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Holidaying locally helps to keep costs down and reduces travel time, giving you more time to relax and a chance to support the local economy at the same time.

Redefining Travel in 2021

"Travel brings love and power back into your life" - Rumi

If you feel like you’ve been in a holding pattern for the past 18 months you’re not alone.  Many people have felt unable to make travel plans due to both local and world events.  But just because life as we know it has changed somewhat doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your life.  Regardless of restrictions, you are still very much in control of how you spend your precious time.

Travel opens up our world and invites us to experience new places while helping to broaden our perception and expand our awareness.  You might not be going to Bali any time soon, and that trip to Europe may need to go on the back burner for now (wahhh!)…travel is so much more than the destination itself.  

Travel (noun) - to go from one place to another, as by car, train, plane, or ship; take a trip; journey: to travel for pleasure. To move or go from one place or point to another. To proceed or advance in any way.

Travel is by no means limited to international adventures, as the dictionary definition above demonstrates. So why not consider travelling a bit closer to home while international trips are postponed for now.   Rustic Rural Town or Chic Coastal Town?  Whichever you prefer, holidaying locally helps to keep costs down and reduces travel time giving you more time to relax and a chance to support the local economy at the same time.  

Holiday where you live and you may just find some hidden gems waiting to be discovered!   

With everyone in the country being forced to rethink their holiday breaks, you may need to plan ahead a little further than usual.   Peak holiday times even pre-pandemic causes accommodation in popular destinations fill up fast, but you may find popularity has skyrocketed as we all find new ways to scratch our travel itch.   If hotels and motels are fully booked, you may find a bespoke bed and breakfast stay is still an option. 

Airbnb has exploded in recent years and with good reason.  Enjoy a more personalised experience staying in someone’s home, over a generic hotel or motel room stay.  Always check reviews and if your standards are high, opt to stay with a ‘super host’ as these are hosts who have consistently received outstanding reviews.  Correspond directly with the owner or host if you want and ask any relevant questions before finalising your booking.  

Plan your year ahead and try staying somewhere completely new every few months.  Book places you’ve never been to, or places off the beaten track.  Try a travel lucky dip - Grab a map, close your eyes and randomly point somewhere, that’s your next destination!  There might be less to do when compared with traditional travel hot spots but it’s likely there’ll also be fewer tourists and more time and space to ‘simply be’.  

A different kind of Day Spa 

Day trips are also a low budget option while still offering up a change of scenery and new experiences.  Consider taking a day trip out of town every couple of weeks, new bush walks, cute country towns or quiet beaches all await…

Time in nature is one of most rewarding ways to spend your spare time - and it is free!  We hear it all the time, to ‘go spend time in nature’ but all too often we tell ourselves we are too busy and prioritise something else.  Here’s a tip, check your mobile phone screen time and see how many hours you spent on your phone last week.  Shocked?  I was too.  Even if you spent a quarter of that time moving your body gently in a park, soaking up the natural beauty of a nature reserve, or dipping your toes in the ocean you’d still have plenty of time to do other things. 

Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese term which means “forest bathing”, essentially meaning to absorb and soak up the atmosphere of a forest.  It’s the practise of mindfully spending time in nature and engaging all of your senses, consciously connecting with the natural world.  Prescribed by doctors in Japan to stressed-out, technology zapped workers, the practise of Forest Bathing has been proven by scientist to have a positive effect on our physiological and psychological wellbeing.   You don’t need to travel far to find a nature reserve here in Australia, even our capital cities have plenty of patches of green, from national parks and state forests to scrubby coastal bush walks.  

No matter how far you venture, a change of scenery will refresh your mind and revive your spirits allowing you to appreciate the little things in life.  

Alison Gallagher is a freelance writer, resourcefulness expert and entrepreneur. She has been featured in various publications including Stellar Magazine, Australian Health and Fitness Magazine, and Cleo Magazine. Alison is particularly passionate about sharing practical tips on how to live simply, sustainably and seasonally.