May 8, 2013

8 Tips to Control That Travel Bug

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Written by: Recultured Team
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I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I always have a serious case of the travel bug. With the weather looking better and better as another semester begins, those who are taking summer classes (especially with a heavy course load) are dreading the return to school. At this time of the year, some of our fellow students have their bags packed and are ready to return home from exchanges and international co-op placements, while others are about to leave for volunteer work and vacations. They’re continuously uploading photos of airport arrivals and departures on Facebook, checking in to faraway cities on Foursquare, and blogging about their past or upcoming experiences. For the rest of us, these drool-worthy stories, the prospect of returning to school, and the fact that we have to study when it’s sunny outside makes our longing to travel stronger than ever. But what can you do to tide yourself over until your next adventure? Here are eight tips to help curb that travel craving and keep you sane.

1. Look for local events and go to them.

Sometimes we’re so focused on what other countries have to offer that we miss out on some amazing events right here in our own backyard. Did you know that Vancouver has a hot chocolate festival, an internationally-acclaimed performing arts festival, or some crazy and creative marathons (such as Colour Me Rad)? Special events keep the city spiced up, so attend them to keep your mind off events in other cities. Some great sources to find out what’s happening next are Vancity Buzz, 604now, Miss604, and Inside Vancouver.


Colour Me Rad Vancouver run.

2. Drool over others’ pictures/blog posts, the proper way.

Don’t just sit there and bathe in your jealousy when looking at others’ vacation photos! Use them as a way travel around the world yourself. Interact with the lucky traveler and find out about their experiences, as people who’ve been on vacation love to answer questions using their new-found knowledge (whenever they’re not exploring their hearts out, of course). This can be a great way for you to gather information about that destination, especially if you’re planning on going there yourself sometime in the future.

3. Wallet empty for a journey? Start saving up.

When you take concrete actions to start preparing for your next trip, you feel a little less desperate because you know you’re laying down the bricks for your own drool-worthy adventure in the future. There are your usual money-pinching tips, and then there are online tools that can help you collect and save — such as Project Travel. Basically a donation page for those who want to raise funds for meaningful travel, it’s a great way to ask family and friends during holidays, birthdays, etc. for a purposeful gift (much better than another ugly sweater you won’t wear). However, it’s still in private-beta and requires you to request an invitation in order to use it. Don’t let that stop you from starting to save now though.I’m sure you still have that old piggy bank somewhere!
Don’t know where to start, or how much you can expect your trip to be? Create a budget! Travel companies, organizations, and schools often have information in regards to how much it costs approximately to go on a trip/exchange, so that will give you a starting point in terms of a goal for savings.

4. Keep busy, and don’t fall behind.

Unfortunately, daydreaming about that future trip all day won’t get you anywhere. Always make sure you stay on top of what you need to do — maybe the extra effort you’re putting in now will allow you to travel later. Every dollar saved up from work counts, and you don’t want to fail a class that you’ll have to retake during a semester where you could be travelling instead!

5. Avoid watching movies that are set in exotic places, or listen to songs about the summer time.

If those movies and songs are enough to satisfy your travel craving, then by all means, go for it. But for people like me, who want to go to a place whenever they see it, this is a bad idea. If panoramic clips of landscapes do you in, then opt for movies that aren’t set in fascinating locations. As for summery songs, they are associated with relaxation, beaches, travelling… the opposite of your current reality. To avoid bringing back those memories, keep those songs locked up and save them for when you can actually enjoy them!

6. Travel the Lower Mainland!

I went to Port Moody by transit for the first time last month, and the close proximity of the mountains to the city surprised me. Every place has its own flavour to it, and the Lower Mainland is no different. You may feel like you have already exhausted Vancouver or your own city, but what about the surrounding ones? Sure, they’re not what you’re used to, but if you take a day out to explore them you might be surprised with what you find. According to my license plate, we do live in “beautiful British Columbia” after all.
Lynn Valley Aerial Photo

7. Learn phrases in a different language(s).

Along the same lines as starting a fund for your next trip, prepare for it as well by exposing yourself to a different language! Learn a couple of sentences or some bare necessities in the native tongue of your future destination. Aside from knowing how to say the must-know phrases, make sure you know what the potential responses are as well in order to understand the locals’ replies! Bonus points if you know someone who’s currently in your dream destination right now (or can speak the language) so you can bounce off your brand new vocabulary on them.

8. Do what you love.

Basically a reiteration of the “keep busy” point, a great way to fight the travel bug is to revisit your passions and exploit them. Keep yourself happy by taking some time out of your busy schedule to satisfy your need for “you time” and your mind will try to crowd out all those extra cravings.
Have more suggestions on how to beat that travel craving? Have a current travel craving and thinking of using one of these tips? Leave a comment below to share your ideas and let us know how it works out for you!

About the Author

Recultured Team
Recultured Team
This is where you'll find the blog posts that the team has contributed to collectively! What team? Wildcats! -Nope, wrong team. Recultured!

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