As much as I wish it weren’t true, I know not all of you are in a position to travel as much as you’d like to. Luckily, there are ways to explore the world and put yourself in a nomadic mindset without leaving home. To help you plan your “trip,” here are 10 ways to travel without leaving home and have an amazing staycation.
1. Buy A Guidebook For Your Town (Or One Nearby)
While I typically encourage people to ditch their guidebooks — Jessie on a Journey’s tagline is ” taking you beyond the guidebook, after all — in this instance a guidebook can help you look at your hometown in a new way. With the mindset of a tourist, use the guide to plan a weekend of unexpected adventures and discover attractions and experiences you never knew about.
2. Get An “Anywhere Travel Guide”
I sell the Anywhere Travel Guide in Jessie’s Travel Shop, and highly recommend it to those who want to travel but can’t leave home. It comes with a deck of cards that gives you certain quests, such as bringing a book you love out on a walk and leaving sentences from it in different places, and asking the next person you see what their favorite street is and going there. These challenges help you to explore your hometown in a new way.
3. Sign Up For/Organize A Scavenger Hunt
Like the Anywhere Travel Guide mentioned above, a scavenger hunt turns exploring your hometown into a game. It also gives you a new perspective on where you live. There are certain companies that organize scavenger hunts around certain cities, such as Watson Adventure Scavenger Hunts (USA). Check your city to see what’s available.
4. Interact With Artisans
Nobody does culture quite like artisans. Start getting to know the local products made around you and the people that make them. You may also want to give yourself a goal of trying a new mom and pop restaurant each week to immerse yourself in local culinary culture. Often we think of handicrafts, artwork and foods made around us at home as not being exotic, when in reality you’re bound to find some things that give you a new appreciation for where you live.
5. Deck Yourself Out In Global Accessories
This isn’t really about traveling, but about inspiring wanderlust in yourself and those around you. In the Travel Shop I sell everything from a paper airplane necklace to a world map watch to a Wanderlust travel quote tote bag and beyond. The shop is constantly updated, so check back to see what’s in stock.
6. Sign Up For Meetup.com
Meetup.com is a website that allows people to search different groups in their city by location and interest. As an exciting part of travel is experiencing new things, I suggest you join a group that will teach about something you don’t already know, or that plans day trips that allow for local travel. Bonus: joining Meetup.com can also help you with the next item in this list.
7. Meet The Locals
One of the best parts of traveling is getting to meet locals; however, in your hometown you probably feel like there’s no need because, well, you are a local. True, but everyone has their own unique interests, and has their own favorite spots and historical knowledge of the place. Head to the library and chat up the librarian, engage your local barista in conversation or find out more about the life of the jewelry designer down the street. You’ll likely learn some interesting things about the place you thought you knew everything about.
8. Book A Hotel For The Night
It may seem silly to pay for a hotel if you already have a place to live; however, staying at a hotel, hostel, bed and breakfast or even a vacation rental can put you in the traveler mindset. In your own home everything is familiar ; however, in an accommodation your curiosity becomes piqued as you stay somewhere unfamiliar. Plus, it’s a great excuse to be pampered for a bit.
9. Do A Local Tour
Not many people know more about an area than the local tour guide. In my home city of New York not only am a tour guide, but I’m constantly taking other people’s tours to learn new things. I’ve learned about many things on these excursions, from street art in Bushwick to Italian history in the West Village to Mad Men scene settings and craft cocktails. Each time I take one, my eyes fill with the same curiosity and wonder that I experience on a trip, as I’m put in novel situations in my very own home.
10. Have A Global Table Adventure
This item is inspired by a blog called Global Table Adventure, where blogger and culture carnivore Sasha Martin introduces her family to delicious dishes from around the world. Her toddler’s palate is more refined than most kids her age, as by the time she’s five she’ll have eaten a meal from every country in the world. Talk about a well-rounded upbringing! Whether you have kids or not, creating a series of global table adventures for yourself is a great way to explore the world through the tongue without leaving home.
Do you have a staycation or travel-without-leaving-home tip to add? Please share in the comments below.
Featured image courtesy of John Tornow via flickr