Okay my weary travelers, I don’t know about you but I am becoming weary in an entirely new way! Once exhausted from long (yet exhilarating) journeys, slow-going yet thorough research on our next destination or lengthy (sometimes windy and completely confusing) walks from train stations to hostels, we are now exhausted from the exact opposite!
It’s a unique time we’re in and there’s no doubt being stuck indoors all the time is beginning to take its toll on all of us. But there are still so many ways we can satiate our travel bug and stay excited through all of this! Below are a few of this tips that I’ve found that have helped keep away that pesky little rain cloud of negative thoughts.
Keep (or start!) putting money away for that next vacation or trip abroad.
Now I know for a lot of us right now tons of extra change floating around maybe isn’t a reality. Jobs have been upended and there’s a lot of insecurity in our futures, but even if it’s just a few dollars a week, it will give you something to look forward to when this is all over. Not to mention, every savings jar starts with just a few coins!
A couple friend of mine has actually taken the time to sit down and crunch the numbers on what they normally spend on ‘going out’ in a week (lunch out at work, happy hours, take-out for the family, etc.), and have found that staying in will actually save them a decent amount of money, and they’ve started to get really excited about what they can do with that money when this is all over. (I obviously suggested they start a travel savings, but I have the faintest feeling it might be going towards a wedding in the near future…)
But regardless of what they put it towards, I have really admired their constant focus on the positive in their world right now!
Before our world flipped upside down, I went through a time in the Fall where it seemed like no matter how much I made, no matter how many extra little gigs I took on for side cash, I just couldn’t put as much away every month as I wanted. One month I was only able to put $50 in my savings account. Now, what is ‘not enough’ for everyone will be different, but for me, knowing my general travel expenses (and the fact that my primary savings account exists specifically to fund my next adventure) I felt really disappointed, and even frustrated at all these unexpected expenses that had come up.
But, I reminded myself that everything is about perspective.
Sure, $50 doesn’t seem like much now. But when I’m traveling? That could be anywhere from 2 – 5 nights in hostel depending on where I am and what time of year I’m there, it can be dinner out for 2 on your next couples’ holiday, it can be a ticket to a theme park somewhere, it would probably even buy you entry into a couple different museums. It’s always good to remind ourselves how much of a difference our perspective on situations can make.
Side Note: My savings account is called “Adventure Awaits,” (a little cheesy, I know). But I did that so that every time I look at my bank accounts, I’m reminded why it means so much to be able to put any amount away, and what it’s all going towards. It’s also a reminder that any amount in there means I’m already that much closer to my next adventure.
Take some of this new found down time to research places you’ve always wanted to go.
Being a full-time grad student and still working remotely full-time, I can’t say this quarantine has gifted me with an excess of free time like it has for many people (okay, okay, I’m a little jealous, I’m not gonna lie!). But, with the down time I do have, I’ve made sure to do a few things every week to keep my travel spirit satiated.
First, I’ve been using the virtual world to explore amazing places all over the world. Though there would never be a good time for what we’re going through, we are fortunate that it has happened in a time where we very literally have the world at our finger tips. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? And thanks to modern technology, both the photography/video equipment and the internet, we are able to see things tens of thousands of miles away from us while sitting in the comfort of our home. (And let’s not forget to thank the incredible photographers/videographers who share these with us!)
Take some time today and google one place you’ve always been interested in seeing or learning more about. Click through the pictures and on links that catch your eye, see where the search takes you. You might end up like me and have a list a mile long by the time this is all over!
Which, is actually my second recommendation. Make a list of the places or sites you want to go see. Nothing helps ideas become reality like writing them down and making them real. Even if they seem not within reach or far away right now. Dreaming about and envisioning exciting adventures when this is over has been a key part in keeping me positive through all of this. Go ahead, dream a little! What else have we got to do with all this time…
And finally, I’ve been reading a lot more travel blogs. Hearing about other people’s adventures is just as exciting as imagining my own, and a lot of the new places on my list have come from reading some amazing posts about them. Not to mention, there are some pretty incredible bloggers out there with invaluable information, and having those tools and resources can be helpful in so many ways! Being prepared can help calm the pre-trip nerves, which I also talk about in my blog, Finding the Fear.
Plan a trip with friends, even if it’s just a weekend getaway.
My girlfriends and I had been talking about having a girl’s trip in April to celebrate one of our friends’ birthdays and because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good girlfriend getaway. But like so many people’s trips, our plans have been brought to a screeching halt. Though, I’d like to remind you all to keep celebrating those special events using our virtual world! But even though there is so much unknown and we can’t know when we’ll be able to properly celebrate together, we haven’t given up on our plans.
We are still talking about it, looking at the places we might want to go (we’re thinking Napa Valley Wine Weekend) and possible places we’ll stay while we’re there. What gets us all through these hard times is knowing that there will be an end, and when that end comes, we will be back with our besties cheersing our glasses in person.
Just because we’re temporarily stuck inside doesn’t mean we have to stop making exciting plans or thinking about all the possibilities of adventure after all of this. In fact, I encourage you all to sit down right now and make one plan for when this is all over. Maybe it’s a trip to your favorite brewery, maybe it’s that weekend away with your partner, or maybe it’s catching up with an old friend. Whatever it is, hold on to it through all of this, and know that there’s always something to look forward on the other side.
Until next time searchers. Stay safe out there.