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.
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…
- Photo 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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?
- 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.
- Follow Travel Bloggers and Insta-Stars: “Stand on the shoulders of Giants” or other people who have written/photographed all manner of travel topics.
- Armchair 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.
- 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.
Yes, I know we are all going ‘nowhere fast’ at the moment, but you will never stop me dreaming.
- Develop 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.
- 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?
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