of a particular country, explore the culinary personality of the place by preparing home-cooked meals from the region. Investigate the spices and seasonings of India, the salty-sour flavors of Mongolia, or even the rich, satisfying, and soulful dishes of the American Deep South. Pick up a few cookbooks, add a few new items to your grocery list, shop online for uncommon ingredients, and spend a Saturday preparing an international meal for your family. Sometimes, a good meal accompanied by appropriate and authentic music from the place you're "visiting" is the surest way to experience another culture.
Go on Virtual Tours
Even before the lockdowns, museums, zoos, performing spaces, national parks, architectural treasures, and other public and private spots around the world were available for virtual visits through live cams and 360-degree photographic images. Many of them now offer scheduled or pre-recorded tours with guides who will take you around the property, pointing out and explaining the history and provenance of certain pieces of art. Consider the fact that unlike someone 100 years ago, you can see the Louvre, the Vatican, the Smithsonian museums, and other famous repositories of art and culture all in the same day. Even with the fastest airplane, that would be impossible!
Plan for Tomorrow
After doing all the above, here's how to travel without leaving home: start planning a future trip, even if it's just an imaginary one. Gather up your travel guides and fire up the computer to start charting your journey. What will you bring? What would you most like to see? How will you mix up the means of transportation as you go by air, over land, or across the seas? Make a budget and start to put away money. With these preparations in place, you can hit the ground running when it's finally safe to do so again!