Armchair travel: satisfying your wanderlust from home


Unsatisfied wanderlust can be a dangerous thing. Wanting to travel but being held back due to finances, work commitments or health reasons can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be!

There are plenty of things you can do when you’re “grounded” to satisfy your wanderlust, and for some of them you don’t even need to leave your armchair!

Bring your travels home 

As great as Ikea is (and it really is fabulous), it is so special to fill your home with unique keepsakes from your travels.

Some people like fridge magnets, others like snow globes but there are plenty of “non touristy” things you can place in your home.

I collect glass bottles and use them as vases, my favourite are some deep blue glass water bottles from Spain. My home is also filled with prints and paintings from all over the place. If you’re in NYC get a theatre poster from Broadway and in Paris be sure to trawl through the markets for unique prints. Making a gallery wall using your own photos is a great way to remember your time away. I also love Mapiful for maps of a location of your choice (no this isn’t sponsored, but it’s really worth a look!)

I’ve even bought weird and wonderful wooden spoons from a Christmas market in Krakow, owl shaped pillows from Oxford… the possibilities are endless!

Being reminded of my travels everyday in my own space is such a privilege and makes those long gaps between trips seem much smaller.


There are literally thousands of books written by expats and avid travellers in locations all over the world. You can read about life in Paris, what it’s like to move across the world or travel full-time.

Don’t limit yourself to books just aimed at travellers, there are plenty of memoirs and biographies that give you a taste of life in far away places. Pick a region or a country and see what you find.

Airport bookshops are actually quite good at stocking books for the wanderlust sufferer so be sure to pick up one or two next time you’re there, especially if you’re on your way home!


Planning for future trips can be one of the most exciting parts of travel. Even if you’re unable to travel for a couple of years, there’s no reason why you can’t do a bit of research.

Pick a few destinations and get busy planning activities, accommodation and transport. The benefit of planning so far in advance is you can also map out a budget to save up over several months.

Travel blogs, Pinterest and travel publications and magazines are your friend. You can also be sneaky and head to your local travel agent and pick up a stack of travel brochures for free to get some good ideas (I do this multiple times a year, I’m yet to feel bad about it!)


Never underestimate the joy of being a tourist in your own city. The benefit is you can skip the cost of flights and other travel related expenses and you can explore any day you feel like it.

Make a weekend of it, book a hotel room in the city and enjoy exploring the sites you never make time to see in your day-to-day life. You may find a new favourite restaurant, park or museum you never knew existed.

 Suggested: Checking in to the Swissotel, Sydney

Learn a language

We’ve all been there, you’ve just come back from an amazing trip overseas and you feel inspired to learn French/German/Italian/Japanese for your next trip.

Well, being grounded at home is the perfect opportunity to make that happen. You can sign up for classes at community centres, universities or at organisations like Alliance Française. If you don’t have the budget for lessons try apps like Duolingo.

Once you’ve got a few phrases under your belt, conversation groups are a great way to keep up with a language. Google what’s happening in your area and head along to a meeting at a café or bar. You may also find language exchanges where you take turns speaking French or English so both of you can improve a language you’re working on.

Cook foreign foods

Replicating a Spanish tortilla, Polish goulash or Vietnamese rice paper rolls in your own home is a fun way of satisfying wanderlust.

Find a couple of recipes online or invest in a cookbook from a place you loved. Invite some friends over, put on some foreign music and bring out some location appropriate drinks to finish setting the scene. A little slice of Spain in your own living room is sure to impress!



What are some of your tips? Leave a comment below! 

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