It’s definitely been hard for me to fuel my love for travel culture during this lockdown however, I’ve found a few things to do that have helped cope in the meantime. If you see anything below that interests you, be sure to try them out. Have fun…and thank me later!
1. Read travel books
This has been a great way for me to travel while on my couch, sure it’s not the exact same thing but it’s been a great way to satisfy my appetite. Personally, since reading a few of these books my bucket list has grown. Books can be chockfull of trip ideas, stories, cultures to explore, information; it’s a whole untapped source of inspiration.
Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler’s Journey Home, by Matthew Kepnes
Matthew Kepnes, one of my favourite travel bloggers wrote this part travel memoir and part philosophical look at why people travel, it’s a moving exploration of wanderlust and what it truly means to be a nomad; travelling without any fixed destination or plan. It’s filled with ambitious and aspiration stories of his adventures. I got a lot of inspiration on how to travel as a nomad from this book.
The Dogs of Nam: Stories from the Road and Lessons Learned Abroad, by Christopher Oldfiel
This is no glamorous tale of luxury when it comes to travel, but a true recount of what it really means to be a traveller. Chris Oldfield details over a decade long of his adventures in a collection of short stories, showing how he backpacked on a budget and the lessons he learnt along the way.
His adventures (including the time he was stalked by a Jaguar in Costa Rica to living in a Buddhist Monastery in Japan) will hopefully give you enough courage to go out into the world and experience it for yourselves.
Rediscovering Travel: A Guide for the Globally Curious, by Seth Kugel
Seth Kugel writes for the first class flyer, tight- belted tourists, the eager traveller, and challenges travellers to reignite our sense of spontaneity which has been affected due to likes of Google Maps, Trip Advisor, Travel points. Through his stories and adventures he shows us how we can use digital technology without being shackled to them because travel is not about the destination but about the experience.
Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents, by Elisabeth Eaves
Elizabeth Eaves documents her life over 15 years of travel, from living in Australia to Cairo to Pakistan, trying to satiate her wanderlust. This book is sure to inspire you to travel, live life, and explore different cultures. She figures out how to come to terms with how to balance her life as a nomad and the life of someone with roots.
Ultimate Journeys for Two: Extraordinary Destinations on Every Continent, by Anne Howard and Mike Howard
Anne and Mike Howard, the founders of honeytrek.com teamed up with National Geographic to carefully curate this book that reveals hidden gem destinations for intrepid couples. Bringing culture, adventure and romance to any couple – no matter their age or budget.
It can be a source of inspiration when planning a trip (as a couple or solo traveller). The chapters are organised by type of destination; beaches, mountains or deserts. It has enough content to satisfy one’s wanderlust for years to come.
2. Watch travel inspired movies and documentaries
This is another way to feel transported to distant lands and culture – Movies and documentaries! I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy a movie or documentary So, check out the list of travel movies and documentaries you can watch now on Netflix:
This 9 episode series documents experiencing street food culture as one of the joys of travel. It’s about the enthralling survival stories of talented street chefs and their signature dishes. The first season takes the viewer to nine Asian destinations
The Dawn Wall
El Capitan in Yosemite is one of the most famous climbing destinations and the Dawn Wall, had never been free-climbed (the act of using equipment only to protect from falls, not to assist in climbing) until Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgensen took it on. The documentary explains the years of training and each climber’s motivation for attempting the world-record climb.
Pedal the World
Over the course of one adventure-filled year, Felix Starck documents his 18,000-kilometre bicycle journey across 22 countries.
The film is set in the hip Parisian neighbourhood of Montmartre. Incorrectly thinking that their daughter was born with a heart defect, Amélie’s parents decide to home school her. For good or bad, this causes her to develop an overactive imagination. As she grows up, viewers are able to see the beauty of Paris through Amélie’s eyes, as well as experience every mishap she creates and adventure she takes.
3. Peruse Travel Blogs
This is definitely one of my favourite things to do. It could be very inspiring to read through travel stories. You could end up spending a good couple hours getting lost in an adventure whenever you need an escape from the quarantine…without really escaping, of course! Loose yourself in travel blogs that have tales on travellers and their experiences. I mean reading some blogs titles like “10 pictures that would make you want to visit Iceland” definitely has gotten me in my feels a couple times. Personally my favourite travel blogs to read – just to name a few – are :
- National geographic travel
Cyber – stalk your favourite traveller! Don’t worry it’s not weird at all. Just going through their feed alone can be really therapeutic; the aesthetics, colours, the different locations will leave you feeling the cultures of different countries.
4. List to Travel Podcasts
- Black Women Travel: This podcast shares the stories of Black women who dreamed of making travel a priority. Women from all over the world who have varied travel stories; from, short – term travellers based in a particular country to long – term travellers living as digital nomads.
- Women who Travel: Hosted by the editors of Conde Nast Traveler, Women Who Travel pays homage to globe-trotting women around the world, and deep dives into what it’s like travelling as a woman. Covering a range of topics from hospitality to adventure, food and travel journalism.
- Zero to Travel: With ideas and advice on ways to travel endlessly, on your own terms while spending less money, Jason Moore from zerototravel.com regularly delves into what travel is, why we do it, and how we can do it better.
- Wild Ideas Worth Living: It’s all about having a wild idea and acting on it. The wildest ideas can lead to the most amazing adventures. This podcast, simply put, sparks a wordly intrigue. Each episode features interviews with pro-climbers, ultra-marathoners, authors and photographers.
- Amateur Traveler Travel Podcast: Hosted by Chris Christensen, this podcast focuses on all travel destinations and the best places to travel to. Pretty handy for all the nomads out there.
5. Travel with your Tummy
This is definitely a trial and error type of activity for me. Cooking a meal of a different culture you’re unfamiliar with can definitely be a little daunting at first, but the process is really enjoyable. I tried making some Tikka Masala which is a traditional Indian dish and the first try didn’t come out the right colour (I didn’t have all the required ingredients so I improvised a little), but I really enjoyed making it and that’s the whole point. Immerse yourself in other cultures at home through food!
Make dishes inspired by different cultures. You can be transported for at least a couple hours. If you wake up feeling like you want to go to Morocco why not make a tagine? Why not try your hand at some dim sum, set the scene so it feels like you’re in a Chinese cooking class learning how to make a traditional Chinese dish. So, once or twice a week why not pick a country, get a list of traditional cuisines of the country, pick the one you wish to prepare and get cooking.
Check out this site for a list of authentic dishes from Australia, to Sweden to Mexico you can prepare from the comfort of your home.
6. Plan your next Trip
I had to cancel a trip I planned on taking; everything was booked in advance, the hotel, the flight, the tours. Sadly, the hotel cancelled until travel restrictions have been lifted, I booked using booking.com which allowed me pick the option of paying at the property so fortunately, I didn’t lose any money.
A lot of people have had to cancel trips, rearrange their travel plans, lost deposits on tours. Right now, most countries are still on lockdown, boarders and airports are closed and movement is restricted, we don’t know when we will be able to travel again without the fear of contracting the coronavirus.
However, all this time at home has probably made you reminisce and realise what you’ve been missing or taken for granted. So, why not plan a huge holiday? Having a trip to look forward to can provide some solace – for when it’s safe to be out again. Pick your desired destination, your hotel, the activities to do, places to see, plan it to the tee so later, all you’ll need is to book what you’ve planned, get your passport and go.