My next proper adventure is looming – an early January trip to Dubai, Mumbia and the coastline south of there. I can’t wait, but until then, I’m super busy with work, with life, with those things that all seem to sneak up on you before Christmas. It’s making it very hard to even do the little trips and new experiences that make you feel like you’re ‘travelling each day’.
And I’m sure I’m not the only one. So I’ve been thinking about all the things I do to keep that part of my brain dedicated to daydreaming and wanderlusting active in these short, dark English days.
1. Re-reading my old journals
This is part of the reason why I always keep a journal when I’m somewhere new. Although I usually end up writing a related blog post or article, there’s something about the immediacy of my handwritten words on a page that summon up stronger links to where I was and what I was doing. I can remember where I bought the notebook and the pen I wrote it with; the conversations I had with the shopkeepers; the room or cafe in which I wrote that particular entry.
2. Take a walk
I’ve just been out in the rain with my puppy, walking the same old route that I know takes 40 minutes. But this morning, I challenged myself to find something new, see something I haven’t spotted before. The last time I did this back in the spring, and I felt like I’d got pretty lucky when I stumbled upon a beautiful clump of snowdrops – the first of the year. Today, I heard the usual rumble of shotguns and wandered nearer to the field and watched them for the first time, shooting partridge – not something that made me feel great, but a new and interesting insight, nonetheless.
3. Take photographs
It’s only when you’re away that you carry a camera nearly everywhere with you. If you’re anything like me, you end up taking shots of things that aren’t actually that interesting – on reflection, it’s more that they are unfamiliar. Sometimes, if I need cheering up, need to get a sense of that holiday spirit, I go somewhere, even just locally, with my camera and take a few frames. Afterwards, sitting at home on my bed, I happily edit them on my laptop and just for a moment, I’m back in that hostel at the end of the day, downloading my snaps before heading out for a pisco sour.
4. Get inspired
I love social media for the places and experiences it can open your eyes too. Just an hour on Twitter, or Pinterest, on Facebook or reading other travellers’ blogs, I can see the world through someone else’s eyes.With a weakness for sentimentality, I often find myself reading about someone else’s experiences of places I’ve already been, but then I love to get inspiration for my next trips, too.
5. Cook up a storm
Think of something amazing you ate somewhere, something you’ve not eaten since. Type it into a search engine and within a few moments, you’ll have a recipe. Cook that recipe, find someone to share it with, sit down and eat it all up. Particularly effective if done with recipes you collected whilst on your travels. My favourite to is St Lucian banana bread, made from a recipe book I bought from a sweet, elderly lady raising money for local street children. Cooking it now still makes me feel warm inside.
So that’s my list – how do you keep ‘in touch’ with travelling when you’re at home?