I’ve been home officially from our month-long trip to Europe which included London, Paris, Barcelona, Rome, and Luxembourg for approximately five weeks, and it’s’ already striking me, that I need to get out and explore the world or risk going out of my mind.
If you love to travel, you’ve likely experienced wanderlust – the painful feeling that comes when you’re dying to take a trip but can’t actually make it happen. It’s a real thing, and for some, the urge to explore can be hard to shake. While there’s no real replacement for going on vacation when you’re dealing with wanderlust, there are ways to make things a little more bearable when you aren’t able to take the trip you crave. Here are a few strategies you can use to cope:
EXPLORE CLOSE TO HOME
Even if you’ve lived in the same place forever, chances are there’s a nearby town you haven’t actually visited, or some new road you’ve never traveled down. If you’re willing to put in the work and do a little research, you might be surprised to see how many adventures you can create for yourself without using up a whole tank of gas. Take a look at what’s in your area and make a plan to check out something new.
MAKE A PLAN FOR YOUR NEXT VACATION
Give yourself something to look forward to by putting some thought into your next vacation. Where will you go? When can you realistically make it happen? Determine how much you’ll need to save to take the trip you have in mind, figure out what you can realistically put away each paycheck, and see if you can automate the whole process, so you don’t even have to worry about it.
REVISIT YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL MEMORIES
When wanderlust strikes, pull out your photo albums of past trips and indulge in a little nostalgia. Smartphones make it easier than ever to capture photos and videos, so if you’ve taken any recent trips, you’ll likely have plenty to look back on. While it won’t necessarily make everything better or kill your urge to travel, reminding yourself how fortunate you have been to experience the places you already have can be an excellent way to keep yourself in check and make it easier to avoid splurging on the first reasonable flight you can find.
SPLURGE ON ONE NIGHT AWAY FROM HOME
If you can’t take a big trip but you’re really itching to experience someplace new, book a room at a local hotel, bed and breakfast, or Airbnb and enjoy an evening away. Even if you aren’t too far from home, the change of scenery can be a much-needed break from your usual routine, and you probably won’t have to save for months to make it happen.
FOCUS ON THE COMFORTS OF HOME
While traveling often brings lots of great new experience and exciting adventures, there are plenty of pleasures in life that can only truly be enjoyed from one’s home. From family game nights in the living room to playing in the backyard with the dog and eating at your favorite restaurant down the street, you’re sure to come up with a few things that can help you find some happiness at home.
While the best way to deal with wanderlust is, of course, to travel someplace new, you might not always have that option. When finances, family obligations, or other obstacles prevent you from going on vacation, consider some or all of these tips as ways to help you cope.