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Anna-Fee
Freiburg im Breisgau

General Travel

How do you deal with the travel bug when you can't travel?

I guess the situation is familiar to most of you:

You want to travel so badly but you can't because of work, money, family, health, time issues. How do you satisfy your need to see new places and to meet new people, to be in the nature and to escape your daily life? 


23 Answers

top answer by
Diane from New York City

I satisfy my need to travel when I can't by planning in great detail my next vacation. I explore hotels, restaurants, tours, places to visit etc. using many websites and books. My husband calls it "traveling in my mind".  

This way when I am ready the information I need is all there and planning is something I really enjoy. Looking forward to the trip is great too.


7 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Tiffany from Corvallis

Travel where you live. It's easy to become blind to the places within our own day to day boundaries, to forget the beauty of the land just with in an hour's drive. Living in Germany, you are surrounded with truly beautiful country, yet when I lived there, most of the locals hadn't seen half the things I'd seen in our region. Think about what makes your particular region special and try to pinpoint those cultural nuances that stand out.

1. Go outside. Hike/bike/row every path you can find. Search your region like a treasure hunt and find those places that you didn't know about.

2. Pretend you're going to write a travel guide on your local area and find out what places are there that you haven't been to yet.

3. TALK to people. Be inquisitive. Talk to the farmers, bakers, chefs, historians in your home town. Learn as much as you can about the people around you and ask about behind-the-scenes opportunities to photograph, learn, and possibly write about what you've seen.

4. Eat! Even on a small budget, you can try little things. Stop in a restaurant you've never been to and try a new food - even a small appetizer. Try a new wine/beer, learn about all the things cooked/grown locally.

Learn to look at your home as if it's a travel destination and you'll be surprised at how interesting it can be.


6 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Heny from Jakarta

Hi Anna, I believe travel does not always mean going abroad or getting in a plane. Traveling can simply mean exposing yourself to new places, cultures and environment. The easiest thing I would do is to change my routine or to try something new, i.e. taking public transport if I'm driving, trying a new restaurant/cuisine, attending a cultural festival or visiting new parts of the city. Basically, introducing the excitement of adventures that I usually get from traveling to everyday life. Good luck!


4 thanks


answered by
Joao from Berlin

Read. Read as much as you can. This is the best "medication" -- maybe it's the only. I'm not sure if it works for you, but you should give it a try.

I say this knowing that nothing can replace the feeling of being in the wild, of being in the unknown, but at the same level, travel can't take you to places that books take you.

Think of this as a trade. Read and reach farther than ever the next time you travel. Travel and reach real and authentic places on your next reading.

The wonder we're gifted on both experiences gives us new ways of seeing the world.


3 thanks


answered by
Michael from San Jose

Here in the USA, we are fortunate to have really awesome National Parks like Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, etc. When I was younger, broke, no vacation time form work and with young kids (which is basically the situation in this question), we would frequent our National Parks for short three day weekend trips. For a fee of less than $20 and a lot cheaper than amusement parks like Disneyland, you get a week's pass to the parks. You can hike and do outdoor activities. The activities are not burden to our budget and we appreciate the beauty of nature. For maximum fun, you can organize an informal get together with your buddies and relatives to go these parks for camping and socializing.

Some county parks are even closer to where I live. Majority of the parks are free to the public and almost as big as some National parks. Usually, they are an hour drive from my house. I believe in Germany and in Europe have many parks also (which I have not visited because usually I go to the touristy areas due to time constraints).

I am from the Bay Area (San Francisco-San Jose). So, we also have beaches (Santa Cruz and Monterey) to explore and enjoy- also for free.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Yosemite National Park (park)
  2. Yellowstone National Park (park)
  3. Grand Canyon National Park (park)
3 thankscomments (1)


answered by
patrick from Minneapolis

I like to open up google maps and zoom in.  There's so much stuff about Minneapolis that I learn from just zooming around the map: new restaurants, shops, coffee bar or a new drive to try.  

Its also fun to learn the names of all the parts of town and look up strange sounding streets or local history which adds the dimension of time to your environment.  


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Minneapolis (city)
3 thanks


answered first by
Grace from New York City

Great question, Anna! I wish I could travel for a living sometimes, but I also love calling a place home. I love new local finds - new restaurants, bars or stores with new flavors and unique to the area. Talk to the waiter, bartender, owner, you may learn something new! Volunteering is a great solution as well! Not only are you serving your community, but you meet an abundance of people with different experiences, and puts your life into perspective. Also, it may be cheesy, but escape in a book or movie. There are so many stories to be told and amazing how writers can bring them to life in words and pictures.  


3 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Jack from Davis (California)

Re-read Paul Theroux's travel books!


2 thanks


answered by
Liz from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Read VAGABONDING. And realize you CAN travel. 

 

If you're stuck in the same-old with the same-old people and same-old routine every day, start paying more attention and really engaging with those people -- shake things up, do something unexpected every day.. And save up a little every day towards your travel goal. Ask even the random people you run into what's a travel inspiration they'd like to share with you. Ask them who you should look up if you actually go where they're recommending. You may be surprised what opportunities are out there -- people are usually more than willing to reminisce and may have thought of a way to do it better or cheaper if they had to do it over again.


2 thanks


answered by
Heidi from Colorado

I watch House Hunters International.  :-) 

True story.  


2 thanks


answered by
C. Margaret from Edinburgh

you just have to wait and plan, I didn't get my holiday in may/aug as I was unwell and not allowed to fly but I got all clear so now I am away in sept. sorry to hear about your problem but can you ask family to help out


2 thanks


answered by
Steve

Hello, for Me I travel to experience the sites, culture and people. So when I don't have time or resources to get on a plane and go big. I go smaller for the same experiences. I live in Oregon and have done many day trips to see wildlife areas, I go to Festivals, we have ghost towns and old historical sites all over my state. I listen to a lot of historical podcasts. I think that inspires me to go see these sites and try to imagine how it was then. A lot of times that is a influence in my destination descision to travel overseas. We have the beach, mountains & desert all in my state. All can be seen in a weekend. I enjoy mingling with the locals and doing what they do, even if it is just a Sunday breakfast in a old schoolhouse. Which is also something I would do when I go overseas. That helps me a little. I went to a Art & Air Festival yesterday. There were balloons, planes, artwork, food court & vendors. As well as live music. I also got to see a very interesting reptile display as well. All 45 minutes from My house and the enterance was free.


2 thanks


answered by
Teri from Walnut Creek, California

I think I did the best thing for me... I went back to school and became a Travel Consultant! I am constantly take continuing education classes both online and in person. Staying up to date on places I love, keeps me current, and allows me to give my clients better information!  Planning vacations for people (at least the way I do it!) keeps my mind in that place! Then I go there myself, as often as time and money will allow!


2 thanks


answered by
Arpit from Jaipur, Rajasthan

Start travel within your dreams or relive the memories of the old trips via photos


2 thanks


answered by
Ragan from Nebraska

Lots and lots and lots..and LOTS! Of travel shows, movies, books!


2 thanks


answered by
Jared from Sydney

Hey Anna-Fee, 

I usually write about the adventures I've had, look through old photos and plan for the next travel destination! Sometimes escaping the monotony of daily life and work is easily found in reading someone's blog, living vicariously through a book or watching stunning documentaries. 


2 thanks


answered by
Janelle from Charleston

Watch reruns of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern


1 thanks


answered by
Tammy from Saint Petersburg (Florida)

I agree with Diane G answer too but most people don't realize that they are great places to see in your own home town or nearby. One year I made a point to visit every Park in Pinellas County! That's a lot of parks. Challenge yourself to think outside the box and stop in and eat at a restaurant that's out -of- the - way. Even 15 miles will make you feel your some place else which U.S. Wanderlusters need!👍


1 thanks


answered by
Edna from Paris

Hosting Couchsurfers!

I love being able to meet new people from around the world and learn about their cultures, language, food, etc. Showing CSers around also helps me rediscover my city through a visitor's eyes, and the forums are a great place to meet new people and talk travel.

If you can't travel the world right now, bring the world to you!


1 thanks


answered by
Sistina

     When I am unable to actually travel for whatever reason, I make plans. Very detailed but flexible plans for when I do travel. I research such intangibles as the upcoming weather and plan wardrobe for packing. I contact everyone along my planned route with tentative dates. I schedule my doctor appointments early and lay in a good supply of vital meds and I clean my environment to make ready for any opportunity.


sistina


1 thanks


answered by
Trish from London

Hi Anna, 

I think this depends On how bad you have the bug. Are you happy with the holiday time you have at work? Or do you pine to be on the constant move?  

I was the latter, so I moved to London from Chicago (believe me, everyone thought I was crazy). Now i spend a lot of time on holiday, because it is more of an expectation than a privelage for Europeans...we get lots of time off and you can visit new countries over a long weekend. Many Brits take a 1 year "gap year" trip around the world between high school and College. I know that moving your life probably doesn't seem like reality right now, but I can tell you that there are lots of American expats living here (and in other amazing places) because they started with a dream of seeing the world and with a bit of planning and risk, they made it happen.  

Now, whether you want to move or just see the world for a short time, your best bet is to plan for a long break between jobs and just go off for one month or one year. Given the lack of holiday time in the US, it would be unrealistic and expensive to truly see very much while working. (I know you think you'll never be able to get a job again - but that's ridiculous- it's never been a problem for anyone I have known and it looks amazing on a resume). I can't tell you how many lifelong travellers do this..save money, plan and take the plunge. Or you can join something like the Peace Corp that makes it super easy to transition. I think it's really easy to get stuck in a rut, but if it is your passion, you need to know that there are lots of us (with real jobs and families) that have made it happen.


1 thanks


answered by
Sam from Stockholm

Hey Anna-Fee, first you have to ask yourself why does travelling tickle the senses that much. Why do we love seeing new places, experiencing new smells and trying stuff we never tried before. I guess all these things are subjective but one can come to the conclusion its because we are wired to love and long for mystic. So with that said exploring your own city is one way to go or explore the internet like I am doing at this very moment. Mystisicm can reveal itself in different ways and couple this with todays communication opportunities one can learn and find new treasures everywhere. 


1 thanks


answered by
Kelly from Massachusetts

One time I played Hawaiian music on my internet radio and just pinned tons of pics & tips of Hawaii. Sounds crazy but made me feel like I took a short vacation.


1 thanks




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