If you love travelling, you’ll know that this spendy habit is both a blessing and a curse. The positives? You’re curious about the world, and find yourself visiting some amazing places. But the negative? Your travel mindset may make you fall into a slump of unhappiness when you don’t have a future trip booked. Is this a feeling you know all too well? I know I do.
It’s actually pretty sad when you think about it. Essentially, I’m wishing away the biggest chunks of my lives and treating them as ‘filler’. All that matters is the ‘exciting’ chunks which revolve around travel. It’s even worse for those of us that work full-time and, therefore, is limited to a few weeks of annual leave a year.
But don’t worry guys – this isn’t a doom and gloom post. Or one where it urges you to leave your job and move to Australia to work in a water park. Nope, please don’t do that. I’ve already highlighted the ways in which you can travel without quitting your job. Instead, I’m going to try and maximise my travel mindset by becoming an everyday explorer.
What is an Everyday Explorer?
In the least pretentious way, it’s a mindset. It’s a way of looking around your local surroundings and noticing ways of seeing things with “tourist eyes.” If you wear glasses, it’s a bit like trying your new prescription on for the first time – and seeing everything in a new light. The world looks more exciting, colourful – and you’re most grateful to be a part of it.
It’s also about letting your curiosity come out and play in unnatural surroundings. Whilst this is easy when abroad, being curious about your home is a challenge. But an exciting one all of the same. It’s about reflection, gratitude, and continued learning, with the added comfort of remaining home.
4 Ways to Maximise Your Travel Mindset at Home
To make it easier, I’ve compiled a list of four ways you can challenge your travel mindset on a more regular basis:
1. Create a Local ‘Bucket List’
If you consider the place you’re living as boring, that’s all it will ever be. If you presume that there’s nothing to do there, you’ll find exactly that – nothing. Honestly, home can’t be exciting to you if you’re not excited about home.
This is why it’s important to appreciate your roots and make it your mission to become its biggest fan. People are at least half the spirit of a place, so even if you’re from a tiny town, with a few sights and only 500 people, that’s still 500 stories you haven’t heard in full.
I urge you to make a local bucket list as I so recently did with my North-East bucket list. Making a physical list of all of the places I’d like to visit has turned the possible into literal goals. Now, it’s your turn.
2. Connect with Locals Who Have a Travel Mindset
Without the Internet, I wouldn’t know about half of the shenanigans happening around the North East. I really do owe a lot of my weeknight and weekend plans to local bloggers.
That’s why I’d urge you to spend some time searching for some local bloggers across Instagram and Facebook. Their photos and reviews will no doubt leave you with a bunch of places you’re dying to visit.
To make things a bit more streamlined, consider using the ‘bookmark’ feature on Instagram to save photos as a note-to-self. Or if you’re anal like me, save them into separate sections such as ‘Must-try Restaurants’, ‘Sunny Day Activities’ and more.
I’d also recommend using Facebook a bit more. It turns out there’s more to the social media network than memes and weird game invites from your friend’s aunty you’ve never met. It’s actually a good way of finding upcoming events. Every month, I sit down and go through the ‘recommended events’ page and start putting events of interest in my calendar. It’s actually a really easy way of stumbling across experiences you wouldn’t know about from word of mouth.
3. Be Curious and Ask Questions
The most seasoned explorers will never settle for anything but the full story. I’ve already discussed the idea that if you want to be interesting, you must be interested in others. This is important not just when travelling, but also in everyday life.
If someone interests you, ask them questions – but of course, read their body language to see if they are comfortable. This pays off really well when you visit somewhere independent. A couple of months ago, I visited a small gin brewery on the Scottish borders and got speaking to the owner. I had a load of questions – but he was really eager to teach, so the conversation flowed. As did the gin as he kindly let us try his favourites for free. It just goes to show that going out of your way to understand a person will open doors, or even a bottle of gin if you’re lucky.
4. Consider Every Day an Opportunity
Well, it’s taken me four paragraphs to a quote cheesy enough to be a piece of wall art for Mrs Hinch’s house. I’d say that’s a fairly good effort, to be honest.
I just really wanted to bring to home how important it is to not make excuses in life. Whether it’s raining or you’re tired after being at work all day, you still have it in you. Think outside of the box. If it’s raining – what indoor attraction have you always wanted to visit? Or if you are tired after work, is there something which is low maintenance?
It could even be as simple as setting your alarm 30 minutes earlier to do some more travel reading. Or if you’re feeling more daring, go on a midweek micro-adventure. Wherever you are, do something every day that pleases your desire to travel, rather than hinder it by focusing on the fact that you are not travelling.
So, what travel mindset are you going to focus on in the future?3