Stuck at home? You can still enjoy some travel joy from your couch, your desk, you kitchen or your windows. I have gathered 21 suggestions for you to escape your 4 walls : from cooking international recipes to watching webcams with icebergs, there are many options for you!
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3 ideas to go back in time with your own travels
#1 - Sort through your travel pictures (+ it is environmentally friendly!)
Are you collecting pictures from your travels, uploading them to the Cloud and never touching them again?
Well, now is the time!
Going back through your travel pictures will bring back memories and emotions that will fill your heart.
Plus if you want to help the environment, sort them out and throw away those that are not necessary. You may think that because it is not paper, it is ok. Think again. Online storage has a big cost in terms of energy (for cooling down the data farms).
#2 - Wake up everyday in another country
If you are someone who loves souvenirs, sort them out and place a few everyday on your bedside table, country by country.
This way, as you open your eyes in the morning, you will wake up in another part of the World!
You can also change the background image of your phone to give you the same feeling.
#3 - Meditate and visualize a previous trip
Meditation is a great way to relax and recenter, to get the stress out of your body.
For those who have never meditated, it might be difficult. So a travel meditation is an easy way to start:
- Remember one of your favorite travel moments
- Relive it moment by moment
- Focus on each of your senses and sensations: smells, sounds, skin...
- Try to move your essence back to that time and feel what you felt
For example, this winter I have traveled to Iceland once again. One of my favorite moments was climbing the Saxholl crater. The conditions were beautiful. I remember the wind pushing me, the effort to climb, the sun on my face, the vast area under me, the presence of the glacier, the silence of the vastness... and so much more! (See my favorite photos from Iceland in Winter in this article).
3 suggestions to be online-social and travel
#4 - Do an online travel-happy hour where everyone share their best souvenirs
A lot of people are now having drinks online with friends via applications where you can see everyone (for example with the app Houseparty).
You could make one house party focussed on travel during which everyone shares a favorite travel moment.
But don't drink too much!
I would personally share my visit to Wharariki beach where I saw wild seal pups playing in tidal pools. Below is a short video of my experience:
#5 - Send your photos as postcards to your friends
If you have been sorting out your travel photos (#1), maybe you found some great ones. Why not transform them into postcards and have them sent by mail to your friends? It could be a great boost to their day, when then open the mailbox.
Mypostcard.com proposes that service. I did it for a friend this Christmas and she absolutely love it.
#6 - Send an email to reconnect with someone you met while traveling
It can also be time to reconnect with people you have met while traveling. Someone you had a great connection with, but the distance made it difficult to keep in touch. This situation is a great reason to send an email, to check in and maybe relive some travel memories.
5 sources to be inspired by other travelers
#7 - Books
Travel Books are the best to plunge yourself in another Universe. They trigger your imagination and transport you into another world.
I love reading travel stories. Some of my favorite easy-to-read travel stories are:
- The World by hitchhiking by Ludovic Hubler
- Whatever you do, don't run by Peter Allison
- The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
- Africa Trek I et II by Alexandre and Sonia Poussin
Or just type Travel stories in Amazon if you have a Kindle
#8 - Travel Blogs
There is so much travel content on the Internet. Traveling from your couch has never been easier.
It can be time to plunge back into some of the best articles of you favorite travel bloggers or discover new ones!
Some of my favorites, focusing on different areas of travel, are:
#9 - Documentaries
There are plenty of Travel documentaries to discover and learn - from landscapes, to adventure to animals. You can watch them on TV or on streaming platforms.
Yesterday, I saw a documentary on a French region and learned about so many places I had no idea about.
The only negative is that your travel bucket list is going to be much much longer!
On Netflix for example you have "Mountains", "Expedition Happiness", "Street Food Asia", "The kindness diaries"...
#10 - Vanlifer on Youtube
You can also fall into the Youtube Rabbit Hole. There is a lot of travel content out there.
But if you really want to feel like you are traveling, I recommend following the journey of vanlifers. You can go back to the beginning of their trip and follow along as they explore countries after countries. It feels like you are traveling with them with the good, the exceptional and also the difficulties.
I must admit that I am not into social media, I have never really followed anyone particularly. But I have become addicted to the videos of Trent and Allie. It is crazy how they make you feel like you are watching friends as they update you on their life! - Follow them on YouTube here
#11 - Instagram
This is hard for me to list because I ma allergic to Instagram. I just can't get into it. But I know that for many, the platform is a great source of travel inspiration.
My suggestion: rather than follow someone, pick a country per day and use the country's hashtag to travel via photos.
5 activities to enjoy real life travel experiences at home
#12 - Cook
One great way to kill the time and feel like you are traveling is to be adventurous in the kitchen. Try cooking new dishes from around the World.
For example you can cook:
- French crêpes
- Australian Barbie
- South Africa's yellow rice
- Portugal's Egg tart (Pasteis de Nata)
Check out Global Table Adventure for some inspiration
#13 - Experience a home safari or Bird watching
If you don't live on the coast of a few places you won't see albatros, but you can still look rom your window and try to spot different birds. There are more than we realize, even in cities. It is just that we don't normally focus on them.
Or you can go into the smaller world of insects. Have a look. They might not be as impressive as elephants or lions, but even watching an ant do its work can be impressive.
#14 - Learn a new language
If you are stuck at home, this is a great time to start learning a new language. We always complain that we don't have enough time. Now that you do, loose the TV remote and learn some vocabulary. Consider apps to help you such as Mosalingua or Babble.
#15 - Write travel stories
Writing is also a great way to enter another world, to plunge into the details of the elements, the smells, the noises...
So many people dream of writing a book. Why not start with travel short stories? If you have landed on this article, it means that you love travel.
#16 - Complete a puzzle
Another way to kill the time is to plunge into a landscape by assembling a puzzle.
You can pick the puzzle from someone else or have one made from your own picture.
4 directions to discover the virtual travel experiences
#17 - Zoos, aquariums and wildlife webcams
This is quite relaxing...
#18 - Museums and historical sites virtual tours
Interactive visits, Virtual reality, or simple online tours painting by painting... Museums and historical sites have been developing their online presence in the past years. You can discover them without moving from your couch. Here are a few examples:
#19 - Towns and natural wonders webcams
There are many webcams around the world. If you want to eat ice cream while watching the view a few thousands kilometers away, it is possible.
But don't forget the time difference, it might be nighttime there!
- My hometown Le Havre has a webcam towards the sea (great to watch sunset) - watch it here
- In Iceland, there is a webcam to admire the icebergs on the Jokulsarlon Lagoon - watch it here
- Check out Earth from space with the ISS live webcam - travel to outer space!
- See the waterfalls on the Yosemite webcams - Nature exploration here
- Find out more ideas on the Earthcam network
#20 - Google Earth
Google Earth is one of my favorite tools for planning a trip. You can drive roads and explore streets as if you were there.
Even if you are not planning a trip, you can explore the streets of Paris (maybe walk around the Eiffel tower) or drive on Route 66
Just go on Google maps, choose a location, zoom, click on a spot and click on the image that appears below, next to the GPS coordinates.
2 actions to get ready for future trips
#21 - Research and plan
You may not be able to travel right now, but things will change. Opportunities to discover the World will come back.
In my opinion, planning a trip is a huge part of traveling. I love it. (I am currently researching 3 of them).
So use your time to identify all the places you would like to see and all the experiences you would like to enjoy.
To facilitate the planning of your road trip, don't forget my collection of travel guides where I have pre-selected the most beautiful places for you:
#22 - Prepare a travel box
Do you always forget something when traveling? Why not gather, in one single place, all the things you like to take but don't use at home. This way you can go through the box before every trip and take all you need depending on the destination and activities.
In my box, I have a power strip (because there is never enough plus in a hotel rooms), my adapter, my headlamp...
Plus you can create a check list to make sure you don't forget anything.
Join my newsletter and you will get access to my own check list:
Happy couch travels!