There are times when my wife and I regret having made that first trip to Belize all those years ago. We absolutely loved it, but it put this desire deep inside us to keep exploring and get out of our comfort zone. If it’s been too long between trips, we find ourselves getting stir crazy and moody until we pack up our bags and have a new adventure.
While we sometimes envy those whom are content to live a monotonous life we would never want to cure this burning passion we have for travel, but letting yourself get moody between trips isn’t ideal either so we’ve been developing some strategies to keep our wanderlust sated and hope they’ll be useful for you as well.
Have a Trip Planned
This is absolutely hands-down the best way to cure this affliction. Having your next trip planned, even if it’s a year or more out, can keep your wanderlust satisfied and allow you to stay focused while home working or studying.
For some it might be enough just to put a date on the calendar and save up for it. For us it works better if we have something concrete booked, like plane tickets or lodging stays. Having that travel goal or part of your trip already set up gives you something to look forward to and reassures your soul that there is an adventure coming.
We’ve had mixed results with this one. Sometimes when sharing our experiences with others and hearing about their trips it gives our minds a chance to wander to those times when we were adventurous. Sharing our difficulties with language barriers, getting lost, amazing places we’ve photographed and the neat experiences we’ve had can work to quell those desires to wander.
However, it should also be noted that this really only works if you’ve recently come back from your trip. If it’s been six months or so I find that sharing our experiences or hearing about others has the opposite effect and we find ourselves craving travel more. This is good if you want to stay motivated to continue traveling, but bad if you find your heart yearning for foreign lands and are unable to go anytime soon.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Part of the thrill with travel is that it puts you outside of your comfort zone and requires you to adapt and stretch yourself to get by. It breaks up the monotonous routine you’ve created for yourself at home and enables you to try new things which often leads to fun and interesting experiences.
Finding little ways to stretch and adapt at home can satisfy those yearnings and break up the monotony that makes travel so compelling. Starting a side business, getting into a hobby, volunteering your time, or getting into a club can go a long way to break up the drudgery and give you the ability to challenge yourself and grow.
This has been our latest experiment and has worked wonders at keeping our wandering hearts content while being home. Planning a local activity or trip can give you the adventure and thrill you need without having to spend an inordinate amount of time or money planning it. We’ve done day trips to local reservoirs we’ve never been to, planned weekend trips to towns and communities we’d never have a reason to visit normally, and other small vacations in our area that have been a blast.
Admittedly spending a weekend at a hotel in a rural community an hour or two away from home isn’t the same as diving into a new country with a unique culture and foreign location, but it does tap into that same desire to explore and experience and is a good way to bide your time for the next trip.
Ultimately, you’re going to have to step outside your home country in order to satiate your self-inflicted wanderlust, but finding ways to explore the area around you, getting out of your comfort zone, sharing experiences with others and having the next trip planned can be great ways to keep your sanity while you’re preparing/waiting for that next great adventure.
Author: Benjamin Baker
After serving abroad in a religious capacity for two years Ben has felt the pull to travel and explore ever since. This desire was further fueled by his wife Maddie and the two have traveled to many places over the last few years. Ben’s hope is that by sharing his knowledge and experiences obtained while traveling that others can improve their lives and the lives of others through travel. Check out additional articles written by Benjamin.