How to travel without travelling

The last few weeks have been all about change for me.  My one year contract with work came to an end, and I have applied for, obtained and am preparing next week to start a new job.

Obviously I knew that I was working on a fixed term contract, but it didn’t make coming to the end and starting to look for work again any easier.  I have had some dark moments where I have been terrified of not being able to find work, and I feel  very fortunate that I was able to find a new job so quickly.

The last few weeks started me thinking about how quickly things change and how the “adventure fund” can rapidly become re-labelled the “survival fund”.  Sometimes real life gets in the way of being able to travel and however carefully laid plans are, it won’t always be possible to go where you want to go, when you want to go.

Travel for me is all about that sense of freedom and escape from routine.  It is about exploring new places with energy and enthusiasm.  I think it is possible to re-create this experience without actually having to leave home, and my next series of blog posts are going to be dedicated to travel without travelling.

Here are my top tips:-

1. Read

I absolutely love reading and I have a mountain of books waiting to be read.  I particularly enjoy reading books set in other countries or about different cultures, and if they are historical, even better.


One of my other favourite things to do is read other travel blogs.  There is such a wealth of good travel blogs and useful information out there that you can travel vicariously until you are able to start your own adventure.

2. Write a travel blog

You don’t have to be actually travelling to write a blog about travel – just mine your travel memories, and you will feel like you are reliving your travels all over again.  For an inspiring post about starting a blog, read this from Vicky Flip Flop.

3. Make connections

I recently wrote a blog post about inspiration for a USA road trip.  This arose out of my Dad starting a thread on Etsy asking people from each of the 50 US states to contribute unusual or little known facts about their home states.  You can read his blog about how his journey started off on a beach in Northumberland and ended up in American Samoa here.


Druridge Bay – the beach where my Dad’s journey began

My Dad doesn’t even own a passport.  But by making these connections with people, he found about places we probably never would otherwise have heard of (and which were all rapidly added to my USA bucket list), and it did feel like a journey putting the time and effort in to see it through to the end.

4. Eat

I’m not much of a cook, but every now and then I like to have a bash at it.

Ingredients for my attempt at the Louisiana classic - Jambalaya

Ingredients for my attempt at the Louisiana classic – Jambalaya

There is no limit to what you can create for yourself.  Maybe it won’t be as authentic as eating within the country of your cuisine of choice, but there is nothing stopping you from cooking your way around the world whilst you save up the funds to make the trip yourself.

5. Travel in your home town/region

When it comes to the familiar, keeping an open mind is key.  It is easy to fall into ordinary routines and I am as guilty of this as anyone else.  But there is so much new still to be discovered in the familiar and venturing out to discover and explore home territory can be just as rewarding as travelling to somewhere new.

There is always something new to discover in your backyard

There is always something new to discover in your backyard – this picture if from The New Board Inn in Esh, Co. Durham which was the end point for the Beamish Trophy Trials

These tips don’t just have to apply when travel dreams or plans have been derailed.  The vast majority of people who travel don’t do so full time, don’t work in the travel industry and, like me, squeeze their travel adventures within the confines of a few weeks of annual leave and a limited budget.  These are just some of the ways that I keep the travel spirit alive for the rest of the year.

Do you have any tips about how to travel without travelling?


14 responses to “How to travel without travelling

  1. I am off on another pasportless travel around the world now with “Travel Tips: Things to do for free-even in London!” and yet another random train of thought. for inspiration. People were posting up their favourite paintings on a discussion, and I chipped in with my liking for the bright colourful works of August Macke, who within months of returning from Tunisia where he produced some of his finest works, he was called up to the German Army and died at the front in Champagne France within 2 Months of the First World War starting. Having seen paintings from the creme de la creme of painters in the National Gallery Trafalgar Square completely free, I thought how lucky we are to be able to enjoy a Caneletto or a Turner really up close and personal for free. So I am collecting together travel tips from posters around the world, of good things to do or see in their town/county/state/country. I have already discovered many new things myself, and once you start looking there is a wealth of imformation out there. There are some tremendous sites about London. I was particularly pleased to discover a flickr album of “Tiled Signs from the New Yprk Subway” , and speculate that in any underground system anywhere in the world you are likely to discover some visuallly interesting artwork if you are not too focussed on getting from A to B for a particular time C.
    Maybe I am just overcompensating for not having a passport but it is fun!

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  4. Very nicely topic! I love that we posted something with such a similar concept just 3 days apart before ever seeing each other’s blogs! Since I’m about to leave for work, I do not have time to read this, or your other work, but I like what I’ve skimmed through so far, and will be sure to take a closer look later. Also, you’re now on my blogroll. Our content seems very complimentary.

    • Seattle is absolutely on my bucket list. In fact I started planning a trip to combine Seattle and Vancouver a couple of years ago but had to abandon it as I couldn’t find any affordable flights. Thanks for the offer and obviously the same applies if your travels ever bring you to Newcastle!

      • Your best bet in terms of airfare is to avoid the summer. That is our high season. I’m particularly fond of fall, but you kinda missed that boat for 2013.

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  6. I must admit Newcastle had never really hit my radar before, but I spend a few minutes looking it up and it seems like it would be fairly interesting. Couple with the fact that I have a Scottish heritage and am sure to go there sometime, I think it’s safe to say I will definitely be taking you up on your return offer. Thank you much.

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