Traveling gives sparkle to many people’s life. It fills them with unique experiences, exposes them to new cultures and makes them see things from different perspectives. On this I think we all agree. But everything has a cost. Traveling can also be expensive and very tiring after a long period of time. Once in a while you just need some time off to settle down for a while. Time to find a routine, work hard and save enough to hop on a plane and jet off to your next destination.
Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Most of the travellers out there face these same difficulties. Saving up while planning the next destination can be exciting and frustrating at the same time. The first few days are usually great; the days you reconnect with old friends, family and start making plans. However, as time passes your days become filled with work and as the monotany begins to bore you, you may find yourself in need of something, anything to break the mold.
So, what can you do to spice up your daily routine even if day trips are out of the question?
Try cooking foreign cuisine
Food can definitely be a type of mental travelling destination by itself. Bizarre, new, interesting tastes that connect you with the origin. Visit different restaurants; order something different from the menu. Wanna take it a step further? Pass by your local Arab, Asian, Indian, African, Korean, (Or wherever you plan to explore) store and get some ingredients for your kitchen. Experiment with new flavours. This method has definitely worked for me. Not only can you prepare yourself mentally for the next trip but also your stomach as well. In many S. American, Asian or even African countries, spices are a big factor in the local cuisine and when you finaly make it to your destination you won’t wanτ to get caught off guard and spend the first days in the bathroom.
Learn a new language (get a partner)
A new language is never useless. Sure it takes a quite a long time to master, but even basic writing and communication skills can be very handy in remote areas. Plus it is polite and friendly to greet people in the local language. It can change the way the locals see you! Nowadays, there are several ways to learn a new language for free. Duolingo for instance helped me imporove my German to a decent communication level. Also, there are several language exchange groups on Facebook that you can get connected with a native speaker.
Go out into nature
We all need to clear our minds once in a while. The point is to escape from the everyday routine and set your restlessness at ease. Get away from your laptop and the TV. Try out walking with your backpack to get used to it. After all, it will be your home with your belongings when you’re on the road. Grab your camera and capture the moments, any moment. Experiment and get a small taste of how it is to be out of your comfort zone.
Learn a new skill
Not only will it break up the day to day snooze fest, it will also keep you pumped for your upcoming trip. What about blogging? It is a great way to organise your thoughts, share your findings from research with others and keep your family and friends posted on your adventures when you are on the road? For me it was photography. It started as an idea and now it is a true inspiration. I always try to top my previous work and it was a great way to explore the local Thai culture on my short visit in Bangkok. Try something new. Maybe guitar, handcrafting, drawing, hiking. Find what speaks to you.
Read Travel Blogs
If someone knows about long term travelling that would be the travel bloggers. Learn from first hand what it is like travelling for a long period of time, how to prepare yourself and expose yourself to ideas and destinations you never heard of. Most of the people around you might think you’re a lunatic because they believe long term traveling is impossible. Blogs can give you great motivation, as well as teach you a thing or two. Perhaps even help you avoid some rookie mistakes and make your journey more pleasant.
No matter how many blogs you read, nothing can replace a good book. Reading to relax after a long day can also be a mental escape from the ordinary. Choose a book that will get you in the mood for your next destination. I am currently reading ‘’Around India in 80 Trains’’ by Monisha Rajesh which is a travelogue about travelling India by train and oh boy, I am already so psyched to pack my bags and experience that myself. In this way you will gain a better understanding of the country, the culture and its people.
Many people like myself, even though they are super excited about their next adventure, after a period of time can lose the fire. These are the things I do to keep me motivated and prepared. What about you? What is your secret? Your question? Your thoughts? Share them with us!