As someone who has spent years traveling with my camera, experiencing the world from behind my lens, staying in place has been tough. I’m used to being in a different country every couple of months. Now I’m stuck in the same four walls. Going to the store is the longest trip I take.
I know that it is totally worth it – I’m fine with giving up a year or more of travel so as to stay healthy and save lives. But that doesn’t mean the wanderlust has gone away. Rather, it is stronger than ever.
In order to prevent myself from going crazy, I’ve been working on myself as a traveller. There are many ways to improve your travel habits while sticking in one spot. Do the following, so that you are ready to hit the road as soon as it’s possible.
Learn new languages
If you have a particular destination in mind, take time to actually learn some of the language. It is all-too-easy to get complacent these days by using Google Translate everywhere you go, but you have a much greater experience of a country if you can actually converse with the locals.
Even if you don’t have a destination you’re working towards, you can learn some useful languages of countries you know are on your bucket list. Read this review of Lingopie for a truly unique app that makes learning languages fun. It gives you access to thousands of foreign language shows with interactive translations.
It is never ideal to learn languages from stock phrases and vocab lists. Hearing how it is actually spoken is far more useful, which is why so many second-language speakers will tell you they learnt the language from TV series. Lingopie takes this common experience and turns it into an effective learning technique.
Lower your carbon footprint
By not travelling, we are all technically lowering our carbon footprint. However, that is not nearly enough. The reality is that when we fly across the world we’re adding to one of the biggest issues of our time – climate change.
It is easy to think that we are not the problem. I’ve been to so many places where I have expressed appreciation that tourists hadn’t ruined it before realising I am one of the tourists ruining it.
So, take your time to find out which popular spots have been suffering from too much tourist activity. Learn about the particular environmental problems your future destinations are facing. If they have water issues, you’ll know to be careful with your consumption. If they have animal cruelty issues, avoid places which exploit animals.
In other words, learn to be conscientious when travelling.
Engage in the pop culture
When you are visiting a city in another country, you might find yourself struggling to connect to the nightlife or local activities. Everyone else seems to be having a good time, but you don’t really understand why. I stood watching a band in a Rio De Janeiro club playing twelve different types of percussion instruments at once.
You can avoid this sense of disconnect if you spend some time engaging in the pop culture of different places you plan to visit. Listen to the music and try to get a taste for it. Watch some of the local dance trends online, and try them out yourself.
You will enjoy a place much more if you recognise the pop culture and know what to watch out for. You can be a better tourist, with a bit of preparation and consciousness.