While the pandemic kept many of us from traveling
last year, the lure and excitement of exploring new destinations may still light
up your soul – and for good reason. Travelling offers excellent benefits. In
addition to the physical rewards of moving about the country, there's a significant
amount of research that suggests
visiting new places can do wonders for your mental and emotional health as well.
What a treasure for travel seekers.
As you look forward to what the new year brings, you may not feel ready to hop on a plane just yet, and that's perfectly okay! You can still enjoy the thrill of traveling from the comfort of your home. Some call this a stay-at-home-vacation or staycation. We also like the term armchair traveling, which means engaging in travel-themed activities while relaxing in your favorite chair. This type of travel allows you to learn about new locations, fill your time with exciting activities, and feel inspired for a future trip. It also provides the emotional benefits of traveling without leaving home.
Preparing for "Takeoff"
To get started, we suggest dreaming of a particular destination. Have you always wanted to dip your toes in the waters of Hawaii? Maybe take a walk through the ancient ruins of Pompeii? Or bite into a slice of Margherita pizza in Italy? Once you have a location in mind, read through our suggestions below and start exploring – no passport required!
1. Take a Virtual Tour. With the help of your computer and a company called Walks, guided "walking tours" of the most desired locations around the world are made available to you. Passionate experts take you on hour-long video tours and reveal some of the lesser-known facts about each place as you go. The company offers a wide selection of experiences for a small fee, and during January, all tours are 10% off using the promo code SAVE10WALKS.
Another way to travel virtually is to tap into live webcams. You can visit natural wonders, art museums, zoos, parks, and beaches right from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Most webcams are free and available any time of day. This list of 20 fascinating locations is a great place to start.
2. Read books about travel. Books are a fantastic way to take a journey without leaving your home. Stories can be educational, entertaining, and even indulgent as you explore destinations through the eyes of a travel writer or the experiences of a fictional character.
If you need some inspiration, this is an excellent list of books that's sure to take you places. For more of a National Geographic approach, we recommend this awe-inspiring compilation of 500 celebrated and lesser-known destinations around the globe.
3. Watch travel-themed movies. The cinema is a beautiful way to explore the world. Whether the storyline is true or purely fictional, movies like Into the Wild, Out of Africa, and Under the Tuscan Sun can instantly take you on a lovely journey through space and time. Here's a list of 21 of the best travel movies to check out.
If you prefer documentaries or reality shows, the Discovery+ streaming service is a great resource to try. There's also a new original series coming to CNN called "Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy." The show premiers in February, but you can watch this sneak peek now to get a taste of this light-hearted show.
4. Revisit vacation photos. Feeling nostalgic? Revisit a previous adventure! Pull out the scrapbooks filled with your favorite vacation photos or reminisce over precious souvenirs you collected along the way. If you have an all-time favorite photo, consider using it to personalize a calendar or print it on a magnet so you can display and enjoy it more often.
Did you experience these trips with someone special? Open your journal and write about it or pick up the phone and swap stories. Walking down memory lane can be a rewarding little trip in itself.
5. Listen to music from a region you love. Music has the power to stimulate memories and take us back to a very specific place. For instance, the sound of a steel drum might remind you of a trip to the Caribbean, while the wail of a bagpipe might whisk you off to the lush green vistas of Scotland or Ireland. Even if you've never traveled to these lands, distinct musical sounds can help transport you to new and colorful places. So, put on a record or pop in a CD and take your imagination for a spin.
6. Learn a new language. Thinking about traveling abroad one day? A great way to prepare for an upcoming adventure is to pick up a new skill you can use on the trip, like learning a language. Experts say it's never too late to master a second language. Spanish, French, and German are the most common choices, and they're much easier to learn with the help of services such as Duolingo or RosettaStone. Give them a try. Será divertido! (It will be fun!)
Nothing can completely replace the joy of traveling. For now, we hope these ideas speak to your sense of wonder and keep you inspired to explore. As you start making plans to get out, we'll be here as a guide offering tips, resources, and exciting services like our Travel Program. We believe in helping seniors have new experiences while still feeling safe and comfortable. Interested in learning about our program or living in a Resort Lifestyle Community? Find a community near you and call us!