When you can’t get away, there are still some activities you can do at home to bring yourself some travel-inspired joy.
Here are my favourites.
Conjure up a travel-inspired meal
This is top of my list.
Nothing takes me back to a destination quite like food.
And, it doesn’t need to be a complicated restaurant-worthy dish, streetfood or home cooking is often the best, in my opinion.
All I need to be transported back to Greece is a simple Greek Salad. Luckily, I can find all the ingredients at the moment, but otherwise it’s a chance to experiment with your favourite flavours.
I’ve got a few ideas lined up. First, is to turn left over pulled pork into Bao buns – I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Finally sort those travel photos
If you’re anything like me, you take a heap of photos whenever you go away. Now’s the perfect time to sort and organise them. Delete the ones you don’t want – do you really need 100 photos of the same sunset! Update the details so you can remember exactly where you went and what’s in the photo.
There are also lots of companies that will let you order a photo book online. They’re easy and fun to do and make a great gift. Plus, it’s nice to have a non-digital way to look through your photos and relive all the best bits!
Master the art of photography
I am a budding photographer.
I’ve done a few online courses and snap away on my DSLR and phone camera when I’m away. At home, the practice kind of grinds to a halt. And, I haven’t mastered any post-editing yet.
At the moment there are some amazing free resources on just about any topic – like these free ones from Nikon, running for the whole of April. No better time to up those skills. My indoor plants, fruit bowls and dinners are going to get snapped.
Immerse yourself in some cultural learning
I do a lot of research about a place before I go, but I have to admit this is to create an idyllic holiday.
I scan through the history and culture sections of travel guides, but I don’t often go much further on that front.
On a trip to Cambodia, I realised how little I knew about their recent history. A visit to a war museum gave us an insight into the atrocities, but left me wanting to understand more. I’ll be watching ‘First They Killed My Father’ on Netflix, not in the ‘light entertainment’ category, but will hopefully increase my knowledge of this beautiful country and it’s wonderful people.
Indulge in your own happy hour
I love a happy hour on holiday. When you’re relaxing around the pool, it’s the signal that links you to like-minded travellers. Happy hours provide structure when time starts to beautifully lose all meaning.
Happy hours are basically a hotel giving you their blessing to squeeze in as many drinks as you can – challenge accepted!
We’ve set up a little replacement pub using our under-used breakfast bar. Having a ‘new’ place to go has been a wonderful escape, although it does lack sea or sunset views! It means we sit, chat, listen to music and avoid mind-numbing TV. We set our own happy hour, the only challenge is to avoid doing it every day.
Soak up some vitamin D
Living in the UK, sunshine is strongly associated with holidays.
For most of Jan and Feb our weather was predominantly depressingly grey.
But, the tide has turned (long may it continue!), it’s been nice and bright. That said, it’s not quite hot enough to be sunbathing worthy (yet).
Although I won’t be rushing out in my bikini, I have been spending time in the garden and opening up all the windows. Fresh air and sunshine are definitely a mood lifter.
Become fluent in another language
This one is still on my to do list.
I’ve made a start by downloading a learn Spanish audio book. The listening part hasn’t started yet.
I’d love to be fluent in another language. Being able to only speak English is one of my cringe-worthy traits. At least I don’t complain about people not being able to speak English in the countries I visit – can’t stand it when people do that, but I digress!
Nail that playlist
We all have songs that make us think of a certain trip, the unofficial soundtrack to your holiday.
When I’m away I always promise myself that I’ll make a better playlist. I want to spend time relaxing to the ideal songs, the ones that perfectly match the setting. Some songs scream summer, perfect for the beach. Others ooze the right vibe for a sunset or help relieve the monotonous boredom of a long journey.
Instead, I’m more likely to be found randomly skipping, desperately searching for that song, you know, the one by what’s his name….
Dream big with an awesome bucket list
Although we can’t get away at the moment, this is a temporary situation.
We can’t book the flights or put a date in the diary, but day dreaming the next vacation is still on the cards.
I got involved in the Facebook list doing the rounds, where you mark off the destinations you’ve been to with the plane emoji. It was joyful to reminisce about the places I’ve already been, but even better to get inspiration for where to head to next.
I have to admit that we play the ‘where to next’ game pretty often. Some suggestions are part of the wider ‘if we win the lottery’ game – Bora Bora anyone? Others are just a hop, skip and jump away.
As a travel enthusiast, I hope this has given you a bit of inspiration. I’d love to know what’s been keeping you sane when you can’t jump on a plane and fly away!