The global pandemic is hard on all of us, particularly for those of us who had worked out all their travel dates already – just to cancel them to stay at home for several months. I am a passionate traveller and on any chance I book a bus, train or flight. I love engaging with another culture, visiting beautiful cities or hiking high mountains. This year, my longest journeys included a walk in my city or watching pictures and videos of other’s journeys through a smartphone sized screen.

 

Plane view
We all miss flying to unknown destinations. Photo by Benjamin Voros.

However, instead of driving one to despair, we should embrace the situation and make the best out of our time at home. Yes it is possible. How? I have collected 5 tips for you, how you can still gain travel experiences during COVID right from your couch.

1. Make your top ten list of travel blogs and vlogs

I am sure you are already reading some posts and following some influencers such as @saltinourhair and drewbinsky making their way through the world. While you do not make your own personal experience, it is a good starting point to collect all thoughts about travel destinations and make a list for your future travel highlights.

In this moment, we have enough time to assess what we are truly looking for as an experience: Is it the diversity of culture, that interests you most? Are you more into adventurous sports, considering the full fun package? Or did you recently discover your interest in eco travels, sleeping in jungle lodges and following a minimalist lifestyle?

Now is the time to find out. Do your research and pick your favourite travel vlog or blog, inform yourself about safe destinations, inspiring cultures and unique experiences. It is time to set your list for your first journey after COVID-19. Because planning a trip is already half the rent.

2. Learn about the future of all travelling – Eco-friendly travels

Eco friendly travelling is an old established concept. My parents already went on adventures with a light backpack and reusable drinking bottles, staying in tents and eco lodges including passing number two into compost toilets. Now, eco travels are more important than before, and the pandemic has shown us unsustainable tourism’s tremendous effects on environment, people and the economy. Taking this time out is a good starting point to reconsider the own travelling style and make some necessary adjustments.

Eco lodge
Eco lodge photo by @KyleGlenn

A good collection of tips you can find via the Roadexpert’s tips on eco friendly travelling. The blog shows you small steps to reduce your carbon and plastic footprint abroad. You need some more convincing why eco friendly journeys are worthwile? What about making your next trip a true nature experience? How about camping under the most beautiful starry nights with nothing but animals chirping and ocean noise surrounding. That will make it, I swear.

3. Do online travelling during COVID

Sounds dull? I promise you, it is amazing. During this pandemic, I started to call my friends around the world more often. I also contacted people I met during travels and have not talked to in a while. This way I am catching up on what is going on in the world despite the pandemic. We talk about culture and nature without having to travel at all. For me, talking to my Brazilian friend living in a crawling city in Brazil, to my Australian friend building his own pizza store in Tully in Australia or to my Vietnamese roommate about her experiences in Marokko is truly inspiring. Learning is not limited o self-experience. Having a fruitful talk with other travellers or with local people can pretty well substitute the lack of travel adventures during this pandemic.

Atlas
Atlas reading @leiomclaren, Start planning your next trip!

4. Write about your own past travel experiences

There is a reason why people recommend writing personal journals, diaries and notes to yourself before going to bed. Generally, journaling can boost your mood, reduce stress and anxiety and improve self awareness. Further, it can make you relive your memories and help you focus on aspects of memories that usually remain hidden. This way you can discover your own travel experience in a new way. It might also help you to come up with new travel plans, as you will realise what have been your best experiences so far and what you are still missing. Journal yourself to your next adventure!

Journal
Journaling @AaronBurden

5. Look for the small discoveries close to you

Visiting the driest desert, hiking the highest volcano and feeding you up with rare culinary treats might not be close enough to you. However, most often we oversee the little adventures, new experiences and unique places that are just around the corner when we focus on the big adventures. Imagine you would be visiting for the first, second and third time, what would you do in a city? It might be something, that you have never considered to even do in your hometown. During my time at home, I developed a true passion for hiking, and I rediscovered my love for German forests, German castles, homegrown vegetables and my own culture. Therefore, stop hesitating and take a trip in your own city.

Interested about travel experiences? Start with my trip to the Zapatista village in Mexico here.

 

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