How to Soothe Your Wanderlust When You Can't Afford a Plane Ticket
When you're scraping together pocket change to afford a coffee, having travel dreams can cause a lot of heartache. You'll find yourself thinking "Will I ever make it to Paris? How can I daydream of Europe when I can't afford pizza delivery?".
It's important to not give up on your globe-trotting visions. And while lack of funds may make hopping the next plane impossible, you can aid the heartache of a wanting to wander without leaving your neighbourhood.
Ready to beat the stuck-at-home blues? Try...
-Making an exotic meal.
New food is one of the best parts of travel, right? So give your mac'n'cheese recipe a break and go for something with a more global feel for dinner. Streaming traditional Indian music and making curry will make your kitchen feel worlds away from home. Practicing your Spanish and making a frittata will make the sunny coasts of your dreams feel closer. Who knows? You could find a new signature dish!
-Plan a dream vacation.
Take today's coffee money and stuff it in a jar on your dresser. Even if it's only 2 dollars, it's a start. You've made the first step to making your trip happen. Pour yourself a drink, bust out your laptop, and plan your ultimate vacation. While it may be months or years away, knowing you've started making your trip a reality will turn your "what ifs" into "when". Make your phone background a scene from the place you want to go, and decide to never give up until that picture can be replaced by the same scene but with you in it.
Remember to send me a postcard, ok?
-Be a tourist about town.
No matter how boring where you are feels, there's gotta be something to do there. When tourists come to town, where do they go? Chances are, you probably haven't been to the museums and attractions your area offers because...well, you live there. I've been guilty of this too, but choosing to look at your town as an outsider for a day can breathe new life into a stale space.
Take your camera and go exploring. You can try Trip Advisor's top attractions for your town or simply explore a new neighbourhood on foot, looking for hidden gems.
-Print photos from your last adventure.
I know it sounds old-school, but why not print some of the million photos on your phone? My mom always says "What's the point of taking all these pictures if you're not going to look at them?" and, well, she's right!
In a new apartment full of blank walls, I'll be pinning up pictures of my shenanigans in Shanghai, the afternoon I got lost in Xi'an, China (and found an amazing market!) and more of the adventures I was lucky enough to have this year.
Travel changes who you are, challenges what you think, and makes you see everything in a new light. Those who long to feel new earth beneath their feet understand this deeply. So, don't give up on your travel dreams. Soon you'll have unfamiliar sand between your toes. Remember that.