Satisfying Your Restlessness (Locally)
We're the restless types. I've mentioned it several times over, now, but it bears repeating.
Of course we don't all have the time, money, or careful planning skills it takes to create a stellar trip three times a year, so how can we create the illusion of a trip to satiate that desire in between the big, carefully planned trips? Today, I'm going to cover ways to get creative in your own area. Whether at home, or out and about. Sometimes it may take some imagination, but as adults, how often do we exercise that part of our brains anymore? If you have kids, maybe a little more often, but still. Here are a few ideas - some of which I have yet to try - to help satiate your specific wanderlust.
Itching to visit another country?
Try creating your picture of that visit in your own home or city. Italy on the brain? Pretend you're there! Get dressed up, find a non-chain Italian restaurant or pizzeria, order the wine, and enjoy. If you're at home, put on an Italian lute music station, prepare and cook up your favorite Italian dish, open a bottle of Chianti, dance in the kitchen with your spouse, watch an Italian film, grab some gelato, and have fun pretending!
Been wanting something French, but don't live near a French restaurant? Croque-Monsieur sandwiches are easier than you think and soooo yummy. Do this sort of thing with any country and try to make it as authentic as you can. Indian food and a Bollywood film? Yes please!
Are you in need of a warm escape from the winter blues?
Find an indoor waterpark and spend an overnight there. How about a botanical gardens or zoo? These places need warmth for both plant and animal life to survive winter and can offer you that sweet escape, even if only for a day. You could even try a fitness center with a pool, hot tub, or sauna. Have a cool, beachy drink... even sneak one in, if you have to ;) Do you have a fireplace? Sounds cheesy, but desperate times could lead you to firing that baby up, laying out near it in a bathing suit, putting a continuous beach scene video on the TV, and enjoying a fruity drink all in your own home! Hey. Don't knock it till you've tried it. If anything, it'll give you a much needed chuckle!
Looking to get outside and take in some views?
Look up some nearby places for a hike and leave your phone behind. Are there some scenic wineries nearby? Who doesn't love some views with a nice drink? Are there any national or state parks within a short drive? Historic sites? I grew up in small town Iowa, and even there, the Native American history was very common and fascinating. Lakes, rivers, waterfalls, deserts, etc... Try to go for places you've ignored for a while or were too lazy to drive to before. Go camping in your own town!
Another cheese-ball one: can you make a fire in the backyard? Or deck-out your porch or patio into a little garden escape? Fit a tent our some sleeping bags out there and take in the view of the night sky? In a little apartment I once had, my roommate and I had part of a rooftop to use, and Tom would come visit and pull all the cushions off my couch and create an outdoor bed/couch. He'd grab some beer, and we'd talk until late into the night. Throw in some lanterns or outdoor lights if you want to make it romanic-y. Sometimes we'd even walk to the nearest grocery store and pick up some ice cream for dessert.
Create your own challenges
Have you ever wondered where the best Mexican food is in your town? Spend the week trying a new place every other day and just split things to save money.
Or in one day, make it a challenge to go to different places and areas of town for different pieces: a yummy drink, a lunch to share, a place for entertainment, something sweet to eat, a scenic view, a physical activity, a place to rest for little bit, another drink stop, a place to buy a new hat, etc... make your own day, but creatively piece every little part of it together over hours and hours. It makes it almost like a scavenger hunt, but not rushed and not to win a prize. Just to be silly!
Find the open houses and estate sales
Sometimes we dream of a different house or style of home, but we wouldn't actually pursue it. So sometimes we like to just crash an open house and pretend. Or wander through an estate sale just to be nosey. Bonus points if you can actually find an item worth buying.
Go on a drive
A drive in itself probably won't help your wanderlust, but it very well may take you somewhere you wouldn't have expected. On one of my restless drives (with Tom) we ended up at a harbor almost two hours away from home late at night. We walked the dark paths along the docks and listened to the boats lapping air and water on the waves. We saw the shops of the main street only lit by the streetlights, and tried to picture them in the daylight. It gave us a little sense of wonder and a break from the mundane. And obviously we stopped for ice cream so...
Start planning a trip
This sounds like it would make things worse, but truly. Just the act of planning a trip can satiate some of that desire to "go." It can get you in that dreamy state, but also quench a little of the desire once you look at the prices and all the little details.