If you’ve been following my adventures, you’ll notice that I don’t get out of the country often. It’s something that wrenches at me every time I post. How can I call myself a traveller when I don’t really travel all that much? I get serious travel envy when I look at what other people are out there doing. So many of my friends are adventuring around Australia or Thailand; every week I see another Facebook post where someone jets off to Iceland or New York, and it makes me sad because I’m not having these experiences, even though I really, really want to!
So, why am I not out there travelling the world? Well, there are two answers, really – time and money, but out of the two, money is the biggest hindrance. Yes, plane tickets are uber cheap nowadays, but that doesn’t really help me as a small town girl who lives miles and miles away from the nearest airport. The train ticket to the airport costs me at least double the price of a value plane ticket, so I can’t really take advantage of cheap travel deals. Travelling, for me, involves a long time spent planning and saving up before I can get out of the country, and it sucks! So, while I’m at home, I have to find ways to ease my desperation to escape. Here’s what I do…
1. Play GeoGuessr
Ages ago I discovered the online game GeoGuessr, where you’re dropped randomly somewhere in the world and have to guess where you are. You can play on various maps, such as New York, Sweden, or United Kingdom, or you can stick to the World map (my personal favourite) for a truly random experience.
Through playing this game, I’ve fallen in love with several countries that I hadn’t previously thought about. My obsession for Norway began after I was dropped in front of a gorgeous mountain scene, and I’ll be going there in just a couple of weeks!
2. Make PowerPoint presentations
Yes, I am a tragic loser, but making PowerPoint presentations about different destinations has taught me a lot about travel. As a relative newbie, I didn’t know much about comparing flights and hotels, and I definitely didn’t realise quite how many options there can be for someone like myself, who needs to stick to a budget. Plus, I get to daydream about potential places and sort of pre-plan my trips before I even get a chance to go there.
PowerPoint presentations are a great and visual way to get all of my information together, including flight costs, train routes, hotel choices, restaurants and attractions. So, whether you ever get to these places or not, it’s a pretty handy tool to have.
3. Read Travel Blogs
As a blogger myself, I can appreciate a well written travel blog. I follow several great blogs, most of which I discovered after joining a group on Facebook, Female Travel Bloggers, where thousands of women come together to share their blog posts, tips and advice. It’s a great, supportive group, and I thoroughly enjoy reading through the new posts that appear every #BlogPostSaturday.
As well as discovering new blogs, being a member of this group has also benefited me as a blogger. I get more views and post interaction after sharing with this group, and the girls are always happy to advise me if I get stuck with something or want some feedback. I’d thoroughly recommend joining this group, or other travel blogging groups – you really do learn a lot.
4. Connect with other travellers
Most of my really close friends aren’t quite as travel-minded as I am, and if they are, they still have the same problem I have – a lack of money, therefore, I don’t really get that many opportunities to discuss travel dreams and experiences. So, I looked to the world wide web to find some like-minded souls from around the world who I could talk to and take inspiration from. I found a great Facebook group called GoWonder – Girls Travel, which has over 27,000 members worldwide. Every day I get to see countless posts shared from all over the world, showcasing stunning scenery and interesting attractions that feed my need to discover new places.
This really is such a friendly and supportive group, so if you’re a girl with a lust for travel, I would really recommend you join.
5. Watch travel/nature shows on TV
I wouldn’t classify myself as a great watcher of television, but when I do sit down and switch on, it tends to be to watch documentaries, especially those about foreign lands. Some of my favourite recent documentaries have covered Japan, Yellowstone, and The Arctic Circle. I’m currently enjoying watching ‘Britain’s Best Walks with Julia Bradbury’, which is giving me so much inspiration to find places to go in the UK.
This show has given me an idea that I hope to turn into a reality at some point this year – I want to visit Poole, Dorset, all by myself and complete the country walk that Julia did. It would be my first solo adventure, testing my bravery and allowing me to truly escape.
6. Explore my local area
Finally, this is the most productive kind of procrastination I get up to while in between trips – exploring my local area. I am fortunate enough to live in a really varied and beautiful part of the UK. I’m only 3 miles from the coast, and there all around me is woodland, marshland and pretty villages. As much as I’d love to take you guys to some exotic places, I still get a great deal of pleasure wandering around places only a stone’s throw from home.
Sometimes it’s all too easy to miss the beauty of the area around you because you’re so focused on getting away and seeing something new, so I find it important to get out and about and try to look at my local area through a traveller’s eyes. In doing so, I’ve discovered new things about places I go to often, for example, on a recent trip to Eastbourne, I managed to spend and entire afternoon enjoying the seafront and pier, whereas I usually visit the town to go shopping. I guess the lesson is, there is so much to see in any place as long as you are willing to look for it.
So, if you are currently feeling a little blue about being stuck at home while others are out there seeing the world, I hope this post gives you some ideas of what you can do to entertain and inspire yourself until you are able to set off on your next adventure. If you have any ideas of your own, please do share them in the comments.