We’ve all had to shift our plans and find ways to foster a sense of normalcy amidst what can only be described as unprecedented times—but even if you’ve been fortunate enough to hold onto your job, stay in good health, and be near your family, canceling long awaited vacations and trips abroad can come as a real sore spot.
That said, there are plenty of ways to bring the feeling of travel home; to get the benefits of exploring a new destination from the comfort and safety of home. Here’s how mindset experts, travel bloggers, and successful digital nomads have been fulfilling their need to ‘travel’ without ever leaving the house.
From taking the time to indulge your senses to being grateful for past adventures, these mindset hacks and tricks will make you feel almost as rejuvenated as that trip to the South of France you had planned for the summer.
Ask yourself what you actually like about traveling.
According to Sahara Rose De Vore, travel coach and founder of The Travel Coach Network, a key piece to bringing the feeling of travel home starts before the trip even happens. For travel to put an imprint on your heart, transform your mind, or feed your soul, you must be self-aware of what is driving your desire for adventure in the first place. De Vore urges you to ask yourself what is it that you need? What changes do you desire in your personal, home, or work-life? What are you struggling with most? Why do you crave a getaway? Why travel? No, really, why travel?
“Once you are mindful of the kinds of outcomes, transformations, or changes that you are looking for, you can decide on what types of experiences you need to have to achieve those,” explains De Vore. “It is in those experiences that an awakening, a change, or healing happens and that is what you will take home with you.”
Make room for indulgence and relaxation.
“As an entrepreneur, one of my motivators has been to build a lifestyle that allows for geographical and financial freedom and when COVID-19 hit, I started feeling extremely antsy about having to stay in one place,” explains Anouare Abdou, CEO & founder of SeekSolve.
The key here is to get creative and find ways to really tap into the joy of travel without leaving your neighborhood. “For example, on a sunny day (even though it was still winter in Canada), I took the time to assemble a cheese and charcuterie board and open a nice bottle of wine,” Abdou says, “I grabbed a summer beach read and enjoyed the spread on a lounge chair by the window. I ended up falling asleep under the sun. I almost felt like I was in Italy—a destination that I was planning to visit in 2020 before the pandemic.”
Be grateful for your past adventures.
Giving gratitude for your adventures is a great way to remind yourself of how much you’ve been able to see already—and all that you’ll see when you’re able to truly travel again. “Gratitude helps bring us to the present moment and provides peace and clarity,” explains Monica Nedeff, RDN, LD, adding that meditation is also a great way to foster a sense of gratitude for your memories. “Envision what you just read about in your journal and feel the gratitude rise to the surface. This will help bring back those good feelings and centeredness. When you open your eyes you will feel the abundance of the present moment.”
Evoke your senses.
According to Heidi Bright, chronic illness coach and national speaker, the best way to bring the feeling of travel home is to indulge your senses in a way that helps conjure up memories of past trips.
“A few years ago I went to France to visit the great Gothic cathedrals and to bring that soaring sense of immensities home with me, I bought transparencies of a few of the stained-glass windows I saw,” Bright explains. “I placed them in my kitchen window so that every morning when I raised the blinds, I would see the window images and sigh—it immediately transported me back to the spiritual expansiveness I basked in while meditating in the cathedrals.”
“A second way I retained the felt sensations of being in cathedrals was through only listening to ancient, pre-baroque music, the kind that would have been played in cathedrals,” added Bright. “Because music has the power to elicit powerful emotions, it would immediately transport me back into those lofty spaces.”
Make your home a place you want to be.
“With the pandemic understandably halting all of our travel plans this year, I spent this spring sprucing up our backyard with subtropical plants that transformed our backyard into a lush jungle that echoes our favorite places,” explains Meg Nordmann, author of Have Yourself a Minimalist Christmas, “It’s now full of birds of paradise, papaya trees, elephant ears and bougainvillea. I even added a handmade hammock purchased from Nicaragua and had it shipped here just a month ago and it completes the tranquil vacation vibes we were missing.”
Making your home into a place you actually enjoy being in—whether echoing your favorite tropical country or a luxury hotel suite—offers a space to escape for peace and presence that will transport you to the mental state you seek when going on vacation: relaxed and full of gratitude.
Shake up your routine.
You know that feeling when you go away for a weekend and it feels like you haven’t been home in weeks? According to Sarah Mikutel, host of the Postcard Academy podcast, this is because experiencing something new actually stretches your sense of time.
“Want to bring that feeling of travel home? Do something random. Go camping. Bake a cake. Do an online experience that virtually takes you to another country (AirBnB has loads right now). Get out of your comfort zone!” Mikutel says.
Treat every task/habit like it could be your last.
Part of the magic of travel is the feeling of novelty, but it’s also special because most people only visit each destination once. According to Mitch Glass, digital nomad coach and travel blogger, knowing it will be the last time you’ll experience a destination is a constant reminder to stay in the present moment and relish the experience.
But this mindfulness prompt isn’t only limited to exotic destinations. It can be trained into your everyday experience at home as well. “All you have to do is set reminder alarms throughout the day, explains Glass. ‘Whenever the alarm sounds, you mentally shift into ‘last chance’ mode. Pretend that whatever you’re doing at that moment will be the last time you’ll ever be able to do it.”
This means that whether you’re eating dinner, taking a hot shower, or talking on the phone with a loved one, you’ll bring the wonder that makes travel so special into your everyday life (even the mundane daily tasks!).