When you look around, it might appear as if everyone is traveling. Your friends just checked-in at some nice hotel for a weekend and share it on Facebook, a colleague replies to an urgent e-mail from a sunny beach destination, somebody posts a picture from their family trip to Disneyland on Instagram… In the meantime you are stuck in a traffic jam rushing to pick up your kids from school and quickly feed them before dropping them off at the football practice…
The truth is, only a very small percentage of people travel and even less do so on a regular basis. It doesn’t look like it, but it’s the reality. The majority of people don’t have the time to travel, not everyone can afford it and not everyone wants to either. Many prefer the comfort of their own home and become anxious just by thinking of having to pack for a trip, let alone actually having to go somewhere. Today’s post is about traveling and seeing the world without actually going on a trip. I have a few ideas for you.
How to travel and discover the world without going on a trip
1. Read a good travel book
Pick up a good book, install yourself on a couch with a nice drink and let the story take you to the most amazing places. Here are some ideas of really good travel stories.
Our favourite travel books:
- Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey by Ernesto Che Guevara
- In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
- Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer
- Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert
- A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
One of the best books I ever read about traveling itself is ‘The Art of Travel‘ by Alain De Botton. His philosophical view on traveling helps you put many things into a different perspective and realise that traveling is indeed an art and once you master it, you can travel anywhere – even in your own bedroom or your own neighbourhood… Most books tell you where to travel, this book shows how and why. If you read one philosophical book, make it this one. It’s easy to read, funny and really eye-opening.
If you are looking for something more authentic, want to learn more about the real places and admire amazing pictures, you will find plenty of inspiration in these books:
- Off the Beaten Path: A Travel Guide to More Than 1000 Scenic and Interesting Places Still Uncrowded and Inviting by Reader’s Digest
- Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places by National Geographic
- Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips by National Geographic
2. Watch a nice travel movie
Here is a small selection of some of our all-time favourite travel movies:
- Into the Wild
- Out of Africa
- The Way
- A Good Year
- Gorillas in The Mist
- Lost in Translation
- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
- Under the Tuscan Sun
3. Watch a good travel- or nature documentary
We like to watch documentary series about nature and animals. They show you the most amazing places of the world the way you would never see in reality. A good documentary film is in many ways better than traveling – you get to see the action from the first row without any effort whatsoever and without disadvantages like extreme temperatures, annoying mosquitoes or practical preparations. Not to mention the cost…
Some of our favourite travel- and nature documentaries:
- Planet Earth: The Complete Collection by BBC Earth
- Life – narrated by David Attenborough – BBC Earth
- Ocean Wonderland by Jean-Michel Cousteau
- Anything from BBC Earth: Frozen Planet, Yellowstone, Africa: Eye ToEye With the Unknown, etc.
4. Be a tourist in your own town
Take the time to explore your home town and some other places nearby. Being a tourist in your own town can be fun and very rewarding, as we have recently discovered when we took our kids for a different day in Antwerp. It might not look just as cool on Facebook or Instagram as safari pictures from Africa, but you shouldn’t travel in order to impress your friends! Don’t feel like going away this summer? Don’t. There is plenty to see and do close to home!
We travel a lot; far as well as close to home. Once in a while we just pick a place we haven’t been to before and head there. In many ways, it’s more rewarding than traveling to far places.
5. Get to know different cultures near you
If you are living in a big city or close to one, the chances are big that there are many people from different origin living just next door. Chat with a neighbour, visit one of their traditional local shops, go to a market, maybe even learn a couple of words in another language. I bet you will see your own city and the people with different eyes!
6. Discover some traditional food from different countries
One of the biggest pleasures when traveling is discovering new food. But you don’t have to travel far just for the food. Why not try a new foreign cuisine once in a while? Don’t limit yourself to Italian or Chinese food. If you really look, you will find plenty of restaurants serving food from the most exotic locations.
Alternatively, you can cook some traditional foreign dishes at home – there are plenty of recipes on the Internet. Pinterest is a good place to start.
7. Follow a travel blog
There are so many travel blogs and you can easily find one that fits your interests. Real people sharing true travel stories is very different than a travel brochure, a book or even a documentary film. I am always very happy to hear from readers who say that my blog inspired them to travel to one or another place they would have never thought about before. It makes my day! So if you are looking for a travel blog to follow, join us in our travels!
Full Suitcase family travel blog is not just for families traveling with children. We share authentic travel experiences for everyone who wants to get more out of their travels without restricting themselves to mass-tourism destinations and are willing to discover what really makes the place tick.
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