Despite what Instagram may lead you to think, there are times when buying a plane ticket or leaving for a road trip and living in a van for weeks is just not possible. Maybe you’re in school, maybe you have a sick family member, maybe your rent is due and you are left with $60 until next pay.
Whatever your reason is for not being able to travel at this very moment, if you are like me, not being able to travel may cause you some anxiety. Travel is extremely important to me, and I feel as though the world is so big and I only have so much time to see it all. Time going without travel, makes me feel as though I am wasting the only time I have. Whether or not that is a logical feeling, it is how I feel. Its as though something I love so much, I am unable to do for reasons mostly beyond my control.
Having said all this, I thought that rather than moping about how I can’t travel right now, that it may be helpful to compile ideas on ways I can do some Alternative Traveling; Travel which is an alternative to long distance traveling when it cannot be done.
- Exploring what is around you: I live in a medium sized city. I always wanted to move, however once I went to school, met my partner and became employed, leaving felt more difficult once I had established roots. I then decided to start exploring what my city (and the surrounding cities) had to offer. I found it exciting to research different restaurants, stores, cafes and festivals. It is also something that took me some time to do and fulfilled a small part of me that craved new experiences. I also took this one step further, and created a list of affordable or free activities in the city. This led to me discovering city secrets like $5 Wednesdays at the local museum or $2 grilled cheese Tuesday’s at the bubble tea cafe.
- Get outdoors: In all of my travels, I have never sat on a resort. My idea of travel, has always been to explore all that the country has to offer. Often times, my travels have included hiking or some other form of strenuous activity. As a hiker, I have learned how to research and explore new hiking trails. I rarely go on the same hike twice. Sometimes this takes hours of my time to compile lists, directions, looking at maps etc. This again makes me feel like I am planning an adventure. Despite not being able to road trip for a week or two, heading out for an hour or two drive to complete a day hike either solo or with friends, can fill a small part of that travel void for me. The Bruce Trail guide and the All Trails phone app are two of my most used resources.
- AirB&B: Heading to a large city like Toronto and staying in a local B&B is an affordable way to freshen up your surroundings. In addition, larger cities often times offer a number of inexpensive activities and several cultural experiences which can make you feel like you have taken a day trip to another country. For example, Toronto has its famous Kensington Market, China Town, Little Italy and temples such as the Hindu BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (one of my most favourite places to meditate).
- Netflix travel documentaries and movies: I have to admit, I went through a love/hate relationship with travel TV. I found myself becoming jealous of the people I was watching traveling the world. However over time, I have come to appreciate our access to the world through TV and the internet. Knowing that no matter how long I live, I will most likely never be able to see the whole world and all the parts of it. Therefore, travel TV has almost become a second form of traveling for me – living vicariously through the individuals on the screen. Shows like Departures on Netflix, or the movie WILD are examples of how I travel through my TV.
- Podcasts: Podcasts about travel have also become something I have enjoyed. I enjoy listening to and learning from peoples experiences while on the road. Some of my favourite podcasts include She Explores, Women on the Road and Sounds of the Trail.
- Planning: Saving up for a trip and begging to plan early gives me something to look forward to, even if it may be a year or two away. For example, this year I am not able to afford traveling anywhere. However, I am hoping to get into a Masters program for 2018 and have planned that no matter what, I will be going to Bali if I get accepted into the program and graduate. This has given me something to plan for and save money for, making me feel that I am working towards a travel goal of mine and that not traveling this year, does not mean I won’t be traveling in the near future.
- Be Thankful: Last but not least, when I find myself grumbling about not being able to travel at the moment I may want to, I try to practice being grateful for the places I have been able to travel to and the things I have seen. I purchased a map, posted it in my room and put thumbtacks on the places I have been. This keeps me mindful that I am lucky to have traveled at all.
I hope that this post has helped at least a tiny bit if you find yourself feeling like I am right now. For people who are passionate about travelling, but may be finding themselves in a tough spot, it can be hard feeling like you are stuck in one place. But it won’t be forever, its just for right now. And the world will always be there for you to explore as long as exploring it remains one of your goals and priorities.
Image source: rachelinflight.com/motivational-monday-106/