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Cure wanderlust when you cannot travel

Woah! What crazy times we’re all in. Firstly, I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe out there. No one could have predicted this insane turn of events would close borders around the world and stop travel altogether. Wanderlust is an actual condition that many of us deal with when we aren’t able to travel.

Whether you have come across this post during the times of the virus or just looking for something to do when you can’t travel. Here are 10 things you can do to cure wanderlust over the next few weeks (or months) when stuck at home (and stay sane).


Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information on my disclaimer click here.

Read travel books

One of the easiest ways to travel without leaving the home is to read books related to travelling. Some of my favourite books over the years are recounts of people undertaking insane adventures. If you’re not a reader you should give audiobooks ago. I’ve been mixing it up between the two lately listening to stories when I wouldn’t be able to to read it.

Audible is Amazon’s audiobook provider and has the largest selection of audiobooks. For a monthly membership fee, you will receive a predetermined amount of downloads a month. I used to be with Audible until I discovered Scribd. Scribd’s selection is fewer but there are no limits to the number of books you can download. Both have 30-day free trial periods!

A few of my favourite titles are:

  • Wild: Cheryl Strayed has come to a point in her life where she has lost everything. She starts to fall into a downward spiral of drugs and sex with strangers and knows she must do something to turn her life around. That leads to an impulsive decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) which runs from Mexico to Canada through the western states of the USA. This beautifully written book is more than just an adventure tale that encompasses a range of emotions.
    Check prices on Amazon here.
  • Three Men in a Raft: If you love adventure stories than this is a must-read. Three guys with little rafting experience decide to tackle the second largest river from source to ocean. A 6-month journey takes these guys 7,000km along the Amazon River dodging bullets, storms and heavy rapids all in a rush to beat the wet season. Only 3 people have completed the journey before them – all with much more experience.
    Buy the ebook on Macmillan here
  • Marching Powder: One of my favourite books, Rusty Young takes you into the hidden world of Bolivia’s notorious San Pedro prison. Written with the help of an inmate incarcerated for drug trafficking you’ll discover their first-hand experiences dealing with the corruption, violence and surreal life behind bars.
    Check prices on Amazon here.

Plan future travels

I love the planning and research stage almost as much as I like the travel stage. While I know a lack of time makes it hard for some people to plan their dream vacations, what better time than now.

If you’re stuck on where to travel you can read my article on how to choose a travel destination. Or pop on over to Pinterest and create a few boards inspired by your dream locations. You can start breaking these down into country, city and even things to do when there.

Make sure you record all your travel plans in a place that you can reference quickly and easily. I have created the Ultimate Travel Planner for this purpose. Save and print out each time you go on holiday. There are 324-pages for research, booking, itineraries, checklists and more.

Travel Planner printable

Make a photo book from your last holiday

How many hundreds of photos do you take when you travel? Then what happens to them? If you’re anything like me they sit on a hard drive and never get seen again. Although always with the intentions to do something with them.

Now is the perfect time to relive your favourite vacations and make a photo book from your photo stash. If you’ve never done one before it’s really easy and affordable. Depending on where you come from there are different companies around the world offering this service. These companies often run promotions also, so pop a search into google and see if you can get a discount code.

These also make amazing gifts for anyone you travelled with. Snapfish is a good company to use and has a huge selection of album sizes and variations. It’s as simple as uploading your photos, picking a theme and playing around with different layouts. Once you like the look of the book, pay and it will be delivered to your doorstep.

Create photo books of travels

Create your favourite international dishes

This is a really fun way to improve your cooking skills and expand on your standard meals. Maybe you did a cooking class while abroad but haven’t actually had the chance to use the recipe book that came with it.

Even if you didn’t do a cooking class you can still Google a recipe for your favourite international dishes. To make this even more fun you could make some matching cocktails or buy some imported beers. Have a mini-dinner party with your household and offer up starters, mains and desserts. Bonus points if you can even dress in costume.

Take it one step further and travel around the world with food once a week. This is a great idea if you live with a few housemates where everyone can take a turn cooking their favourite countries dishes.

A few easy starters are Thai, Mexican, French and Chinese. As always, Pinterest is a great place to go for inspiration.

Make your favourite international dishes to cure wanderlust

Study a new skill

For most of us, we seem to have a lot more time on our hands. This may be because you’re now working from home, you’ve been laid off or you’re still going to work but can’t go out afterwards. Whatever the reason try not to go stir-crazy and do something productive like learning a new skill.

I recently returned from an unhappy relationship in Myanmar where I thought I would easily come back and find a job and then corona happened. Oh man. Terrible timing. Although I’m trying to use my time wisely. Before leaving Myanmar I had enrolled in Esther Inman’s 90 Day Virtual Assistant course. You know me, I’m always trying to find the best travel job! Working online has been my dream forever and I now have no excuses and plenty of time to get through the course content. P.s If you have any questions about this course, either comment below or send me an email.

Even if you have lost your job (and I hope you haven’t) there are so many free courses online to help you further your skill sets or learn something new. Skillshare has 2 months of free premium content to new users. Youtube also has a huge library of free tutorials. Yoast is offering its All-around SEO course for free! Whatever you want to learn you can find it on the web.

Work online as a virtual assistant

Watch movies and series set in your dream destinations

If you’ve been dreaming of visiting a location for some time now or possibly even had your trip cancelled due to the outbreak pretend you still get to go by watching a movie set in its location. It may not fix your wanderlust for visiting the place, but it will sure keep you excited about heading there when things clear up.

Need some ideas on movies set abroad to get you excited (oh wait, I mean, cure your wanderlust), here are 23 movies to get you started you can also read my post on the best travel shows on Netflix right now. When I had a trip booked to Belgium a few years ago everyone recommended I watch In Bruges. Due to work, my trip got cancelled but I watched the movie anyway. I still haven’t been, but the movie definitely keeps it in my mind for a future date.

Print out your favourite travel quotes

You can make this as basic or advanced as you like. The basic options are to find your favourite travel quotes, print them and stick them on the wall. The more advanced options would be to create cute collages with your favourite images and quotes on them. You can use Canva to create some fun designs.

If you have some empty frames laying around, you can make a project out of the activity and create a featured wall piece. Include photos from your travels, quotes and stock images. Have fun with this.

Don’t have a printer? I invite you to get even more creative. Paint, draw and colour some designs piece of paper, out of old magazines or travel souvenirs

Pssst.. Feeling lazy? I have made 2 A4 designs for you. Download them below.

Have a virtual party with friends you met travelling

Is something you like about travelling the people you meet when abroad? Set up a virtual party with some of your friends you met while travelling. It’s the perfect excuse for a catch-up, some culture and to stay cool. If you haven’t heard, Zoom parties are all the rage these days.

While you’re on the call you can even ask them to send through their favourite recipes and swap names of local artists and bands.

Learn a new language

Learning a foreign language is one of my biggest goals. There are so many apps, podcasts, websites and courses that make this dream a possibility. Many are free or have free trials.

I’ve been learning Spanish and find the Coffee Break Spanish podcast amazing. They have a few other languages in the Coffee Break series also.

Other sites to check out are Babbel, Duolingo (app) and Open Culture.

Learn new languages online

Master travel hacking

How much do you know about travel hacking? Now is a great time to learn as much as you can about it. If you’ve never heard the term before, travel hacking is the skill of collecting frequent flyer miles and points to travel for free.

The art of travel hacking is knowing how to best earn points without stepping foot on a plane. So even though no one is flying or travelling now doesn’t mean we can’t be earning points for future travels.

The best way to earn points quickly is by joining new credit card loyalty programs. Many cards offer an introductory bonus and the card can then be cancelled after these points have been applied to your account.

Millennial Money Man and Zero to Travel have some great resources on getting started in the points world.

Scenic mountain views

Read and support other travel blogs

Everyone is struggling at the moment no matter what your circumstances. We are all feeling the strain due to these uncertain times differently. I know my fellow travel bloggers are feeling it due to the loss of traffic and income on our sites.

The best way we can support each other is by keeping our community strong. It may not seem like a lot, but by continuing to go on your favourite blogger’s sites, commenting and sharing our content means more than you can imagine. We write these posts for you guys.

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Erin signature

Hello! My name is Erin, the lady behind Curiously Erin. After more than 10 years of travelling and working abroad, I wanted to create a platform where I could share my stories and travels. My goal is to help you live the life you desire and inspire you to travel more.

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