I know I’m not the only one who suffers. We’ve all had those moments when we catch ourselves in our cubicle or on the treadmill or brushing our teeth daydreaming about a destination we’d rather be exploring. We’ve taken breaks from paying our bills to check out the lowest flight deals. We’ve spent hours stalking our friends abroad on facebook. I for one am admitting that I have a problem. When my life became suddenly sedentary, I found some ways to cope. I hope you might find them helpful should you be suffering from a chronic case of wanderlust.
Connect. So you may not be traveling the world, but others are. And you should keep up with their escapades whether it’s through their blogs, flickr albums, YouTube videos, tweets or status updates. Stay tuned in and up to date. I know, you’re probably thinking how does this help subdue my wanderlust? In all likelihood, it won’t. However, the online travel community is one that is not only open and fun, but incredibly informative, relatable, and supportive! I was able to find a lot of comfort from these strangers when adjusting to life after my return.
Get creative. Who doesn’t love a good art project to keep you distracted and mentally stimulated? Reminiscing about your backpacking trip through Eastern Europe last summer? Make a photobook or collage that takes you back. Miss your friend you met at that hostel in New York? Why not handwrite a letter to her or send her a care package? Hang a large map and color code it with places you’ve been and want to go. Projects like these won’t let you ignore your travel bug, but it will turn the focus to something inventive and productive.
Make a plan. Speaking of being productive, you know you’re going to get back on the road someday. Why not start planning? Whether a short weekend trip in a couple months or a RTW adventure in a few years, start mapping out some goals and a game plan. This will keep you on track and focussed, which will most likely get you to that faraway destination sooner. It will also keep you busy, which will help pass the time between now and your departure date.
Be a tourist in your own town. Take a day or two to really explore your city. Go to places you’ve always wanted to see, but never felt the pressure to do so because “it will always be there”. Imagine you only have these few hours or couple of days in this place. Take your camera out. Find hidden gems. Do something touristy even – this will give you the sensation and excitement of traveling.
Join Tripping! One of the best things about Tripping is how it simulates travel and enforces cultural exchange without the necessity of packing a suitcase. Meeting people from all over the world, sharing your life, and learning about theirs is what it’s all about. This will give you more excuses to explore your town and guide someone with a new pair of eyes. This will also give you more excuses to travel to places you’ve never been because now you’ll have friends there to return the favor.
What are some of your methods to coping? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.