When I’m not traveling, stuck in the daily grind of everyday life, I find myself become mildly depressed. I like to call this the wanderlust blues. Having the wanderlust blues is spending countless hours daydreaming of my next travel destination, reading fantastic blogs highlighting fabulous places and feeling slightly envious, and convincing myself it will be an eternity before I travel again. It gets so bad that I start to convince myself that the entire world around me is traveling; friends, family, and fellow bloggers. And I, meanwhile, am stuck with the mundane chores of everyday life.
My days become filled with travel plan obsessions. I stalk different websites, looking for the perfect place to visit. Some of these posts are places I’ve visited, some places I plan to. I dream of buying winning lottery tickets, and jetting off at will to all these locales. In the meantime, I have come up with ways to deal with my wanderlust blues while being home.
Day trips are a great way to break up the monotony of routine. Consider them mini-vacations. It is a way to discover your surroundings. Moreover, it is time spent with the family, bonding, and making memories. Day trips can be a 20 -minute drive into the closest city or waking up super early to drive to a different state or town near you.
We live in the Mid-Atlantic of the United State, along the densely-populated Eastern seaboard. We are fortunate to have many metropolitan areas to discover within a two-hour drive. We also have many small historic towns nearby that offer a glance into our countries past while serving up great regional cuisine. For example, Annapolis, the state capitol of Maryland, is 40 minutes drive. We can spend that day touring some of the historic homes, the State House (which once served as the Capitol of the United States of America), and visit the historic Naval Academy. Then we go out for a big feast of local steamed crabs, smothered in Old Bay, while sitting and overlooking the Chesapeake Bay.
A morning hike or a full day’s hike is another way to clear your obsessive travel mind. For one, it makes you step away from the computer and work. You can even go as far as leaving your phone in the car, and completely unplug. Just bring a regular camera to capture the beautiful moments.
Letting yourself succumb to nature and the quiet of the hike will help clear your mind of wanderlust. Enjoy the surroundings, listening to the trees rustle in the wind, birds chirp, and water flow from the occasional stream. Go with the kids, as they will love exploring and finding little critters. It is also important to have them outdoors running around. Kids need to get out of routine as well and let their little minds run free.
Take A Stroll Down Memory Lane; Grab A Photo Album
While sitting at home on a weekend day or night, grab a photo album and sit down with your family or your travel partners. Talk about each picture and bring back the memories of previous trips. It is sure to give a good laugh, smile, and maybe a tear or two. It will also bring you together for some bonding time with a stroll down memory lane.
You can also discuss what worked and didn’t on your trip and what you would do differently or the same for your next adventure. Let the kids’ (or friends) lead the discussion. Hear their perspective on how they view traveling and what is important to them. It can only help to curate an even better trip for future travel.
Eat At An Authentic Restaurant
Do you have a specific location in mind for your next destination? If so, perhaps there is an authentic restaurant near you where you can try out the food. Going out to eat will help your wanderlust as typically you can find people of that culture eating there as well. You can hear the native language being spoken and dine on authentic cuisine.
We opt to go out to authentic meals nearby so our kids can get a better understanding of the foods and tastes from other countries. Five minutes down the road from us we have an Uzbeki restaurant. It is a hit with the kids, as it is rich in spices, and the bread is thick and doughy. On any given night, we see large families dinning and speaking Uzbek. We also have some amazing El Salvadoran restaurant for homemade pupusas and sopes.
Visit A Museum
Take a couple of hours to visit a nearby museum. You will see the art of other cultures, art history across centuries, and expose your kids to new ideas and new art. Most museums also offer kid friendly activities like scavenger hunts and free art classes.
Watch A Movie
Movies are a great way to inspire travel. They are filmed in locations that you may have visited or want to visit. This will give you a chance to live vicariously through the movie. Movies like Under the Tuscan Sun, Out of Africa, Eat Pray Love, The Bucket List, The Beach (acknowledging that film’s devastating effect on Thailand’s Maya Bay). They may even give you ideas for travel planning of places to go.
Making Travel Plans
I truly believe this is the best way to cure your wanderlust blues. Plan your next travel adventure. Have a family discussion around the dinner table about all the amazing places to visit. Once you narrow down a couple of places, you can start working out the budget and details.
Anticipating travel and planning travel is almost as great as traveling itself. You are able to educate yourself and those traveling with you on the location, plan where you are going to stay, and figure out your daily itinerary. Sometimes weaving through the web of thousands of places to stay can be a bit overwhelming,. If you join travel groups and research on travel blogs and sites, you can easily narrow down the best places. It gives you something to look forward to, read about, and involve the family.
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