“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” ― Terry Pratchett
No matter how happy you are at home— in your city, your community, your house, and your habits—you probably hear it right now. That voice calling you to explore, to wander, to see the world from a thousand different angles. Maybe it’s a whisper, maybe it’s a scream, but it’s there.
Is travel at the top of your new year’s resolutions (right after “get life insurance coverage,” of course *wink wink*)? Is your browser history sparkling with searches for the best travel destinations? Do you forget to eat lunch because you’re daydreaming about blue waves, tall mountains, or ancient architecture? Then this OLC blog post is for you.
Where in the world?
Sometimes the hardest part of the journey is choosing where to go. If you’re the spontaneous type, you might just give the globe a spin, put your finger on it, and see where it lands. If you have the resources and/or the resourcefulness, maybe you take a real-life spin around the globe. Or you could turn to the place where we seem get most of our information these days: social media.
Following other people’s travels on Instagram while you’re sitting at your desk eating leftover Chipotle might sound a little sad, but it’s a great (and free!) way to start preparing for your own adventures. Here are 25 really cool Insta-travelers to check out…and thanks to those rabbit hole algorithms, you’ll find 100 more in no time.
Once you’ve scrolled and double tapped your way to inspiration, you can start narrowing it down.
Are you looking for the most popular destinations, or are you the “road less traveled” type? Have you been saving up for an extravagant expedition, or bouncing around the world on a budget?
Do you want to catch a wave or catch a train? Look at famous paintings or paint the town? Get mud on your shoes hiking through the forest or mud on your face relaxing in a spa?
Will you be sightseeing solo? Roaming romantically? Gallivanting with gal pals? Once you get through airport security, will you be making a beeline to the closest Bloody Mary or looking for someone to help you gate-check a car seat?
For some great suggestions, check out CNN Travel’s top 18 places to visit in 2018. If you’ve been eyeing the top 10 tourist destinations in the world, though, check out this follow-up list of places NOT to go this year. If your intended vacation location is on there, don’t worry…there are plenty of tips and alternatives!
There’s a blog for that.
If you prefer your information with a side of storytelling, though, find a few travel blogs to get lost in (because getting lost on the internet is always preferable to getting lost in real life, so best to get it out of the way before your trip).
If you ever fantasize about quitting your job, unloading your material possessions, and traveling the world, The Blonde Abroad will speak to you. Check out these hacks for solo female travelers as well!
If you love camping, but canned beans and Clif Bars aren’t your thing, Fresh Off the Grid is the ultimate resource for fireside foodies.
Sometimes the best vacation spots are the ones you don’t even have to buy a plane ticket for. If there aren’t enough complimentary peanuts and Bischoff cookies in the world to convince you that flying is a good way to travel, Road Trip the World is great wheels-on-pavement inspiration.
If you can type it into a Google search, chances are, someone’s created a handy guide to help you go wherever your heart (and your Instagram feed) might send you.
Who knows…maybe you just stumbled upon inspiration for your next big journey while you were shopping for life insurance!