To be a traveler is to be curious and grateful. We travelers are drawn to fascinating and unforgettable places because we feel they help make us better people. They deepen our understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. They expand our empathy. Travel broadens our hearts and our minds.
As much as we travel to explore the world, we also travel to explore ourselves. Whether it's a journey to a distant destination or in our day-to-day lives, this sense of adventure is just who we are!
We know we will travel again. But right now, it's important that we stay at home. It's how we can help us all get back out as soon as we can. And that's okay. While we're all home bound, we still have ways to keep that spirit of discovery—and that traveler's heart—alive and well.
Here are a few ways to bring that traveler's spirit to your current location (aka your home!). After all, right here and right now can be fascinating and inspiring.
1. Organize your photos. We believe that collecting memories is far more important than collecting things. We know you take a lot of pictures, too. Now, you may finally have time to stroll (or scroll) down memory lane. Review your past journeys slowly. Blow them up large on a screen (like your television or a projector) so you can take in each detail. If you're self-isolating with another, tell them about the image, share the story behind it, talk about the details.
2. Take a home-bound journey. You don't have to actually be in a place to learn about it and to contemplate its role in the bigger picture. Take an enriching and virtual visit to our beloved Kenai Fjords National Park online. You can 'kayak' through icebergs, see a glacier up close and explore ice caves. Or follow the beautiful Cherry Blossom blooms in Vancouver online. In the Canadian Rockies, Banff's venerable Whyte Museum has virtual exhibits including one about the return of bison to Banff National Park and another about lantern slide photography in the mountains. Who knew!?
3. Get hands on. From a puzzle of Glacier National Park to compiling a scrapbook from past trips, lose yourself in distant places right here in the present.
4. Get cooking! While it's tough to recreate that amazing meal you had somewhere unforgettable, you can bring the flavors of other places to your home table. Chef Wes Choy from Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge has a simple recipe that's loaded with the spirit of the Last Frontier:
- Find the freshest wild-caught salmon that you can. If you can find Wild-Caught Alaska Salmon, all the better! Be sure to have the salmon portioned into 6 to 8oz fillets with the pin-bones and the skin removed.
- I find one of the best ways to heighten the salmon but also let it shine is to simply poach the salmon with fresh garlic, parsley and dill in white wine and butter.
- Season the salmon with salt, black pepper, a touch of extra virgin olive oil and then serve.
- You can enjoy the salmon with your favorite starch (i.e. rice, pasta, mashed potatoes) or with cooked vegetables or both!
So simple and tasty. Thanks, Chef! Discover more recipes.
5. Read. From epic historical dramas set in the Wild West of Montana to modern-day thrillers and adventure tales, there's so much armchair adventuring to be done. For starters, here's our list of the top books to read about Alaska, ranging from the classics to the little-known.
6. Think big. Be ambitious right now. Try something hard—learn a new language, prepare a delicious meal (see above), read up about Reconciliation in British Columbia or the role music plays in Icelandic culture. The process of growing intellectually, of testing yourself and expanding your understanding, will help satiate curiosity and provoke wonder.
7. Plan a Trip. Make a list of the places you want to go. Then, why not take some baby steps in actually planning your next trip? Because we will be going out again! And for some, researching is almost as much fun as actually taking a trip. If you could go anywhere, where would you chose? Who would you go with? How many days would you need? Where would you eat and hike? Any off-the-beaten path cafés or boat tours you'd include? Because there's no stopping wanderlust and right now, there's plenty of time to dream!
The traveler's curiosity is not faded by limits like temporary social isolation. Dreams are immune to viruses. Keep your curiosity piqued and your sense of discovery alive. We'll see each other soon!