As I write this, I am sitting on my couch in San Francisco, drinking a cup of tea and wearing pajamas. It is 11:35am on a Tuesday and I feel like I am on an adventure at this very moment.
As cliché as it seems, traveling is truly a state of mind. You don’t need a plane, train or automobile to travel. The only thing between you and an adventure is, well, you. You have the power to dictate what experiences you open yourself up to, what opportunities you create and when you say YES.
The collection of new experiences we gather while away is the very reason traveling leaves such an impression on us. What we forget is that we don’t actually need to be away to try something new. We just need to be open, to say yes. Here are a few smalls steps that will help you get into the travel state of mind:
- Go on a walkabout. Step out your front door and walk. Just walk. Take a turn you haven’t taken before. Explore a neighborhood you don’t know much about. As adventurous as I like to think I am, I have to admit that sometimes leaving my little few blocks feels so hard. But whenever I do, I’m always happy I did. Maybe you’ll find an awesome mural, a new coffee shop or a park featuring a feast-full of people watching opportunities. Hey, this is San Francisco.
- Take the bus. Now, I know what you’re thinking. But trust me on this. When I first moved to Paris I had absolutely no money, no job (hence the no money) and a lot of time on my hands. So, I got on the bus. I rode the bus for hours. I didn’t look up the route on a map, I just rode. When I saw something that looked interesting, I hopped off and wandered around on foot. This is the best way to get to know a city…and the people in it. You’ll encounter all sorts of characters on the bus.
- Change up your routine. If your afterwork ritual involves popping open a beer and sitting in front of the TV, maybe tonight do something different. Research a local hike, a walking tour…chances are your city has more to offer than you think. Growing up we didn’t have a lot of money but my mom wasn’t going to let that get in the way of our adventurous inclinations. Instead, we played tourist. She found a deck of cards called “101 Things to Do in San Francisco” and on the weekends, I was allowed to pick three cards. We would dress up as tourists from whatever far alway land we wanted to be from that day and take off into the city for an adventure.
- Eat. This is my personal favorite. My priority in any new place I visit is to understand the local culture. What better way to do that than through cuisine? Try a restaurant with food you’ve never tried. Have a potluck with friends with a country theme. I love using recipes from Tasting Table to organize a “travel” dinner.
- Relive your travels. I don’t just mean #tbt posts on Instagram. Integrate memories of your travels into your daily life. Sitting here on my couch, the tea I’m drinking is one I learned to prepare in Bali. My pj’s are from my best friend from Paris. The blanket I’m wrapped up in was my grandmothers in the Philippines. An experience is meant to stay with you forever. Help it do just that by reliving it over and over again.
Hopefully one or some of these little steps will get you on your way to a travel state of mind. Just remember that the only thing stopping you is…you.