Most of us can’t travel all the time. Whether it be work related commitments, financial expenses, or the needs of our dependents, there is often something holding us back.
We’re still haunted by that itch in our feet. That insatiable desire to discover and explore.
So, what do you do when you’re desperate to travel, but are unable to see this dream into fruition?
Distract yourself with adventures on native soil, of course!
I’ve got a few ideas to get you started. Here are a few ways you can add more adventure to your life… without traveling.
1. Set up camp in your backyard
Did you ever camp outside your house as a child? Remember how excited you were? Being an adult should never get in the way of having fun.
Get out your tent, swag or even just a mat, sleeping bag and bivvy. Bring a portable stove, some healthy eats and coffee for the morning, if you feel so inclined.
Don’t have a backyard? Well, I’d like to introduce you to the concept of wild camping.
When you “wild” camp, you pitch a tent wherever you like – usually somewhere private and secluded (like in a forest or a field). The idea is to spend the night alone (or with friends) in the great outdoors. Remember to leave no trace behind.
What about the winter? Well, don’t let cold weather deter you. Avoid the chill by layering up – coat, sweaters, tracksuit pants and two pairs of socks.
There’s nothing more comforting than the crackle of an open fire on a cold winter’s night.
2. Have country-themed potluck dinner party
For many of us, the joy of travel isn’t just in seeing beautiful scenery, experiencing different cultures and meeting new people from all walks of life.
Some people travel purely to sample new cuisines. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s as good a reasons as any.
You can easily eat your way around the world and improve your culinary skills, without leaving your kitchen.
Invite some friends around for a potluck dinner (for anyone unaware, it’s a dinner party where everyone brings a dish) and set a theme, in the form of a country.
Say you pick Germany. You may find yourself having pork, potato dumplings and sauerkraut for dinner, with apple strudel for dessert. Wash it down with a stein of Löwenbräu. Prost!
3. Pack a bottle of water and your camera to explore your neighborhood
I live in London. I realised earlier this year that I was doing both myself and the city a massive disservice, by traveling elsewhere when I had a few days off from work.
England’s capital is the kind of place that has an abundance of things to do, and I realized it would be silly not to cash in on this while I was living as an expat here.
It can be hard to motivate yourself in the colder seasons, or if you’re working a lot. So, I set myself a daily challenge.
I would spend my lunch break exploring the area around which I work, armed with a camera. It’s led me to see the various icons of this part of the city in a different light.
Plus, it’s turned into a fun, creative experiment that has certainly spurred me on to explore London in further depth.
4. Get lost among the pages of a decent travel book
Not too keen on the idea of roughing it outdoors?
Luckily, there’s a way to go on a truly inspiring adventure… without leaving the comfort of your favourite lounge chair.
Reading is one way you can add more adventure to your life, without lifting a finger (except when you have to turn a page, of course).
Here are some options to get you started.
5. Socialize with other travelers via Couchsurfing or Meetup
If you find yourself in a position where you can’t travel, you can compensate by having the travelers come to you!
Open your doors to Couchsurfers looking for a place to rest their heads for the night.
Many expats and travelers use websites like Meetup to try to connect with locals. There may be all kinds of groups in your area – from language to film, book clubs and sports.
You’ll find there are plenty of opportunities to meet new people and expand your cultural horizons.
6. Attend a foreign film festival
There are cinemas in cities of all sizes that along with the latest blockbusters, will often screen smaller, lesser-known foreign films or even have weekend film festivals.
Take London. There are massive festivals held throughout the year, such as the annual BFI Film Festival.
On the other hand, there’s a small community cinema in the south-east that regularly screens foreign films from all corners of the globe.
Keen to go to Georgia? I recently watched a movie where the protagonist had to come of age in a country reeling from its newly gained independence. Fans of Latin America will note that a Colombian film was nominated for an Oscar in 2016, signifying a revival for the country’s film industry.
Like books, films are a relatively inexpensive way you can enjoy the voyeuristic experience of entering a new country, without leaving behind the comforts of your own.
These are just a few of the ways you can occupy yourself… until the next adventure.