How to Travel Without Leaving Your House

Even though we can’t travel right now, there are still ways to get the adrenaline rush of being somewhere new!

You’ve heard it before. “In these uncertain times…” “Now more than ever…” “We’re in this together…” But sometimes, cheesy ads aren’t quite enough to make it feel like what we’re going through is okay, fun, or even normal. Sometimes, I wish I could just be on the other side of the world, snapping pictures of crazy monuments and eating at crazy restaurants, and I know I’m not alone. We’re not completely helpless, though–there are some things we can do to get some of that travel-fueled adrenaline back in our life.

1. Learn to cook a new cuisine

One of the most adventurous, exotic facets of traveling is getting to eat food from another country. While you might not be able to eat a pizza straight from an oven in Rome, or get a plate of sushi from Tokyo, you can try to replicate that experience at home. Though some cultures’ foods may seem daunting or complex, all countries have a few foods that don’t take much to make at home. Try India’s yogurt rice, or some spaghetti with a traditional Italian red sauce. Maybe give fermenting Korean kimchi a shot if you have a bit of time on your hands.

2. Or, if cooking isn’t for you, have other people do it for you

If you can’t (or just don’t want to) cook, there are other ways of tasting new foods. For instance, subscription boxes like Universal Yums will compile a monthly selection of fun, adventurous snacks from countries like Thailand, Egypt, or Colombia, and have them sent straight to your doorstep. You’ll try things you probably never thought of–like Roast Chicken flavored chips, candy made from corn flour, or shrimp-and-mayonnaise rice roll.

3. You’ve heard of window shopping…now what about window traveling?

Programs like Window Swap are working to help you have the jet-setting experience you’ve dearly missed. Just load up, and prepare to be whisked away. Basically, you’ll see a recorded video from somewhere else in the world–from Kiev,
Ukraine to Melbourne, Australia and everywhere in between! And if one far-fetched location doesn’t fit your tastes, then just click the screen and you’ll take another leap across the ocean.

4. Or if you’d rather be in charge of where you go…

Google Earth! While the website is usually used to find streets in your city, you can also use it to explore streets all over the world! Just type in the city you’d like to “visit” and drag the little yellow icon onto a street. Then, let your wandering trackpad or mouse wander, exploring the city as you go. If you don’t know where to start, try big destinations like the Eiffel Tower or the Sydney Opera House.

5. If TV shows are more your thing…

Try watching foreign films or shows! Korean dramas are very popular and most–if not all–of them have subtitles or even dubs. Japanese anime is another popular choice, but that’s not all! Try cartoons in other languages with subtitles on. Netflix has a filter you can search with, to find all their foreign options, or try Viki for Korean shows.

6. If you’re a big music listener…

Give international music a shot. While K-Pop boy bands like BTS are very, very popular, other countries have fun music, too. French pop can be entertaining, but that’s only one type! Pick a country where you’d like to “be”, and explore what kinds of music they have to offer. You might not be able to understand the words they’re saying, but that’s half the fun of traveling, anyway.

Even though travel is more of a non-option than it’s ever been, we can all still have the exhilarating fun that comes from being shipped off to somewhere far-flung and new. A few websites, a couple apps, and one subscription box can all help you feel like you’re meandering around the cobblestone-lined European streets or moving through a packed Asian metropolis, all without leaving the comfort of your couch.