These are tough times for everyone. But especially if you’re a traveler at heart, staying in one place can take a little extra getting used to. After all, so many of us in the travel community define ourselves by where we’re heading next, how many stamps we can amass in our passports, or how likely we are to spontaneously book that cheap last-minute flight to a country we’ve never visited before.
But even though we don’t know yet when we’ll all be able to start planning our next adventures, that doesn’t mean we can’t get a little extra mileage right now out of the ones we’ve already had. Here are our top tips for re-living your past travels, no matter where in the world you may be staying put for the time being.
1. Re-read your travel journals
We at HI USA are big fans of keeping a journal while traveling: it can help you appreciate your adventures more in the moment, and remember them more vividly afterwards. If you’ve got old entries lying around, now’s a great time to go back and reflect on those experiences you documented. Even if you’re grounded now, re-reading your travel journal can help you remember what it feels like to be in a new place, meeting new people and having different experiences for the first time.
2. Write your own travel guides
If you’re anything like me, you get super excited whenever you get an email from a friend letting you know they’re planning a trip to a country or city you’ve spent a lot of time in. Compiling recommendations for my favorite hikes, road trips, museums, cafes, and tours in a faraway land doesn’t just give me a case of the warm fuzzies because I know I’m helping out a friend: it also helps me re-live some of my favorite travel memories and makes me feel re-connected to other places and cultures, even if I’m writing from my own kitchen table.
You don’t have to wait for a friend to ask to start writing your recommendations down. Instead, keep a running email in your drafts folder listing all the best things you did, saw, and ate on each of your favorite trips. Get as specific as possible: what cities shouldn’t your friends miss when visiting your favorite country? Which hostel should they book? What kind of sandwich should they order at that cute lakefront cafe you stumbled on? Get it all down now while you’ve got the free time; when things are back to normal and your friends inevitably hit you up for travel advice, all you’ll have to do is hit “send.”
3. Leave some nice reviews
Once you start compiling your travel tips, chances are the memories of all the awesome restaurants, hostels, and shops you’ve visited will start flooding back. A great way to show them a little love from afar is to go online and leave them a nice review, even if it’s been a while since you visited. This is also another easy way to re-live some of your favorite travel memories: get really specific about the friendly shopkeeper who helped you find the perfect souvenir, or the hostel walking tour on which you made that group of friends you still Skype with once a month.
4. Call your travel buddies
Wait… you’re not already Skyping or FaceTiming regularly with the friends you’ve made traveling? It’s time to get on that. Now that much of the world is staying home 24/7, it’s never been easier to schedule online dates that work across multiple time zones. Whether you’re reminiscing about the hostel pub crawl you all met on, catching up on major life updates, or just getting a sense of what daily life is like in your friends’ home countries these days, it can be incredibly comforting to reconnect with old pals, and to get a reminder that we’re all in this together.