5 Ways to Take a RTW Adventure Without Leaving Home
We all know round-the-world trips are expensive. And time-consuming. While there are numerous ways to score travel deals and discounts, you may still not have the funds or time to fly from Australia to Thailand to London and so forth. Not to mention that, unless you turn into a perpetual nomad, you will have to get back home, too.
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Thanks to globalization, the availability of information through the Internet, and the spread of cultures through migration, there are ways you can experience foreign lands without ever actually leaving home. It might not be a trade for the real deal, but it’s certainly an option for those who have to stay home, for whatever reason.
Culinary travel of all kinds is becoming increasingly popular. Even if you are not a gastronomic expert, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy trying foreign foods.
Why not go to a local market and see if you can find a Brazilian papaya? I know, we should promote local foods whenever possible, but a round-the-world trip is (for most) a once in a lifetime adventure. Consume sparingly and savor the experience. Keep in mind the best season to eat certain fruits; not only will they be cheaper, but they’ll also taste better.
Another option for your taste buds is to try a recipe from a foreign country. Whether it’s Indian samosas or Argentinean empanadas, you can find hundreds of recipes online. Be sure to use a reputable site or you might find yourself not liking what you made. Myrecipes.com, for example, includes recipes from well-known magazines such as Cooking Light, Southern Living, Sunset, Real Simple, and Health.
Before you start, you can also look into whether there is a specialty store in your area that sells the foods and ingredients of a particular culture. Asian markets, for example, are ideal for finding everything you need to make sushi. Get a couple of friends together and make it a bonding experience.
There are several ways to celebrate a feast for your eyes. If you’re a soccer fan, you could head to your town’s Irish pub and watch a European soccer game. This might be something you do regularly anyway, but this time, treat it as a trip abroad. Cheer on the local time and try speaking in the local accent, if you wish. With a couple of friends tagging along, it could be an entertaining experience. Perhaps one of the waiters is really from Ireland and can tell you more about the country.
Another option is to go online. If you’ve never seen a video blog episode by Lonely Planet’s Natalie Tran, now is the time to try. An Australian native, Tran takes on the world on YouTube’s Community Channel and always has entertaining stories to tell.
Last but not least, you could pull out a copy of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude(aff). Travel back in time and “see” the sights and surroundings in your own imagination.
American music dominates the globe. But have you ever listened to an Argentine Tango? And I don’t mean the many electronic versions that have permeated the international music scene. Sit back and relax as you play the authentic, traditional version. Punching in “traditional tango” on YouTube will yield some fantastic results.
Another option is to learn a foreign language. For example, why not try a couple of words of Hindu? Sites such as Livemocha.com pride themselves on following in Mark Zuckerberg’s steps in terms of virtual language learning. There are 35 languages to choose from, and you can interact with people from all over the world. This is also a great preparation if you ever do go abroad.
Touch is a difficult one. If you don’t actually go abroad, it is hard to touch the things in question.
But one way to do it would be to learn Cuban salsa, for example. Inquire at a local dance studio to see whether they host any Latin rhythm classes. It might not be salsa, but flamenco could work, too. Again, you can also try YouTube for video of the beginning steps.
Above all, don’t despair. Invite a friend along and learn together. Better yet, invite someone who has either traveled abroad or lived abroad, and who already knows some of the steps. It is always easier to learn with someone who is a bit more advanced.
In most cases, smelling something exotic will be coupled with the experiences of other senses. For example, you could cook a Mexican specialty, and smell the spices. Or go for a walk in a nearby park, smell the trees and listen to the wind. Imagine that you are in Patagonia or the Swiss Alps.
The key to all of these experiences is being open and using your imagination. Of course, a trip overseas from home will never replace the actual experience. But it could be just as enriching.
Don’t get caught up in the fact that you aren’t actually abroad. Take advantage of having the comforts of your home — clean water, electricity, safety, etc. — and especially if you invite a couple of friends along, you can have a great time! Be creative and have fun.