Cultural Experience | Maryland

10 Ways to Combat Wanderlust

Let your mind wander without leaving the house

There’s a certain feeling that creeps in every once in a while. I may just be sitting in class or working on a project, and all of a sudden, it consumes me. I’m referring to “wanderlust.” Simply define as “a strong desire to travel,” wanderlust can occur at any time. It’s that feeling that you just need to get away. Perhaps to escape from reality. Perhaps to just see the world.

The problem with wanderlust is that we can’t always satisfy our desire to travel or to get away. If I had the funds to travel any time I wanted, I most certainly would. However, I am a College Tourist, and that means I’m on a pretty strict budget. In order to temporarily escape or attempt to feel like I’m enjoying all that travel has to offer, I’ve come up with the following coping strategies:

Take a Hike: One of the key factors of wanderlust is the desire to just get out and go somewhere. We’re firm believers that “you gotta get out more.” There’s no easier place to get out and go than to your own backyard. Okay maybe not literally your backyard, but take a walk around campus or head into the nearest city or town center, and you’ll feel better in no time. You might just find something new you never thought to explore before. A staycation is still a vacation in a way.

Play on Pinterest: When you’re in the mood for travel, what better outlet than a mood board? Pinterest has boards for almost any kind of travel inspiration you need. “College Tourist Road Trip,” “Places to Visit Before You Die,” and “Dream Destinations” are just a few of our own boards, but Pinterest is filled with hundreds of thousands of travel inspired pictures and links. You can easily spend an afternoon dreaming of new places to go. It’s the perfect study break!

College Tourist Pinterest

Our Pinterest page is a great place to start your wanderlust filled journey

Read One of Our City Guides: Our bloggers are some of the best experts about the cities they’ve traveled to because they’re just like you. There are plenty of guidebooks out there, but take it from the College Tourists who know what other students like or what they can afford. We’ve got guides for everywhere from popular destinations like Barcelona and London to lesser known locations like Leipzig and Leicester. Even if your wanderlust keeps you stateside you can discover places like Tuscaloosa or Ocean City.

Plan a Trip: Sometimes half the fun of traveling is planning it. While packing can cause headaches (it doesn’t have to), planning out the details of your trip fuels the excitement surrounding it. Visit sites like Livingsocial or Groupon to see what kind of escapes they’re offering. Visit a travel website to see if you can find any good deals. You don’t have to book anything just yet, but beginning the planning stages will help you through your traveling mood.

beautiful view islands

Start planning now to enjoy a view as beautiful as this

Watch a Travel Documentary: Watching a movie about a destination definitely does not compare with actually going there, but it’s one of the closest things you can get from the comfort of your home. There are definitely some upsides to watching a travel documentary. You get to take in all the richness of a culture while staying comfy in your pajamas! Go ahead and load up your Netflix queue with anything travel related or flip on the Travel Channel and let the television guide your escape route.

Look at Old Pictures: Nostalgia and wanderlust sometimes go hand in hand. While many dream of visiting places they’ve never been, others find themselves dreaming of their past experiences longing to return. Go through an old album on Facebook to relive some of your favorite memories. I frequently find myself scrolling through my Ireland pictures when I begin to miss the time I spent there. A picture’s worth one thousand words, and it’s also filled with memories. Pictures easily bring back distinct memories of the sight, sounds, and smells of each destination.

Cliffs of Moher

Take me back to this view please…

Explore Google Maps: Streetview is an amazing feature in Google Maps that lets you get an up close glimpse of some of the most famous places in the world. If you’re stuck inside, let your computer be your guide. Pick a destination and click your way through it. You never know what you might find as you virtually stroll through a location. It’s as up close and personal as you’re going to get without booking a plane ticket.

Stalk Instagram: Our instagram is filled with pictures from College Tourists around the world. Just scrolling through you’ll find beautiful pictures of culture, cuisine, and candid shots. Track hashtags for your favorite places to see what other users thought was instagram worthy. Instagram has its own “explore” button. Use that to your advantage, and see what the world of social media has to offer.

College Tourist Instagram

Veg Out With a Travel Inspired Movie: Some of the best movies take place in foreign countries. One of my favorites is the classic Roman Holiday. Shot on location, Rome almost outshines the movie’s stars Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Much like watching a travel documentary, you get to enjoy in comfort. You don’t have to wait in long airport lines to get to your destination. You just have to wait for your popcorn to finish popping.

Download a Travel App: We’ve profiled some great apps to use when you’re traveling, but some of them are just as useful at home. Use an app like Yelp to explore what you have nearby. The easiest way to live like a local is to practice in your own city. You can also use apps to just view what you can do in another country or help plan a trip, as I suggested earlier.

I hope these help you through the true struggle of wanderlust! Let us know if you have any other great ways to push through.

Courtney Guth

University of Maryland | 31 stories

Courtney Guth is a senior English major at the University of Maryland College Park actively seeking an answer to the age-old question, “so what are you going to do with that?” Her answer currently involves working in communications and development for a small non-profit in Washington, D.C. If she’s not exploring the nation’s capital, she’s probably watching an old movie, attempting to cook, or losing her voice at a Maryland Terrapins’ game. She believes the adage that “the world is a book, and those who do not travel only read one page” but why just read when you can write?


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