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For the Love of Travel
Wanderlust [won-der-luhst]: Noun. 1. A strong, innate desire to rove or travel about. 1902, from German Wanderlust, literally “desire for wandering”.
The wanderlust is strong with me, as the Force is with the Jedi. (Pardon the Star Wars reference…movie marathon-ing have we been of late). Travel is always on my mind, whether it’s reminiscing about past trips, planning an upcoming vacation, or dreaming of destinations far, far away…(there it is again). My travel bucket list is always close at hand, and ever growing.
I have been blessed to have travelled to various places, including the US, Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean, and many parts of my own vast nation of Canada.
My boys have always been good travellers too. Both had their first airplane rides as toddlers. Strapped into their carseats, bottle and blankie, they would be asleep before the plane levelled off at 35,000 feet. Nowadays, the electronics or a deck of cards usually keep them entertained, and thankfully they are big enough to haul their own suitcases and back-packs! (That in between time, when they are too big for strollers, but not big enough to carry a suitcase…can you say pack mule momma? But I digress…)
When You Can’t Travel
Lately though, as is common with so many others I know, circumstances just don’t allow travel to happen as in the past, or as often as I would like. Jobs, kids, and finances (or lack thereof) sometimes mean that trips to faraway places, or even those close by, can’t happen. At least not right now.
So, how do you keep the wanderlust alive and well, when you can’t fuel it with actual travel?
Here’s a list of my favourite ways to “travel”, even if it is just in my own backyard!
1. Get Inspired, and Stay Inspired
When it comes to finding travel inspiration, the choices are almost as endless as there are destinations in the world! Try some of these ideas to get your travel fix…
- Newspaper – check the Travel section of your local paper, or big newspapers online
- Magazines – general travel or destination specific
- Books – guidebooks, travel writers, even fiction in far off places
- TV shows – check out the Travel Channel, Discovery, Nat Geo
- Follow travel bloggers online
2. Create a Travel Bucket List
If you don’t already have one, start a list of the places you want to travel. Add to your list often! Destinations can be as big as a continent, like Antarctica, or as small as that pub in that little Irish town. Get specific.
Get social! Ask friends and family where they have traveled, or where they plan to in the future. You might just wind up with a travel buddy!
3. Research as if you were planning the trip
Planning a trip can be almost as much fun as the trip itself. Consider creating files for collecting information (paper or virtual, like Google Docs). Keep adding to it as you come across new ideas. This way, once you do get a chance to go, you’ll already have a list of must-do’s and must-see’s at the ready!
My favourite site for researching destinations is TripAdvisor. Everything from accommodations, restaurants, sights to see, and local events are usually listed, in order of popularity. Take reviews with a grain of salt, but the gold mine of information can be found in the travel forums. Here you can usually find trip reviews, itinerary suggestions, and ask “destination experts” (usually locals) questions or advice.
Like…How exactly do you find the pedestrian entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge (or that the better option is to take the subway to Brooklyn and walk back to Manhattan)? Especially on a very early Sunday morning when there’s no one around to ask for directions? Glad I already had the plan!
Or…This is my list of 25 things to see on the Big Island of Hawaii, and we have have 3 days. Thankfully a local expert made me see the light, because we only really had time to see about 10 of them.
(On a side note, you can also act as a “destination expert” for your own corner of the world and help others plan their trips! Check out the travel forums for your country, state or even city, and offer your advice to would be tourists!)
4. Start a Pinterest Board (or several…)
Particularly if you are a visual person, instead of (or in addition to) a document file, try Pinterest to store all those travel ideas you come across when you’re surfing the web at 3am. Make a Pinterest Board for each destination you want to travel to, and start pinning! You can find (and follow!) some of my past and future travel boards here!
5. Relive Past Trip Memories
With the advent of digital cameras, and cellphones cameras of ever increasing quality, there is less of a need to actually get your pictures printed. How many of you still have your vacation pictures stored in a file on your computer, or on your phone? I know I am terribly guilty of this.
Print out your vacation pictures and get them in an album everyone can look at. Start with your most recent trip. If that seems too daunting, try a single collage picture frame with just a few favourite pictures, like this one…
The World…At Your Fingertips
Want to keep these ideas handy? Pin it to your favourite Pinterest board…click here!
Whatever way you choose to keep the wanderlust alive, I hope you have found some inspiration for your future travels. Where will you go next, even if just in your dreams?