Open Wide the World


9 Tips to Live Like a Traveler When Stuck at Home

Job change. School commitments. Prolonged illness. Family obligations.

Life happens. And sometimes even the most devout travelers will find ourselves stuck on Terra Firma for a season. But time at home doesn't have to feel like a prison sentence. Check out how we feed our hunger for travel, sometimes without even leaving the couch!

We can't all travel all the time. But we can keep the traveler's spirit alive, even when stuck at home. Here are our top nine tips for feeding wanderlust when we're not on the move. #travel #openwidetheworld

9 Tips to Live Like a Traveler When Stuck at Home

Try a new restaurant.

This weekend, skip your favorite go-to franchise restaurant. Ask in your neighborhood Facebook group for restaurant recommendations. Choose a reply that you've never heard of, or in a neighborhood you rarely frequent, or with an intriguing name. When ordering, ask your server if there are any specialties that aren't on the menu, and try one.

Bonus points for ordering a food you typically avoid.

Check out a locally-owned coffee shop.

Bypass the chain coffee house and head to a cafe run by a local (like these or these). Chat with the barista, or the owner if they're in. Ask questions. How did they get into the coffee scene? Do they have a favorite coffee destination? What unique blends do they offer? Entire life stories, plus future travel inspiration can come from such questions.

Bonus points for experiencing your coffee's true taste without cream or sugar.

Seek out a micro museum.

Big cities have big museums. But they also have small ones. Whether it's quirky, like SoHo's The NYC Earth Room, or just lesser known, like Chicago's National Museum of Mexican Art, there's always something new to discover. Especially if you're willing to venture a bit from the crowds.

Bonus points for making a donation to keep a micro museum operating.

Question an ignored monument.

Is there a statue that you pass every day on your way to work? Or a monument you walk by when taking the dog out? So familiar that you may have never even noticed it, and certainly never wondered about it? Today, notice it. Wonder about it. Find out why it is there, and who cared enough about whatever it represents to get it put there. What do those answers teach you about your city or neighborhood's past? Does that parallel anything in the present?

Bonus points for telling someone else what you learned.

Meander a cemetery.

Walk through a local cemetery. Read some headstones. Look for the oldest dates, the largest families, the funniest epitaphs. And watch for familiar last names. Meet the characters after whom your city's streets and buildings are named.

Bonus points for going on a foggy day. Double bonus for a foggy night.

Take in a library lecture.

Most towns have at least one fanatic history buff. And every town has a library. When the two come together, interesting programming occurs. Check your library's calendar of events, and you're likely to find a free lecture on the history of your region. Other worldly programming might include a lecture on how to research your genealogy from abroad, or perhaps a "read around the world" book club.

Bonus points for staying after a lecture to chat with the speaker.

Visit a nearby town.

Do you know what the next town over is famous for? How about what the county to your east prides itself upon? Why not go find out? You could return home having seen the largest ball of twine, or having eaten the best slice of apple pie of your life.

Bonus points for traveling by bus and talking to the local seated next to you.

Watch a film that takes place abroad.

Feeling like it's been too long since your last trip to Rome? Set the dvd to Italian and watch Gladiator this weekend. Wishing you were in Mexico? Get out your paints and put on Frida.

Bonus points for selecting a movie produced abroad. Deduct points for choosing Nacho Libre as a Mexican film.

Prepare for a future trip.

If you're dreaming of heading to Paris, why not brush up on your French? Have you been longing to visit Miami? Then research Art Deco architecture. Hoping to dive with the sharks off Western Australia one day? Start scuba lessons now. Be ready when someday becomes today.

Bonus points for starting to save now for that future trip.

How about you?

How do you embrace every moment with a traveler's spirit? Tell us your best tips in the comments below!


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We can't all travel all the time. But we can keep the traveler's spirit alive, even when stuck at home. Here are our top nine tips for feeding wanderlust when we're not on the move. #travel #openwidetheworld

Foreign films and films that take place abroad

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