What do you love most about travel? I love the feeling of freedom from my day-to-day routine, freedom from pressures, and mostly freedom from stress! Plus, the adventure of seeing new sights, meeting new people, and immersing myself in another culture.
So how do you get that without actually traveling? My favorite way is to read a great book. It can be an old favorite, or a new adventure, but it has to pull me right in and keep me there so snuggly that I can’t even think about anything else! My whole body says, “Aaahh.” Then I get excited about what’s going to happen next. The atmosphere and adventure of another time and place can work its magic to make me feel I’ve left my own home and flown off to some great new experience.
My most recent favorite book for that type of “travel without travel” is Adventures of a World-Traveling Scientist by Stanley Randolf. Imagine discovering secrets of unusual cultures, weird animal species, new perspectives (like “following your Soul Voice”), and scary moments just around the corner! From China to Rarotonga, I felt very-well-traveled, like an aristocrat from earlier lore.
Then there is foreign film with subtitles in your first language. You may find yourself thinking differently about life after watching something that takes place in another land. But I still prefer the books!
Another way to travel without traveling is through finding new cultures right at home! Or nearby, if you can get to a larger city. Most towns have at least one ethnic restaurant that will not only serve new-to-you food, but will delight you with a unique atmosphere or artwork and music, and possibly even entertainment native to the owner’s original culture.
Still, books are the best to me, because I don’t have to eat the unfamiliar cuisine if it sounds really awful, but I can pretend I’m still open to it. And with a good imagination, books can make you fly away to lands unknown with a joyful freedom of heart and soul!
Imagine yourself where you want to be. The beach in Hawaii? The Taj Majal? The Great Pyramids in Egypt? No matter where you long to go, if you read about it, you will have a greater feeling of being there than with video, though that may help. Simply think about not just how it would look to you, but how it would smell, sound, feel emotionally, and even feel physically when your feet hit the sand, or your hand touches a very old stone. It can become very real and truly turn into a “mini-vacation.