Anyone who has ever travelled before knows just how much there is to gain from exploring new surroundings and interacting with different cultures. So much of travelling – even if we don’t know it – is about taking a leap into the unknown to feed our curiosities, escape the familiar, push the limits of our comfort zones or expand our knowledge through new experiences and connections. We come home, we feel nourished, refreshed, fulfilled and maybe even revitalised with new perspectives. It’s a powerful transition. But most notably, we come home with an appetite for more.
During this difficult time in our lives, it’s important to keep feeding our minds with these types of experiences. Due to the global coronavirus crisis, travelling is unfortunately off the table but reading and watching shows about it can be a great replacement.
Aside from it being a perfect isolation activity, here’s 11 more reasons why it’s important to keep reading and watching shows (or movies) about travel right now. Plus some recommendations to get you started.
1. Discover new places
Ever heard of the saying, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”? Well, this metaphor holds truth, from the nooks and crannies of a major city to the vast terrains of oceans, outbacks and bushlands; there are so many places on this earth to explore. However, not every discovery has to be made in person. Let your mind get lost in the wonders of a new destination through the lens of a camera or the words of an author or journalist – if you let it, the experience can be just as vivid.
Explore new destinations here or keep reading:
White noise: South Georgia Island
Cyclades calling: the allure of Mykonos
Off-the-beaten-track adventures in New Caledonia
Natural selection: the wonders of Tottori
2. Learn about new cultures
When you devote the time, it is actually so fascinating and enriching to learn about those who are different to you. When you learn about another culture plus its quirks and traditions, you gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for others around you, reducing the tendency to judge or discriminate. Essentially learning about others can make you a better person. One of the best ways to learn about new cultures is by reading the stories of other people who may lead completely different lifestyles.
3. Stress relief
With everything going on at this current moment including the loss of many jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic it’s only natural to be feeling a little stressed. While it is important to keep up with the news and the latest social distancing restrictions, it is also important to take some time out every now and then and welcome some positive distractions to take your mind off the coronavirus. Reading a book, magazine or watching a new series or documentary is a great way to take your mind somewhere else and help you relax during these stressful times.
4. Encourages self-reflection
If you’re feeling like you’re in a bit of a rut, now is a better time than ever to indulge in some stories about places, people and experiences that may be foreign to you. You might find something will resonate with you on a personal level and prompt you to look at your current relationships, friendships, lifestyle and achievements. Perhaps you’ll find there is something more you want to do, something you need to change, or just some inspiring words to live by.
5. Ignites your wanderlust
When isolation rules are eventually lifted and it is once again safe to travel, we’ll no doubt be itching to book our next holidays. So let’s keep our wanderlust spirits high, keep dreaming, keep reading, keep watching and learning about new places from home. Explore things you would never think of doing or locations you’d never think about visiting and keep your mind excited by new ideas.
Feed your wanderlust:
7 ways to keep the wanderlust alive at home during travel bans
The best ways to cruise around Europe at your own pace
The new Jungle Bubbles that let you sleep in the middle of an elephant sanctuary
Why South Korea is Asia’s undiscovered gem you need to visit
6. It’s empowering
Travelling is a brave act. Travelling solo is an even bigger one. Consider the famous books (and movies) like The Alchemist, Into the Wild, Eat Pray Love or Wild: A journey from lost to found. These stories and so many others explore a journey of self-discovery through venturing out into the world solo and they can have quite an empowering impression. Perhaps you’ll feel empowered to shake things up in your current life or start planning your own solo adventure for when travel is allowed again.
7. Brings out your creativity
While reading travel stories will no doubt inspire you to travel, they may also inspire you to write and share your own adventures. The more you read the more you will learn about what makes a good travel story. Alternatively, you may be inspired to create your own travel video from the numerous albums of photos or footage you have from past trips. Either way, there’s no better time than now to start working on a new project.
8. Provides you with new perspectives
We touched on why it is important to learn about other cultures, but one of the other reasons is because it can sometimes challenge our own thought processes and allow us to look at something from a new perspective. This is a really good skill to have in everyday life that will hopefully minimise conflicts, misunderstandings and help you find a silver lining when things don’t go to plan.
9. Inspires your future holidays
We know your travel plans may have gone out the window this year, but don’t let that stop you from continuing to plan future trips – the tourism industry is going to need your support once this is all over. It’s important to keep doing research, continue reading stories and being inspired by movies and shows filmed in exotic destinations. That way, you can revisit your bucket list and begin to plan how you will tick it off once travel is safe again.
6 beautiful glamping getaways in New South Wales
Tried & Tested: Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como
Taking the road less travelled in the Philippines
Experience a luxury photo safari in Namibia
10. It’s entertaining
We all could do with a bit of joy in these tough times – it is important for our sanity – and there is no denying that movies, tv shows and even books are a perfect source of entertainment. If you’re after some travel-themed comedic relief, we recommend watching Travels with Father on Netflix. If you’re after an easy-going chick flick, Sex and the City 2 where they journey to Abu Dhabi, or the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2 and Mamma Mia! will bring back some old memories and provide some scenic eye candy of Greece. There are countless movies and TV shows of all genres filmed on location that will keep your spirits high and the wanderlust alive while you’re stuck in isolation.
11. Improves memory
Just as a special adventure or interaction with someone can create a powerful memory, so too can a story. Reading is said to have similar effects on the brain as to what exercise has on the body. When you read about travel you are not only creating new memories through visualisation but also strengthening the ones you have by relating stories to your own experiences. It’s a wonderful exercise for the brain and a continuous learning process.