If your urge to travel is hitting during COVID-19, not knowing when you can use your passport next is torture.
It makes sense to stay close to home these days. It’s also understandable to feel frustrated and isolated.
If you thrive on new experiences, now is a challenging time. That’s why I put together a list of ways you can safely connect with others. While you must do what’s best for you, these suggestions may spark ideas of how to meet your urge to travel without going far from home.
But, before going any further…
Following the rules created to protect you from getting COVID-19 will help diffuse any uneasiness about how to fulfill your wanderlust. So, take control of your safety and abide by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines: wear a mask, social distance, and wash your hands!
Now, read on to learn more about how to meet your urge to travel during COVID-19.
Explore the Outdoors
Even though travel is different these days, you can still wander in your backyard. Hiking trails are a good bet. So is taking a canoe or kayak out on a lake. Just remember to bring your masks and wipes before you hit the trails or paddle away.
You can also hop online to see if there’s an open park near your home. And, if you live in a big city, venture out when it’s less crowded to find some hidden treasures in your own hood.
Go on a Photography Walk
Are you a traveler who loves to take pics? There’s no reason to stop enjoying your hobby during COVID-19.
Honor social distancing protocols and grab a pal to take a photo stroll with you. Appreciate the flowers in your neighbors’ yard, go bird watching, or ask people to strike a pose from a safe distance.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to do things that bring you joy. So, grab your camera (or phone) and get snapping.
Feed Your Wanderlust
What better way to feed your soul than to eat! With all the food delivery services out there, find a place to order a tagine — like the one you had in Morocco. As you savor your food, reminisce about a past adventure or dream of where you plan to go next.
And when you have your meal, find a safe public space to enjoy it with others. You can also make it an international event and have a zoom date with your pals from all over the world.
Enjoy an Outdoor Cultural Experience
Pending on where you are, there might be a museum with an outdoor exhibit for you to check out. Most cities also have public gardens for you to stop and smell the roses.
While your hometown might not look like Paris or Milan, perhaps there’s a lovely park nearby. Check it out at a time that works for you and enjoy the beauty of nature. Chances are you won’t be the only one who has the same idea. Even though you might be on your own, you’d still see and be with other people.
If you’re an architecture fanatic, explore the outside of the local mosques, temples, and churches in your area. You can also research historic buildings near your home and create your own walking tour — like the one you took in the last city you visited!
Give back to your community
Part of travel is connecting with people in the culture you are visiting. In these times, check out how you help your own community. By supporting your local non-profits, you are supporting others while also learning about a social cause.
Many local food banks are accepting donations and volunteers. If you’re crafty, consider making masks and giving them to businesses in your town. There are also youth programs desperate for mentors. See if you can find a program where you can safely connect with a young person in need of support during this time.
Fostering an animal is another great way to connect with others during COVID-19. Not only will you be saving a life, but you’ll be meeting people when you take the dog for a walk or bring the cat to the vet.
Break a Sweat
One of the best ways to deal with feeling frustrated and stressed is to get the endorphins pumping. Connect with others while hosting an outside dance party. Go on — blast salsa like you’re in Havana or get the K-pop going and pretend you’re in Seoul. Not only is this a great way to feel less isolated; it’s also a fun way to channel your urge to travel.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
During this time, it’s so important to do what works for you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t begin to plan your next travel adventure. Share with your friends where you want to go next, have conversations with online communities, and do your research. After all, the anticipation of a future trip is part of the travel experience.