Anyone with a perpetual case of wanderlust may be turning your gaze longingly towards the sky these days wishing you were on a long haul flight. But as for these alerts for unbelievably low fares tempting you to book a trip to a far-flung destination, you might be a little hesitant to go all in right now.
So what can those of us who miss travel right now more than anything else do in the meantime to satisfy our urge to go somewhere, anywhere? Create a nook that will transport you to your favorite locale or bucket list destination.
“When we physically travel, what makes it so exciting is that we are stimulating all of our senses in a new way, discovery lies around every corner,” says Murray Hidary, the creator of MindTravel, a series of music-driven mindfulness experiences designed to help people find connection, purpose and peace. “Every country and city we visit has its own unique sights, sounds, smells and flavors, so when thinking about setting up a travel themed quiet space at home, keep all the senses in mind.”
Here are seven ways to travel without leaving your abode:
Find Your Perfect Spot
A corner of your bedroom, living room, basement, hallway or even closet can serve as a quiet place to retreat with your travel memories and inspiration. Ideally the location will have natural light or a window, but it doesn’t have to. As long as it’s somewhat tucked away and feels cozy and comfortable it will do.
Get Creative With Photos
Before you are tempted to upload a thousand pics to a digital frame, know that the low-tech route can be much more calming and organic. Umbra has several clean, modern ways to hang the memories from your three-day trek on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu or the time spent island-hopping in Thailand’s Phang Nga Bay: HangIt XL uses twine cords and mini clothespins to showcase up to eighty photos that are easily swapped, while the Prisma wall frame is a modern photo gallery that holds up to nine photos. Mixtiles are another unique way to turn your photos into wall art; the 8” x 8” tiles are removable and reusable and leave no marks. Place them in rows or whatever type of groupings speak to you.
Download An Immersive Playlist
No matter where you want to go in your mind, there’s music to take you there, and Spotify is a great place to start. Spend the evening at a dance hall in Salamanca with Flamenco 100%, people watch over a glass of Sancerre from your table at a Parisian Cafe overlooking the Eiffel Tower or jump off the balcony from your luxe overwater bungalow in Bora Bora with this collection of songs evocative of French Polynesia.
Crave a selection of tunes named for and inspired by places? Travel deal site Scott’s Cheap Flights has compiled the Ultimate Travel Playlist, with a hundred titles from “Havana” by Camilla Cabelo to “California Dreaming” by The Mamas and The Papas. Set it on shuffle, place a Nodpod weighted sleep mask filled with microbeads and covered in velvet over your eyes and reminiscence — or think about where you want to travel to next.
Be Transported Via Your Sense Of Smell
If your favorite hotel brand pumps out its signature scent into the lobby and hallways, you might be able to purchase a candle to recreate the experience of your sumptuous stay. The Kimpton Candle is a blend of citrus, green tea, black pepper, clove and musk, the St. Regis Candle has notes of American Beauty roses, white lilies, quince, apple and cherry blossom and the EDITION Hotel Candle captures exotic black tea, citrus, smoke, chocolate, pepper and flowers.
If you are more of a fan of aromatherapy, try the InnoGear Essential Oil Diffuser, which has two mist options and a timer, can run up to eight to ten hours and works with any essential oils. Add a few drops of lavender to return you to the picnic you had in a field of blooms in Provence, lemon to overlook the sea from your balcony on Italy’s Amalfi Coast or frankincense for the memory of touring the world’s grandest cathedrals.
Set Up Your Travel Treasures
Find a pretty basket or bowl and fill it with shells picked from the beach in Saint Lucia, polished pieces of green and cobalt blue sea glass from Kauai, Kimmeridgian limestone from the chalky soils in Champagne or dried sunflowers from a golden field in Tuscany. (Remember though, before taking any natural item while on a trip, make sure it’s allowed and that there isn’t any bad luck association with bringing it home.)
If you’ve done some epic souvenir shopping, install a floating wall shelf and set out joy-sparking items like the Tibetan singing bowl you bought in Burma, wood carvings from a local artist you found at the artisanal market in Cape Town or a hand-woven sweetgrass basket from Savannah.
Grab Some Customized Travel-Inspired Items
Take the details from a boarding pass of a trip of a lifetime (name, date, origin, destination, airline, seat) and turn them into this throw pillow from RedBubble, mark off the places you’ve been with this scratch wall map of the world from Uncommon Goods or sip your favorite beverage from a mug, insulated bottle or rocks glass with a map of your favorite city or airport from Well Told.
Don’t Forget The Snacks
Is there anyone more fun than picking up some candy or junk food at an airport or grocery store in a foreign country? Relive that experience with a subscription box with global treats. Universal Yums and Snack Crate offer a different themed box every month, with food and information about the featured country. You can also order one-off boxes about Korea, Japan, Mexico and more through CrateJoy. And EliteWorld offers a sampler of European treats, Asian snacks and Central American candy.