What do you like most about the trip? I love the feeling of freedom from my daily routine, from freedom from pressures and above all from freedom from stress! In addition, the adventure of seeing new places, meeting new people and immersing myself in another culture.
So how do you get it 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 drag me in and keep me there so comfortably that I can’t even think of anything else! My whole body says “Aaahh”. Then I get excited about what happens next. The atmosphere and the adventure of another time and place can make its magic work to make me feel as if I had left my home and transported to a great new experience.
My most recent favorite book for that kind of “journey without a trip” is Stanley Randolf’s Adventures of a World-Traveling Scientist. Imagine discovering secrets of unusual cultures, strange animal species, new perspectives (such as “follow your Soul Voice”) and scary moments behind the corner! From China to Rarotonga, I felt very well traveled, like an aristocrat from the previous tradition.
Then there are foreign films with subtitles in your native language. You may find yourself thinking differently about life after seeing something that takes place in another land. But I still prefer books!
Another way to travel without traveling is to find new cultures at home! Or nearby, if you can reach a bigger city. Most cities have at least one ethnic restaurant that will not only serve new food for you, but will delight you with a unique atmosphere or artwork and music, and perhaps even the original entertainment of the culture owner’s original.
However, the books are the best for me, because I don’t have to eat the unfamiliar kitchen if it seems really terrible, but I can pretend to be still open to this. And with a good imagination, books can make you fly away to unknown lands 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 want to go, if you have read it, you will have a greater feeling of being there than with the video, even if that could help you. Just think of not just how it would seem to you, but how would the smell, the sound, the emotional sensation and even feel physically when your feet hit the sand, or your hand touches a very old stone. It can become very real and really turn into a “mini-vacation”.