Having to Travel without leaving home
There are several reasons why we have to travel without leaving home. The main reason right now in big flashing neon lights is the majority of the world is in lock down and social distancing. Which means holidays and trips have been cancelled for the foreseeable, most of us can’t go out unless it’s for absolute necessities (here in the UK we are able to go out for one hour a day to exercise) and so we are getting very comfortable in our living room!
Now I love travelling, it’s what excites me,the freedom to explore and go wherever I want whenever I want. Two of my most prized possessions are my drivers license and my passport. As these enable me to have that freedom I crave so much. So when quarantine started, I felt as though my wings had been clipped. And boy did my mental health take a hit. For several reasons:
My mental health all stems from my fear of death
I always worry something bad is going to happen and feel a need to control all my loved ones wellbeing.
When I’m having a bad mental health day, I run away to the sea, but in lock down I can’t do that as my city is completely landlocked!
I didn’t feel free anymore, and that’s scary
And so after a couple of days of worrying, I did what I do best, and just thought Fuck it! I’m going to make the best out of an incredibly difficult situation. Because we have to look after ourselves mentally and physically.
So how did I do this you might ask? Well I thought ok, I’m stuck in my local area, with no ability to travel anytime soon. What can I do with what I have? Ok, Ima treat this as a staycation. As I’ve done lots of staycations before, though in the past they have been for very different reasons such as:
My bank balance saying nah girl
Not having the time off work
Not being able to decide on a destination in time
Having other commitments I need to work around
These are just a few! You see a lot of me dealing with my mental health, is me shifting my perspective. When I feel myself being incredibly negative about situations, spiralling or fixating. I challenge my evil ghost otherwise known as intrusive thoughts and question out if these thoughts are true? Necessary? Or even relevant to the situation?
Therefore I have decided to treat this time as a staycation, and have been getting creative with the different ways I can travel without leaving home.
What better way to travel the world than through wine?
AM I RIGHT?!
So I decided to start my own wine club. Each day I would post on IG what wine I was having and the country it was from and began to tour the world through wines.
And do you know the best thing? I did it all from the comfort of my own home!
I then took recommendations from people and began to learn about new wines! And from that was able to build a group on social media where we would all share where we were travelling to via that wine. My girl Anita Hendrieka is a travel blogger from New Zealand therefore with her help I have been able to travel to her home country, with the help of her blog and wine! She is amazing!
I also met my girl Lainy, a wine blogger, through wine club. This girl has great recommendations and so we have been able to connect through our love of vino and join each other on our travels. Wine club is a great way to connect with people, discuss our favourites, and our past and future travel destinations.
If you would like to join in my wine club it’s super easy, take a picture of your wine (be as creative as you like) tag me in the photo and I’ll share it on my story and we can have a chat or use the #stayhomewineclub. At the beginning of each week I share the wine I will be trying and then do a live post on what I thought of it, if I have any memories or dreams of the country it’s from and you are more than welcome to join in!
Exploring your local territory
Now this is so easy and free to do! But it’s so regularly looked over. As we have in our minds that to ‘travel’ is to leave our city, drive miles or hop on an aeroplane. And trust me I’m guilty of this. When actually we can travel without leaving home. We just need to step outside our door and walk!
I grew up next to the largest Park in Sheffield which was incredible and after 28 years I still get lost! Now I live near the Trans Pennine Trail, I lived in this house 7 MONTHS before I even went on it. How mad is that?! And now I feel like I learn about my area all over again. It’s magical.
Each day I will plan little ‘tours’ for me and my partner to go on, and each day I get to explore somewhere new. I am aware that this won’t last forever. You’ll be amazed what you walk past every single day and don’t actually see. As I mentioned earlier it’s all about changing your perspective and viewing the situation in the most positive way.
Let’s go to the movies
Now there are hundreds of travel movies out there, and with Netflix, AmazonPrime, Sky, Virgin and Disney +, BBC iPlayer just to mention a few. It’s not like we don’t have a choice of streaming services. Now I love a David Attenborough documentary. He is incredible, so informative and has an incredibly soothing voice.
He has inspired mine, like so many others, love for travel and exploration. He has travelled to places I never knew existed and now are places I can’t wait to see. His love for animals and ability to show them so naturally in their environments to second to none. I challenge you to watch ‘Planet Earth II’ and not be on the edge of your seat during a certain scene.
Honestly it’s amazing. Now that is just one. There are loads:
Into the Wild
Midnight in Paris
Under the Tuscan Sun
The latter is a particular favourite one of mine. I’ll snuggle down, with my blanket, a bowl of nachos and sing my heart out as well as shed a few tears.
All of them are so varied that you’re bound to lose yourself in one of them, and for those couple of hours be transported to that country and see what it has to offer.
So many books so much time
Another way to lose yourself for several hours (or days if you’re a slow reader like me) is books. I love books and think the ability to transport you to a new place through the power of words is beautiful. So you can travel without leaving home with travel books. Whether its a guide book, or fiction book or a non fiction . There are so many out there you’ll be spoilt for choice.
I remember when I was going through a particularly tough time, I was mid mental breakdown feeling totally lost in life, when a friend recommended ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. I related so hard to Elizabeth Gilbert during this book and actually cried when I began it. The feeling of not being alone and reigniting my love for travel that had been taken from me. Her brutal honesty and love for food is something we both share. And so I found myself thinking yeah I can do that, and was actually on a trip in Ubud, Bali reading about her journey in the exact place. (Obviously very different, as her book inspired hundreds of thousands of others to do the same and so Ubud wasn’t quite as unpopulated as when she first wrote the book).
Still her power to transport me to those places, to feel her emotion, and crave Italian food more than I’ve ever craved it before. I dreamt of hopping over to Sicily and trying the amazing food in the tiny restaurant. Even now I’m salivating and musing over what to have for dinner. It’s such a beautiful way to travel without leaving home. And if you can’t get the book physically, then try audible or kindle. Then you can have it one your phone as well!
Cooking is a HUGE love of mine. Honestly. I think it’s so relaxing and exciting. Whenever I’m stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, sad, angry etc. I hop on Pinterest, find a recipe that looks yummy, I lock myself in the kitchen, blast my favourite music and cook my troubles away. I also perform my own mini concert, complete with lead vocals, backing singers, and dance routine, but that’s besides the point. I love food , I love cooking it, I love eating it!
And I love to travel through food. And it is such an easy way to travel without leaving home. And the best bits? Each time you can travel somewhere new. And why not make an entire day or evening of it? A date night? A themed party? Get those creative juices flowing and go all out.
Because why the hell not?!
My favourite cuisines are Spanish, Italian and Greek. Omgoodness they are all so yummy. They also have different versions of ‘picky food’ such as tapas and meze platters which are perfect for me. As it means I can try lots of different dishes without needing to be wheelbarrowed out afterwards. So think of your favourite cuisine, hop on Pinterest, find a super easy and simple recipe. Bang on some music even from the country you are visiting, make drinks from that country. Be it Sangria, Pimms, a shot of Ouzo after the meal to get the party started, a Lassi to soothe your mouth after something spicy. I could keep going. Again it’s all about changing your perspective. Don’t like the view from your window? Paint the landmarks of the places you’re travelling are famous for, the Pyramids, The Eiffel Tower, The Colosseum. Can’t paint? Get on google make a slideshow and bang it on your laptop to play. Or print the picture off and stick it on your wall.
I get so excited and inspired just thinking about it. It can be as big or as small as you want. But either way you gotta eat. So why not travel with your mouth?
This is something I have learnt about recently. As a lot of museums, galleries and monuments are trying to make their places more accessible, and available for all to see. So why not try a virtual tour? You could dedicate an entire day to visit your favourite places. I remember when I went to the Natural History Museum in London, I picked one of the only days where they have queues (don’t ask me why, I didn’t do my research!) I had to wait over an hour to get in. Whereas now you can visit it, in your pjs with a brew in your hand.
Why not get a group of friends to join you with it. You all arrange a time to have a look, then afterwards have a group call and say what your favourite exhibitions were. What caught your eye and what you can’t wait to go and see in the flesh! You can make a list and have a culture day amongst the cocktails and food feasts. You could even make yourself a little picnic to have while you’re exploring.
Who doesn’t love a Spa day? I know I do. There’s nothing better than walking into a room all tense, then afterwards floating out knot free. I mean yeah they can hurt, but omgoodness you feel so relaxed afterwards. Then saunter down to the pool where you can have a mimosa, take a swim, go in the steam room and just while the day away. Now here is where you might have to get a little creative but bare with me on this one.
So many countries are famous for different therapeutic treatments: Marrakech for Hammams, Iceland for Natural Geothermal baths, Thailand for massages and Bali for flower baths and massages. Now I had my best ever massage at my accommodation in Seminyak Nadia lit, it cost me less than £20 for 90 minutes and was a full body massage. Now if you’re living with someone else than giving each other a massage is a really nice and relaxing way to have a spa day at home.
But if your alone, then why the fuck not have a flower bath?! They are super chilled, really cute and with a lit candle and some essential oils you can be right there in Bali! This is something I love to do. So run yourself a bath at your perfect temperature, I like mine so hot my skin goes red ha! Then pour in a cup of milk to leave your skin feeling nice and soft, place the pretty flowers you’ve picked from your garden. Add your favourite essential oils, if it’s just before get some lavender in as it will help you sleep and in you pop.
Ahhhhh, can’t you just feel the days stresses melting away?
Now you can travel without leaving home more easy
I absolutely love to travel, my goal is to visit every single country. (I’ve got a long way to go). And sometimes we can’t physically travel further than our city or town. Therefore I find these 7 ways are able to help me feel like I have been away. They make me feel a little more free, allow my creativity juices to flow and my wings to spread just a little bit more.
I sincerely hope they help you too, as we have to look after ourselves, our mental well being and each other. If I can do this. Then SO CAN YOU!