Travel is about connecting with other people and places, which you can do from the couch!
The Wanderful community firmly believes you can travel without leaving home — no matter the circumstances or reason for doing so. As long as you’re willing to try something new, to allow yourself to feel uncomfortable, and to challenge your preconceptions, the benefits of travel can be found right at home.
While many of us are staying home for extended periods of time, I still want you to get the benefits of travel. So I have a few (okay, many) suggestions to help you expand your horizon, even if you’re physically within four walls.
First, I would be remiss if I didn’t encourage you to join the Wanderful community!
Wanderful was built on the idea that women are each other’s greatest asset. Our focus is on helping all women travel more by fostering community, facilitating communication, encouraging sharing, and supporting our global sisterhood.
If you’re already a Wanderful member, you know what I mean!
The magic of the Wanderful community has been proven during this very challenging time.
Members have stepped up to share recommendations and inspiration for travel lovers to enjoy at home. They have created virtual brunches and virtual wine nights. There are even Netflix parties and shared yoga sessions in the works!
This community is filled with fabulous women from all walks of life and from all around the world. We have come together in this shared moment of chaos to lighten the load and to offer inspiration.
This is a time when we need to connect with each other and to support one another. Since we can’t do it in person, this online travel-loving community has taken on the challenge with such grace.
If you aren’t a member yet, join us to get great benefits, including:
A members-only app for finding and connecting with other members anywhere in the world
Right now, Wanderful membership enrollment is open. Knowing that many are struggling, Wanderful is also giving away 500 free memberships to help even more women stay connected with travel no matter the circumstances.
If you can support a small travel business during this crisis, membership is only $69 for the entire year!
Find out more about Wanderful membership right here.
Learn Through Travel Without Leaving Home
Just because we’re not flying around the world or sailing across the sea doesn’t mean we can’t experience other places and cultures. These virtual tours and seminars can keep your education up while keeping your costs way down. Take a look…
Explore Outside While Staying In
The US National Parks offer virtual tours. How amazing is that?!
Go ahead and bask in that natural beauty even if you live in the urban jungle. These tours can also be hugely beneficial in teaching appreciation and conservation of the environment.
You read that right! As tour guides around the world are struggling, they’re also getting creative. As reported by Forbes, Context Tours has taken some of their tours online and they now offer virtual seminars by their professional guides. Learn about Beijing, Venice, or Tokyo…with more likely to come!
Test Your Knowledge With Pub Quizzes
Everyone loves a good pub quiz, right? In times when we can’t go socialize in person, we can get extra creative. My local Edinburgh quizmasters have taken the quizzes online (and came up with #QuizzicalNotPhysical, which is adorable).
With the Open Heritage program, Google’s Arts & Culture page offers an in-depth look at heritage sites and artifacts from around the world.
Plan Your Future Travels
Many folks had to cancel travel plans and there is no clear timeframe for when we might be able to get back out into the world. Borders are closed, airports are empty, and tourism businesses around the world are struggling.
This is not a time to give up on travel forever! In fact, it’s the perfect time to plan and to dream.
Here are a few top tips for planning your future travels without leaving home:
Read Travel Blogs
Travel bloggers are really struggling right now. Often overlooked as small businesses, most full-time bloggers are seeing a massive decline in website traffic. That means their income has also dramatically dropped.
If you already follow any bloggers, read through their content. Bookmark pages you want to reference again later. Share your favorite posts on social media.
Travel bloggers need some extra love right now if you want to continue being inspired by them in the future.
They offer personal insights and experiences that help you plan your own trips — or to travel vicariously through them! They could use your support now to get through this crisis.
Staying fit and healthy means you’ll be able to travel more and venture farther when it’s safe to do so. Planet Fitness is offering free online classes for at-home workouts. The best part? These are available to non-members, too!
Workouts will be live-streamed on Facebook at 7pm EST daily, with on-demand access if you can’t make it live. Watch the videos and stay active right here.
In our own Wanderful community, we have women leading virtual yoga sessions starting next week! Members, take a look right here.
45+ Travel-Themed Film & TV Suggestions
Netflix and Amazon Prime have recently become seemingly as important as groceries. As more people find themselves staying home instead of traveling — even traveling to work! — the need to fill time grows.
Why not use this time to inspire your future travels?
We asked our community what they’re watching to stay inspired. They definitely delivered with some great suggestions of favorite shows or movies! Join our private Facebook group to add your suggestions to the list!
Watch any of these to feel like you’re traveling without leaving home (some added commentary included!):
The Talented Mr Ripley — The views of Italy make my heart ache because I miss that place so much and I am so sorry for what they are all going through now.
All of Anthony Bourdain
Before Sunrise made me fall in love with Vienna long before I ever got to visit.
Under the Tuscan Sun
We surf, so when we can’t travel to catch a wave, we watch the Blue Crush movies. It’s our guilty pleasure!
The Darjeeling Limited
Three Coins in a Fountain
The Amazing Race!!! Best. Reality. Show. Ever.
To Catch a Thief, Lord of the Rings, the English Patient and some of the original Lara Croft. There are a lot of older movies that come to mind
Travel Man series with Richard Ayoade
Good old Rick Steves. So cheesy, but oh so good.
Fav movies about travel: Only You (Italy), Under a Tuscan Sun (Italy), Enchanted April (Italy) – – wow, there are a lot of movies about traveling to Italy… – – Shirley Valentine (Greece), Mama Mia (Greece), Eat Pray Love (Italy, India, Bali), The Holiday (England), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Hawaii), and Passengers (Space).
A Room with a View – fabulous Florence
Midnight in Paris
Lost in Translation, Doctor Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia
Amelié! Midnight in Paris. The Grand Budapest Hotel. Outlander
Crazy Rich Asians for Singapore
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Out of Africa
I loved The Way about the Camino de Santiago. It made me want to go on long journeys by foot.
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants!
Australia with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman
I love Letters to Juliet
Bond, James Bond ; ) 007
“The Climb” or “L’ascension”** , Thi Mai**, Dirty Dancing Havana Nights, Un plus une**, The Motorcycle Diaries, Midnight in Paris, About Time, Crazy Rich Asians, Just Married and the Invisible Guest**. This last one isn’t about travel but it’s by far one of the best movies I have seen, all the ones with ** are on Netflix for sure!
The Beach – “I still believe in paradise. But now at least I know it’s not some place you can look for. Because it’s not where you go. It’s how you feel for a moment in your life when you’re a part of something. And if you find that moment… It lasts forever”
Enjoy Cultural Activities Without Leaving Home
We could all use a little extra culture to balance out the Netflix binging! Take a break from the auto-play and enjoy these extraordinary experiences from around the world.
Visit Museums Without the Lines
Google Arts & Culture has partnered with over 2,500 museums around the world to offer virtual tours and online exhibitions you can view from home.
You can explore the Guggenheim Museum in New York or the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul.
Wander around the Uffizi Gallery in Florence or the Museu de Arte de São Paulo.
The Metropolitan Opera is streaming performances to bring opera to everyone at home. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. EST and will be available to stream for 20 hours. Stay cozy on the couch with a front-row seat to the most iconic operatic performances.
If you’re finding yourself stuck at home with lots of free time, take advantage of the wide variety of online learning options available. Open Culture offers more than 1,500 free online courses in various subjects.
Whatever interests you, delve deeper and expand your understanding! Take a look at the many Open Culture courses.
Let Books Take You on a Journey
There are so many books that inspire us to travel and to learn! No matter where you’re from, you can learn about places all around the world through literature. I asked our Wanderful community and got some great recommendations right away!
Here are some top book suggestions to make you feel like you can travel without leaving home:
Why she loves it: When I read it as a teenager, I knew nothing about geisha traditions and history, except for the widespread misconception that “geisha” and “prostitute” were synonymous. This book started a great love of learning and reading about culture and history in all Asian countries.
Wander Lust by Taddie McCallister
Takes place in: The whole world!
Recommended by Lorna Williams
Recommendations from Barbara Frisch-Klopper:
The Coroners Lunch by Colin Cotterill Takes place in: Laos, during the Communist occupation Why she loves it: It’s very entertaining and I learned much about Laos before my independent exploration.
The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason Why she loves it: A fictional story about a piano in the Jungles of Burma and the travel of the Piano through the jungle to an entitled war surgeon. This surgeon demands a piano tuner, and his journey is a beautiful tale to his location. I read this on my way to a hiking trip to Burma.
The Tenth Island by Diana Marcum Takes place in: The Azores, Portugal Why I love it: I read it while visiting the Azores and it was such a lovely way to further connect with the destination. I learned more about the Azorean diaspora and history, so it added depth to my visit.
The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner Takes place in: All around the world Why I love it: I’m a geographer by education, so this obviously called to me! But I loved learning how different societies and political frameworks affect the general feeling of happiness in different countries. It’s a fascinating global read!
Book Suggestions for Travel-Loving Parents
If you’re trying to inspire a love of travel in your kiddos, books are a perfect way to start! Show them all around the world without leaving the house.
Teach your kids to appreciate travel by opening up the stories of other people and places. Here are a few lists compiled by others:
The best parts of travel are those moments of connection with people from other places. We travel to learn and to share, to ask questions of others in order to question our own ideas and biases.
Just because we cannot travel right now doesn’t mean we shouldn’t challenge ourselves to connect and to learn.
We can connect on such basic levels of humanity, in spite of language barriers or distance.
I often like to use the advice from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Always look for the helpers.
When we’re in uncertain times, the best thing to do is to look for the goodness in others. Regardless of our backgrounds or our current circumstances, we can always look for those who are doing good in the world.
Here are just a few examples of people doing good around the world…