Looking for more ways to travel in the midst of a pandemic? I’m listing out several ways to travel without leaving home.
While people are getting more and more comfortable with traveling now that Covid seems to be becoming a mainstay in our lives and the vaccine becomes more readily available… not everyone is quite ready to jet set off quite yet. And that’s totally okay. You do you, boo! However, if you are finding yourself reading this travel blog and haven’t left your hometown since March 2020 you’re most likely suffering from a baaaad case of wanderlust. Or you’re like me and always suffering from wanderlust and can’t leave whenever you want because you have a 9-5 job. Whatever the reason may be, you don’t have to leave your home to feed your wanderlust.
Make an international cuisine
Flex your cooking skills and make a dish from another country! Head to a market and pick up some ingredients you may not find at your local grocer and get to cooking! Up the ante by decorating your living room in decor from whatever country your dish is inspired by and make a date night out of it.
Take a day trip
How many incredible places are right near you and you don’t even know?! From Columbia, there’s day trips to the beach or the mountains, to an amusement park, to a bigger city, a huge professional golf tournament, and a lake! I’m sure there’s also more that I don’t even know about. Type a quick google search of “day trips from *your city*”, and get to exploring! While the world is a huge place, don’t forget about everything you have to explore in your own back yard.
Eat at an exotic restaurant
I’m not talking about your local Mexican restaurant, either! While I’m absolutely guilty of sticking to what I know, many cities have great international cuisine restaurants. You may not make it to Ethiopia this year, but you can enjoy food from an Ethiopian restaurant! Try something new and get out of your comfort zone. This is a great way to explore a new culture and travel to a new place (figuratively) without leaving your home.
Watch a foreign film
Travel the world in a couple hours flat by choosing a film made or set in another culture. Bonus points if it’s actually in another language! I’m also a huge nerd and like to watch National Geographic. If you have access to Disney+, there are TONS of great nature documentaries. This article shares 23 movies that will make you want to travel and now a bunch are on my to watch list!
Learn a new language
Don’t remember any of that high school Spanish? Luckily, nowadays there are so many different ways to learn a new language without formal instruction. I personally use DuoLingo, but there’s Babble, the old faithful Rosetta Stone, and plenty more! I also love the idea of a language club. Get prepped for that next trip abroad by picking up the local language!
Get a photo book of your past travels made
If you don’t have any new travels in your planner, take a look back on some of your past travels! Finally get around to organizing those hundreds of travel photos you took by having a photo book made! I love the idea of a family yearbook or an individual book for each country or trip you take. I’ve used Shutterfly in the past, but think I’ll be using Artifact Uprising in the future.
Take a virtual trip
One thing that exploded during the pandemic is virtual experiences. With the amazing Internet, we have everything at our fingertips. So many tourism boards, restaurants, and museums created virtual tours and experiences so you could still experience the world without leaving your couch! From trying a famous cocktail recipe from your favorite restaurant to using Google Maps for a virtual road trip, you can travel without leaving your home! I love Smarter Travel’s guide on Virtual Vacations.
Plan a trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to go
I know, I know. Plan a trip when you’re intentionally not traveling? Seems cruel and unusual. But hear me out! I am constantly planning trips that may never happen. I love falling deep into Internet rabbit holes to plan trips to touristy destinations and off the beaten path locales. Aside from maybe being able to use the plans in the future, I am able to learn a little bit more about another place in the world–even if I never see it. Maybe I’m an outlier, but there’s something incredibly exciting about planning an excellently detailed trip, as well.
Read a book placed in another country
The easiest way to fall deep into another culture? Read about it! Non-fiction or fiction, biography or guide, reading makes it easy to get a taste of far away lands. I personally love fiction books about other cultures like Pachinko by Min Jin Lee or anything by Isabel Allende. I’ve also been known to dive into biographies like I am Malala and Educated by Tara Westover (not another country but definitely a world a lot different from mine!). Fuel your wanderlust with a good read. The best part is you can still be home by dinner!
Learn a new hobby
One of the best parts of travel is exploring something new, right? Learning something new, getting out of your comfort zone, and getting out of the norm. You can emulate that by just picking up a new hobby! Whether it be a new sport, crocheting, or building something, a new hobby will make you feel like you’re in a different world!
Explore your own backyard
This is one of my favorite ways to feel like I’m traveling without leaving my hometown! For so long, I was guilty of dreaming of far away travels to new countries and forgetting about everything my own hometown had to offer! Try a new hiking trail, a new brewery, or new restaurant. Attend local festivals and explore the resources your town has to offer. I like to use ColaToday emails to stay up to date on the happenings in Columbia and Offline to get deals to try new places in Raleigh.
Read a travel blog
Shameless plug, am I right?!!? But really. I started my blog during a pandemic, knowing there wasn’t going to be much travel going on in the immediate future. There was something comforting about finding creative ways to travel and reliving old experiences that just made me dive in. I also discovered some of my favorite new travel blogs and shamelessly stalked the old posts as well as rediscovered some old favorites that initially sparked my desire to travel more. While I hope you stick around here, if you’re looking for some new travel blogs check out a few of my favorites here, here, and here.
Okay friends! I hope you enjoyed this list and it got you thinking about ways to travel without leaving your home. What have you done over the past year or so to get out of your rut and explore in new ways? I’d love to hear in the comments!
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