Open Ticket

How To Travel Around The World, From Your Couch

I’ve been getting antsy lately. I feel like my feet are impatiently waiting for the next adventure, but my wallet is being stubborn and won’t magically fill with cash.

Last week, I sang the praises of road tripping. But sometimes you don’t have the money, the time or the wheels to get out of town. So, what’s a girl to do when she’s stuck in one place? That’s when it’s time to get creative and change your mental space.

Movies are awesome at this. You can sit back on your couch (or your bed, or in-home movie theater…come to think of it, if you have an in-home movie theater you probably don’t have too much to worry about). Anyway, get comfy and get ready for travel limited only by what’s in your DVD collection (or in your instant queue).

Want to see Italy? Head off on a sun-dappled adventure with Diane Lane in Under the Tuscan Sun.  Looking for something tropical, more along the lines of white sand beaches and turquoise water? How about checking out the backpacker-in-Thailand movie, The Beach? Dying to visit a quaint small town, French-style? Let Johnny Depp show you around in Chocolat. Heck, you can even time travel.  Hello, early 19th century England in Sense and Sensibility (or any of the movies based on Jane Austen’s books). How ya doin’, 1870’s Japan in The Last Samurai? If you’re anything like me, after watching a film you’ll probably end up even more determined to take off somewhere, but hopefully whatever movie you choose will tide you over (for a while, at least).

Another great way to get lost is in books. This might be my absolute favorite way (short of actually traveling). Shuffle on down to the library and wander through the aisles, waiting to stumble across something that strikes you. You could go the visual route and find a stunning photography book with drool-worthy vistas. Or check out an awesome memoir, like ones by Bill Bryson or Sarah Vowell, to see how other people approach travel and see the world around them. And, just like in films, you’re not limited by space or time. You can travel back to King Arthur’s Court or into a hypothetical future in The Hunger Games. Books are a bit more of a time commitment than watching a film or tv show, but they can be even more rewarding.

Another contender for my favorite way to “travel” at home is trying different types of food. Staying at home can be fun AND delicious! I love any kind of themed restaurant (the more pirates, the better, I say!) and types of food are kind of like themes. It’s especially fun to try something that’s completely new (depending on how adventurous of an eater you are, that could range from on-every-corner Mexican food to something more exotic, like Ethiopian). Wherever you go (or if you stay home and put on your chef’s hat), be daring. Don’t stick with the same old burrito you always get. Ask the staff what they like, or try a recipe for something you’ve never heard of. Explore and enjoy it!

What are the films, books or food that get you in the mood for travel?

Image via Shutterstock

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