3 Things to Help Alleviate Your Wanderlust Anxiety

It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve been out of the country already this year, the travel bug is biting, hard. You probably know the feeling.

When this happens to me, I get antsy and have trouble concentrating, I find myself wanting to cry when I look at photos from abroad (sometimes I do cry), and I stare at the map on my wall for entirely too long.

So, what can one do about wanderlust when she’s stuck at home?

I think the ultimate cure is found on the other side of a foreign border, but since that is not an option right now, I will share three specific things I did this weekend that really helped curb this wanderlust anxiety.

1. Read a really good book that takes place somewhere far away

I didn’t realize it when I first picked up The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, but I was definitely headed to Washington D.C. for the weekend, even though I never technically left Montana.

I know, Washington D.C. isn’t that far away, but this story incorporated a lot of history and architecture, specifically European, which was a great escape for me. It was an exciting read that I finished in three days, after which I felt like I had just experienced a great adventure. I LOVE books that have this effect, and if you have any to recommend, please do so in the comments.

So, read a book, get lost in the adventure, and see if you don’t feel a little bit better like I did.

Related: The Best Travel Books For Adventures Near and Far

The Aspiring Traveler's Handbook
This book will take you FAR away 😉 Credit: Stephanie Urban

2. Give yourself a taste of where you are want to go

Right now, I’m dying to go to Europe.

My cravings for Europe have been so intense lately that I simply needed to give myself a taste, literally. My go-to cuisine is Italian, so I decided to do something I would normally only do in Italy. Nate and I started by walking (not driving, because I wouldn’t do that in Italy), to a nearby coffee shop, where I ordered a cappuccino.

I never order these in the States, but I ALWAYS order them in Italy because they are so simply delicious. We sat outside on a bench with a horrible view of an alley parking lot, but I was imagining old buildings and piazzas, trying to do my best with what I had. (If I sound crazy now, you just wait until you start traveling).

After the cappuccino, we walked to a nearby market and bought some specialty Italian food and wine. Then we walked home, put on some traditional Italian music, and proceeded to cook up a fancy, simply delicious meal. My brother joined us, which was appropriate since we almost always travel to Europe with him.

After we enjoyed our Caprese antipasto and pesto pasta, we took our wine out to our front steps and attempted to people watch, much like we would do in Italy. It wasn’t quite the same, but then again, we really were in Montana; this was the best we could do. I truly enjoyed this, and I concluded that after both reading the book and spending an “evening in Italy,” I did feel a lot better.

Related: My Italian Kitchen: A REAL Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Happy Cappuccino
Meanwhile, somewhere in Italy…

3. Make a plan to get there (preferably within the next six months)

Over our cappuccino and pesto pasta, we talked about our travel options and slowly started formulating a real plan to get to Europe. We pulled out our guidebooks, looked at the calendar, considered our budget, and started making notes about what we could make happen.

I felt better after just talking about it.

Until I have a plane ticket in hand, this method will have to suffice, but I know now that it’s only a matter of time before all of this leads to an actual trip. (We did end up going to Europe!)

Related: How to Get the Most Out of Two Weeks in Europe

Lonely Planet Europe

Can you relate? What works for you? How can we help ourselves keep our wanderlust anxiety to a minimum while we’re at home?