How to Travel When You Can’t

A cancelled sign for flights

Like millions of other people around the World, I have had my travel wings severely clipped. By now I should be regaling you with stories about our Everest Base Camp adventure and dazzling you with photos of snow-capped mountains and breathtaking valleys. But, all our gear has been packed away, ready to walk another day.

I am the first to agree that my inability to travel is very much a ‘First World’ problem and there are millions of people around the Globe who have much more urgent and important issues to deal with.

Personally, travel brings me such joy and fulfilment that I do genuinely feel its loss and so I have decided that if I can’t travel physically, then I need to find a whole range of ways to travel mentally and emotionally.

Care to join me?

First off, let’s get this out of the way.

A sad and crying emoji with a tear rolling down its face
Source: pinterest

I give you full permission to have a good ol’ wallow about the dashing of your travel dreams and inability to travel.

  • Be disappointed that your trip has been cancelled and that you have to put away your suitcase and passport.
  • Be cranky that you have lost money on airline tickets, accommodation bookings and other expenses.
  • Be doubly cranky that the travel insurance companies have the ability to twist themselves into impossible positions to avoid honouring your travel insurance policy.
  • Be flummoxed about how you are going to fill this new gap in your calendar.

And then move on…

Travel Backwards
  1. A selection of polaroid photos laying on top of a mapPhoto Albums: Dust off those photo albums, prop yourself up with a refreshing German beer, Aperol Spritz or sake, and trip back down memory lane, reminiscing about all the wonderful, whacky and weird travel experiences you have already notched up in your passport.
  2. Travel Journals: I am an avid travel diary/journal keeper. I figure that one day when I am too old to pack my bag and head out the door, I can read my way back down memory lane. So, dig out your old travel journal and curl up with a café con leche, churros con chocolate, Sachertorte or Tiramisu and laugh about how much you actually paid for that beer in the back blocks of Borneo.
Travel Now
  1. Explore Your Own Backyard: Bearing in mind the vital social distancing and self-isolation rules that you may be subject to, it will be good for your soul to step out the front door and explore what is on offer close to your own home. A bushwalk, a bike ride, a stroll through historic streets will all help you recapture that small sense of travel.
  2. Movie poster for Roman Holiday featuring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. They are riding a Vespa with the Colosseum in the background

    Watch Movies: If ever there was the perfect excuse to binge watch movies, then now is it. Pick titles that feature your favourite travel destinations and try to spot familiar landmarks and places you have been. Or watch movies set in places you would like to travel to when this kerfuffle is over. Roman Holiday anyone?

  3. Social Media: Join Facebook groups and other forums which specialise in your travel destination or travel activity. There is something wonderful about finding your tribe where they speak your language and get ridiculously excited about the same things. I love the Camigas – A Buddy System For Women on the Camino group on Facebook. So much support and enthusiasm flows from this group.
  4. Follow Travel Bloggers and Insta-Stars:Stand on the shoulders of Giants” or other people who have written/photographed all manner of travel topics.
  5. A selection of travel books stacked up next to each otherArmchair Travel: Similar to point 2 about binge watching movies, how about grabbing a whole pile of travel books and memoirs, losing yourself and your sadness in the experiences of others. I bet every known travel experience has been documented somewhere. Check out old favourites such as Bill Bryson, Paul Theroux, Alice Steinbach and Peter Mayle.
  6. YouTube Travel: Walk a camino, surf a big break, tackle the path on the way to Everest Base Camp, step ashore in Antarctica or dine in a hatted-restaurant. All without changing out of your pyjamas.
 Travel Forwards

Yes, I know we are all going ‘nowhere fast’ at the moment, but you will never stop me dreaming.

  1. A white globe of the world with a coloured map of the countriesDevelop a Bucket List: Yes, refresh that Bucket List or develop a whole new one. With all the reading, listening and viewing you will have done, you will definitely have identified a tonne of new places that are now calling your name.
  2. Research Your Next Trip: Get serious and really dive into the detail, plan your itinerary, where you will stay, how long you will travel for, what you will see, and how you will get there. Basically plan every little thing except for the actual departure date. If you are like me, be an optimist and pencil in a departure date. Who knows what the next couple of months will bring?

Naturally all these activities will never replace the real thing or deliver the same buzz you get when you step off the plane in a strange and new country. It will though, keep our little brains busy, looking outward and importantly, looking forward.

Stay safe everyone. Wash your hands and keep your social-distancing happening.

And more importantly, keep dreaming.

 How are you coping with cabin fever? What travel tips and tricks do you have?

An open travel journal, camera and map of the world

Postscript: We have been able to reschedule our Everest Base Camp adventure to depart in late November this year. Now I really do have something exciting to look forward to!

#bucketlist #travelinspo #staycation #howtotravel #dreamingoftravel #covidtravel

32 thoughts on “How to Travel When You Can’t

  1. very happy to hear that you could reschedule. Keep safe and keep training!!xx


    1. Oh Lordy, the training has gone clean out the window long ago!! 🙂 But it will have to be revived well before November! Take care down there, Melx


  2. Awes6post Mel….thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know you are DEFINITELY dreaming of travel! Once the borders are open, we won’t see you for dust! 🙂 Have a great day and thanks for reading, Melx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is a first world problem, but I am with you. Travel means a ton to me and my mental health! Booking some short trips and looking into next year already. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This bug can’t keep us dreamers down! 😉


  4. Hurrah! about your Everest reschedule. That’s great news! This was a fun read. I like the idea of sitting down with a drink and the husband and reminiscing with old travel photos.
    Just the other day I couldn’t stop myself from creating a rough road trip route through the Balkans, even though it’s only a “some day” trip. Maybe starting to plan it is just what it needs to become a “some day soon” trip??

    Liked by 2 people

    1. WOW! The Balkans would be amazing. I have never been there, but the photos and history looks fabulous. “If you don’t know where you are going, you will never know if you get there”, so making a plan for the Balkans will definitely make it happen! Happy planning! Mel

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The Balkans is AWESOME! Romania remains the absolute highlight of our five years of full-time travel. I truly recommend making it a some day soon trip, before it changes too much.

      The history, nature and landscapes are out of this world and the people are lovely.
      There were so many highlights but one of the main ones for me was the village of Breb, where life carries on unchanged from centuries ago. It was a perfect piece of paradise.

      ‘Along the Enchanted Way’ by William Blacker is a beautiful book about Romania and Breb, which follows the true story of an Englishman who lives in Romania and falls in love with a mysterious gypsy girl. It is an enlightening read about a meeting of very different cultures and a window into a way of life that is being lost.

      The World Travel Family blog has some lovley photos of Breb – the author lived there for a time.

      Get planning! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. This is great information – thank you!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. My pleasure. (On another note – I have been trying to comment on your blog and it won’t let me! Gremlins!!) 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          1. How queer. Thanks for letting me know. I shall get in touch with the Happiness Engineers and see if they can shed any light.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Actually that comment was meant for @thetravelarchitect. Sorry for the confusion

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Oh my gosh! I’m having the exact same problem with Swinged Cat, another blogger I follow. I’ve even tried unfollowing and refollowing, but nothing works! I’ve been waiting for him to comment on something of mine so that I can reply back and let him know I’m not ignoring him. This has to be a WP issue. Arrghhh!!! Thanks for letting me know – it’s a little bit of a relief knowing I’m not the only one.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. There are a few other sites I am having a problem with too. Maybe there are a few gremlins in the system at the moment.

            Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks so much for the inspiration and the temptation although it is doing nothing for my itchy feet!! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sorry… Travel planning is good for the soul, though. xx

          Liked by 1 person

  5. My Dream Garden April 17, 2020 — 1:08 pm

    Mel, a great take on how to manage our current plight! You reminded me of a favourite book- The Old Patagonian Express by Paul Theroux. Maybe now is the perfect time to re-read it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ooo – I have that book in my To Be Read pile. I will have to dig it out!! Thanks for the prompt!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ooooh it’s an important one isn’t it! To keep the dreaming alive.

    I love travel memoirs and movies.

    I thought I might even dust up my Spanish books and join an online language class.


    I’ve printed some photos to dot around the place … hmm perhaps a camino wall … I’ve been meaning to get to that!

    I’m gonna enjoy this time for sure with the dreaming.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Lots of good strategies there…I have a Spanish language cd in my car and love listening to it as I drive around…essential travel only of course!


  8. Ah, Roman Holiday! A brilliant movie xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A much more innocent and simpler time, and a nice little bit of escapism in these unusual times! Happy movie watching! Mel

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Travel is my life….you are right we have to find a way to get through lockdown…reading my travel journals from the past, making plans for the future and writing and reading on Blog posts help.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sounds like you have some good strategies in place. Keep dreaming and take care, Mel


  10. Great tips!! Happy future travels ✈️🔆


    1. Thanks. And may your travel dreams come true too. Mel


  11. I am so chuffed that your Everest Expedition got the go ahead.

    It is so frustrating to be unable to travel, but here’s hopin’ that we can resume soon. We were luckier than most in a strange way last year – we were locked down in Italy and unable to return to a locked-down UK upon release, so we were ‘forced’ to go on a tour of Poland.

    Back in Blighty now, I am occupying myself with travels past. I am trying to view the pandemic as a precious gift of time to get on with stuff I never get around to. I have re-visited and transcribed old travel journals, scanned and sorted out old photos, which has been fun. I have been trying to learn Russian for future travels; less fun…! But I am sure it will reap dividends!

    Thank you for your travel book recommendations BTW. My To Be Read list is now borgeoning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your feedback. Your lockdown sounds very exotic indeed!! Lucky you. Unfortunately the Everest Base Camp hike didn’t come off and now Nepal is being overwhelmed with a second or third Covid wave. Life must be so hard for the tourism-related businesses there… Happy reading. Mel

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you 🙂 Sorry to hear about your Everest trip. That must be so disappointing and a tragedy for the communities in Nepal who rely on tourism. Nepal is such a beautiful country but so poor and with so many remote communities. I am sure they have really struggled with the pandemic.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, while it was disappointing, it really is a First World Problem and I have hopes we will get back there one day. Such a fascinating country with such friendly people. Have a good day

          Liked by 1 person

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