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Creating an At-Home Escape: How to Have an Immersive Travel Experience at Home, Part 1

By Grace Miller

Staff Writer

With more than half of U.S. adults fully vaccinated, many are ready and excited to travel again. But what about those of us who still feel like things are safer at home? How can we bring a sense of travel to us? Throughout the pandemic, I struggled with how I could create an “at-home escape/vacation” for myself that still felt immersive and joyful. However, as time passed, I eventually came across a variety of practices that helped me to create my escape. These are the results of my journey: my guide to “traveling-for-one” without ever having to step foot on a plane; where I realized that the anticipation and preparation of traveling can be just as fun as the traveling itself.

1. Invest in books (Library or Bookstores)-

One of my “happy places” has always been the library or bookstore, even though I have never been much of a reader. I am much more of a magazine girl (Go, Thread!), but I always enjoyed being immersed into the colorful environment of a bookstore, with its hundreds of uniquely beautiful books and publications. However, during the pandemic, I quickly realized that literature was one of the keys to bringing a vacation home to me. To immerse myself in the places and cultures I’m determined to visit, I decided to check out or buy travel books, cookbooks, and novels related to those destinations. Before you know it, I was sitting down, pen in hand, with Lonely Planet’s “Best of South America”, circling all the places I wanted to visit in Buenos Aires, making “besitos de coco” (coconut macaroons) from Venezuela with Patricia Cartin’s cookbook, A Taste of Latin America: Culinary Traditions and Classic Recipes from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico & Venezuela, and reading about a fictional tale of Miami and the United Kingdom in Laura Taylor Namey’s, A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow. This practice remains to be something I put into place every day. It brings me immense joy to sit down, take a break, and explore another place and culture through different types of literature.

2. Explore publications and social media (Online and Print)-

Though the circulation of magazines and newspapers in print has dropped, most publications remain incredibly active online. When I am looking to find out more about a destination, I love to review the online guides of that place on the websites of Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and New York Times Travel. Sometimes, even publications such as Cosmopolitan will have sections on travel, like the stories of their “Insta Itinerary”. However, if you are like me and still prefer to hold a magazine, don’t forget to check out current circulating subscriptions. As a new subscriber to Allure during the pandemic, it was so exciting for me to receive their 2021 Global Beauty Issue, which featured tips on how to get a great passport picture and more!

3. Do an internet search

Thanks to today’s variety of media platforms and technology, a simple internet search will gather an array of beautiful, scenic images from any destination. Not to mention, YouTube is a great resource, filled with an abundance of vlogs, city-scape drone footage, and directories on any location you could think of. The travel company, Expedia, has a phenomenal YouTube page that has directories to many different cities and countries around the globe such as Barcelona, Spain. Don’t forget that social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest are also bustling with itineraries from bloggers from the U.S., such as one of my favorite’s based out of San Diego, @palmtreesandpellegrino.

That’s all for Part 1! Stay tuned for next month’s blog, which will present Part 2 of the “Creating an At-Home Escape” series!

Author’s Note: Grace Miller is a sophomore studying Visual Communication: Multimedia and Spanish with a certificate in Latin American Studies. Like many others, Grace’s dreams of traveling only grew during the pandemic, and she was determined to find ways to still “travel” without leaving home. As the months passed by, Grace learned how she could bring her dreams of traveling to Spain and Latin America home to her, which inspired her to create this two-part guide that she is very excited to share with readers. Beyond being helpful steps in the anticipation of travel, Grace uses these steps daily to help her feel inspired to continue on her path to becoming bilingual in Spanish and English.

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