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9 Ways To Satisfy Your Wanderlust When You Can't Travel

There can be a time when booking a flight and travelling isn’t so much a reality. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to travel, it just means that for one reason or another, we can’t.


If you’re wondering, there’s a word for that feeling, wanderlust.


What does wanderlust mean? Wanderlust refers to the desire to roam around. These days, we take wanderlust as meaning a strong desire to travel and explore the world.


The good news is that there are ways to manage wanderlust even when you can't travel.

June 11, 2021 in Life

Couple eating popcorn in bed

1. Eat international food

Food is a universal way to experience a new culture in every dish you try and eating local food when you travel is a vital part of the experience for many people. You don't always have to leave your town to try international cuisine. Many Canadian cities and towns have restaurants that cater to different cultures.


If you're ambitious in the kitchen, you could try learning to cook a new dish. There are many online videos and courses that can teach you to prepare authentic international cuisines.


Pick a region you’ve always wanted to visit. Do some research to find out what foods the area is known for and how the local people tend to prefer it. Think of specialty dishes that are specific to certain regions—dishes from northern Italy instead of just Italian food, for example. Then see if you can order or make something similar. You can try international foods from select restaurants or attempt to make them from the comfort of your home and earn 5X the points on eligible purchases while doing so when you pay with the American Express Cobalt Card.

2. Read travel books

Your imagination can take you anywhere in the world. When the wanderlust-fuelled urge to travel hits you, let reading transport you to faraway places. Reading lets you get immersed in a different world.


Whether you like reading fiction books with overseas adventures, memoirs about people's own travel experiences, travel books with tips regarding your favourite destinations, or travel magazines with colourful photos of places you dream of visiting, reading can alleviate some of the wanderlust you're experiencing.


Do you have friends who are also experiencing a desire to get away? Consider starting a travel-themed book club so you can discuss the books you’ve read—and share your own travel stories.

3. Watch travel-themed movies 

Just like books, movies and television shows can transport you to different destinations. Travel-based TV shows can give your ideas for your future trips and make you feel like you're onsite with the film crew.


Meanwhile, movies that take place in international settings can showcase spectacular vistas or give your ideas for new adventures. Documentaries can give you vital information about the areas you want to visit—including sharing local secrets.

4. Relive past trips         

One of the best ways to feel as though you’re travelling when you can’t leave your local region but want to satisfy your wanderlust is to relive your past adventures. It's exciting to take a trip down memory lane and remind yourself of what you've already seen. It's also nice to reminisce about the fun travel times you've had.


Pull out your old photo album, flip through the photos and videos on your computer or phone and see where your memories take you.

5. Plan your future trips

Now might be the perfect time to engage in wanderlust travel planning. You have a lot of time to dream of your next vacation, research it, and plan it out in detail. Learning how travel rewards credit cards work can help you earn points as you build your itinerary.


Whether you're looking for a weekend away or an international voyage, now is the time to do extensive research on the best places to visit and restaurants to eat at. Though it might seem like the opportunities to travel are limited, you'll be glad you did your preparation when travel is an option again.

6. Change up your routine

One of the great things about travel is that it gives you the opportunity to change up your routine. You wake up at a different time in the morning and enjoy your coffee in a different cafe. Maybe you eat breakfast when normally you’d skip it. You don’t have to deal with the morning commute or jumping out of bed right away to let the dog out.


If wanderlust is affecting you, maybe the issue is your routine. Try changing up your daily activities. Go to a new coffee shop or take a different route to work. Take a couple of days off from work, even if you have no travel plans. Sometimes a staycation can be as satisfying as going away.

7. Get a weekend away

Sometimes what you need is a break from the temptation to check your work email or the frustration of dealing with an endless list of household chores. If travel is a possibility in your region, consider a local getaway – maybe a weekend away at a nearby resort with The Hotel Collection. If the weather's nice, go camping.


Even getting in your car and going for a drive to see where the road takes you can help with your wanderlust.

8. Read travel blogs

Much like books and movies, travel blogs allow us to experience the world without leaving our home. What makes good travel blogs great is that they allow you to experience the world through someone else's eyes, but they also give you the opportunity to dream about and plan your own trip.


If you're thinking about your next vacation, check out travel blogs by people who've been to places you want to go. Take note of their tips and ideas for what worked for them and incorporate those into your future travel plans.


Combining your wanderlust with someone's travel blog can help you envision your ideal future vacation. It's the perfect wanderlust travel planner.

9. Be a tourist in your own city

We tend to think we've seen all there is to see of our city and take tourist attractions for granted, but the truth is there's almost always something more for us to do or learn in our hometowns. Often, the experiences we want to have elsewhere we can have close to home.


If you're feeling the urge to travel, make a list of the top five things you've always wanted to do in your city, and tackle that list if you’re able to do so. Chances are, you'll see things in your region you've never seen before.


Take selfies exactly as you would if you were on vacation. Act as though you're seeing your city for the first time.

Use American Express® travel rewards Cards to make the most
of your wanderlust

Some credit cards offer cash back and reward points that can be redeemed for travel bookings in the future. For example, Marriott BonvoyTM American Express® Cardmembers can earn points that can be redeemed for free nights at select hotels. You can earn reward points and travel later.


Take a look at all of the American Express Cards to see which one suits your wanderlust lifestyle the best.


®: Used by Amex Bank of Canada under license from American Express


TM: 2021 Marriott International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All names, marks and logos are the trademarks of Marriott International, Inc., or its affiliates, unless otherwise noted.

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