We are not traveling now, and frankly, it sucks. Life happens, and sometimes global pandemics happen (who would’ve thought, right?) and our plans get deterred. For the first time in years I was not going to a new country. In fact, I was barely leaving my house at all. So I decided to find ways to travel without leaving home.
As someone who usually travels multiple times per year, both nationally and internationally, I feel this void, strongly. When I was in my earlier 20s, I made a promise to myself that I would visit one new country each year, and I did just that…until 2020.
It may not be exactly the same, but there are ways to bring travel into our homes with us and fill the void (at least temporarily).
5 Ways To Travel Without Leaving Home
Watch A Documentary On A Place You Want To Go
If you cannot be there in person, what better way to immerse yourself in a new culture than by learning more about it? With channels like the Travel Channel and subscriptions like Netflix and Hulu, there is bound to be a documentary on one of the places that you want to go.
Watch it and learn more about that country and culture. Learn about the delicacies, the language, the landscape, the clothing, and so on. This way, when you can actually get there, you already know all about it and know exactly where in that country you want to know.
Watch Shows or Movies In Other Locations
Rather than watching the same old sitcom or reality show that takes places in your area or in your country, watch one that takes place elsewhere.
Is Paris on your bucket list? Netflix came out with Emily in Paris.
Love the UK? Try Peaky Blinders or The Crown.
Spain? Try Money Heist.
Ireland? P.S. I Love You is a great option.
Greece? Mamma Mia is just one of many.
There are so many television shows and movies that take place in other locations. You may not be able to physically be in one of those locations, but these can help you see the landscape and imagine you are there.
Cook/Order Food From That Country
Make it a night where you choose a country and you cook or order food from that type or make it a week-long activity where you have food from a different country each night! One of the things we like most about traveling is getting to experience all the different foods from that country.
This is something we are still able to do and bring into our own homes. Don’t want to cook? Order the food in. Don’t have a local restaurant of that type of cuisine?
Find a great recipe on the internet and try it. To take things to the next level, decorate your home in the style of that country. It can be as simple as printing out the country’s flags and hanging them up.
Play Music From That Country
If you’re like me, you like background noise while you’re working. Well, why does this background noise need to be songs you know and have already heard a million times? Choose a country and listen to that country’s top hits (there are playlists for this on apps like Spotify and Apple music).
You can also likely find some playlists on YouTube as well. If you prefer to not listen to music while you are working, you can have this playing in the background of your themed dinner.
What better way to set the atmosphere than eating the food of a country and having that music playing in the background? It will help you feel like you’re there.
Get Others In On The Theme
Whether you want to have a couple of people over for a small dinner party with cuisine from a specific country as described above, or you want to have it on Zoom, you can still experience “travel” together. If you can safely have it in person, invite a friend over and ask them to bring a wine/liquor from that country to supplement your dinner.
Be sure to have the music playing in the background, too! If you prefer to have it via Zoom, have a travel party! Have everyone come onto Zoom with their background changed to a location in the country you are “visiting.”
Everyone can have cooked the same thing or ordered the same thing and you can have a virtual dinner party. Or, simply, a fun cocktail affair where everyone is drinking wine/liquor from the area while you “travel” together. One person can even share their screen and go through a slideshow of pictures of different areas of that country.
Traveling is not the same right now. But, thankfully, we know how to travel without leaving home. It will not fully make things better, but it can help, and it can be fun, too.