Across the world, travel addicts are struggling with cancelled trips and no prospect of booking the next one for quite some time. Expat Living contributor EMMA MORRELL has come up with some nifty ways to experience travel without leaving home. Satisfy your desire to see the planet, all from the comfort of your couch!
#1 Seek Inspiration
In the absence of being able to travel, look to the people who can transport you there with their words and images. Read books about travel by anyone from Paulo Coelho, Che Guevara and Isabelle Allende to Jack Kerouac, Bill Bryson and Elizabeth Gilbert. Watch movies like Out Of Africa or The English Patient, scour National Geographic and other documentaries. Or, look up destination-specific TV shows for new angles on journeys and adventures. You can also find inspiration from incredible photographers, international music or listen to one of the many scores of travel podcasts to inspire your wanderlust.
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#2 Reminisce and reflect
If you’re keen to travel without leaving home, there’s nothing like memories to transport you back in time and space. Look back at old travel diaries, photos and videos to relive incredible trips you’ve had in the past. Remind yourself why you travelled in the first place and make lists of what made amazing holidays so great. (And what lessons were learned from the less-than-great ones!) While trawling through old photos, why not make some travel photo books to forever preserve those memories? It’s also a great time to make sure you have a solid photo back-up system to ensure your collection is safe forever.
#3 Make believe
It might not be quite as good as the real thing but there are plenty of ways to channel a new culture without actually being there. Consider learning a new language or getting immersed in a new culture by taking up a new skill. It could be anything from Japanese lessons and YouTube videos of origami, to Spanish and learning to make Mexican tacos from scratch. For those wanting a more passive experience, there’s an abundance of museums, attractions, landmarks and national parks all offering virtual tours from the safety of your own sofa.
#4 Look forward
It might be hard to imagine right now, but this too shall pass. One day the airports will be full and tourists will rediscover their favourite attractions again. Use this extra time to really consider where the next destination will be. Update that bucket list and plan future trips carefully by reading guide books, articles and blogs about the area. There might be no need to plan a detailed itinerary but figuring what to see and do and how to get off the beaten path is a great way to start looking forward. Get excited for travel as and when it becomes possible again!
#5 Stay local
For those not yet housebound, this is an opportunity to discover your local area and, where possible, support local businesses that are suffering from the downturn. So, while making sure to follow all the latest government guidelines and restrictions, you could visit local museums, do a neighbourhood walk or explore green spaces in the area – all brilliant ways to get to know the country better. Also, many people are taking advantage of deals from local hotels and resorts while movement is still relatively unrestricted. And, even if Singapore goes into complete lockdown, a staycation at home can be a fun way to keep everyone distracted. Putting up a tent in the living room instead of going camping or ordering in from your favourite restaurant rather than going out can help it feel like that holiday is (literally) on your doorstep.
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Not being able to get on a plane might not be the most critical problem that the world is facing right now, but it’s nice to know there are some ways around it, and plenty of ways to experience travel without leaving home.
For more helpful tips on things to do at home, head to our Living in Singapore section.