What do you do when you can’t travel? Image from world-walk-about.com.

As I discussed in my last post, with my new job as an Affordable Care Act counselor for my county’s health department taking up all of my available free time, I’m grounded travel-wise for the time being.  However, just because I’m not going anywhere doesn’t mean the travel bug has stopped biting.

My TripAdvisor account is chock full of “to-sees” scattered across the globe from Tiananmen Square to Central Park.  My passport is burning a hole in my desk drawer.  I spend at least one night a week browsing eco tour groups (and volunteer groups and all-female groups). Basically, whether it’s a sustainable safari to South Africa or a mission to provide free birth control to women somewhereabouts in Latin America, I’m fantasizing about it.

So, how should Go Girls keep the wanderlust at bay when it’s simply not the right time for jetting off to parts unknown?

1. Start listening to podcasts.

At work, while commuting, or while undergoing the long process of putting on your tights (the modern-day chastity belt, in this Go Girl’s opinion), there’s time to listen and dream about faraway places.  Pick podcasts that expand your mind past American politics and culture. Try the BBC’s “A History of the World in 100 Objects” or NPR’s “Worldview.”

A little change can go a long way towards travel. Image from somethingturqoise.com.

2. Construct an adorable Honeymoon Fund Savings Jar.

Pro tip: They aren’t just for the betrothed Go Girls in the audience!

Even if it’s once-weekly change from a $5 Starbucks latte or a $1 McDonald’s cup of coffee, almost everyone can afford to stash away a few bucks each week. And in a few months, it will really add up!

3. Discover the fierce female adventurers of history.

Louise Boyd became the first woman to reach the North Pole in 1955. Nellie Bly set the world record for the fastest trip around the world in 1890 (chronicled in her book, Around the World in Seventy-Two Days). These ladies will inspire you to keep dreaming about the many ways and places to travel.

4. Check out some girl power travel memoirs from your local library.

It seems as if practically everyone on this planet has already read Cheryl Strayed’s Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, so branch out.  Go vintage with Julia Child’s (yes, that Julia Child) My Life in France or classic with Karen Blixen’s Out of Africa.  Even if you can only manage a few pages per night before you drop off to sleep, you’ll be dreaming of adventure.

5. Hit up your town’s local ethnic fests.

Like Chicago’s Christkindlmarket — an absolutely authentic taste of Germany (including Glühwein served in ceramic boot-shaped mugs) — only a train/bus ride away from home.

What about you, Go Girls?  Anyone in a travel rut?  How are you dealing?  Share away in the comments!