Many people list travel as one of their top hobbies or as one of the items on their bucket list. Sometimes, it's just not possible to get overseas. Whether it's logistics, finances, or fear that is stopping you, here are some ways you can travel without actually leaving home:
1.) Google Earth - How many of you have searched for the Pyramids of Giza or the Eiffel Tower on Google Earth? If you haven't yet, you have to check it out. I love "strolling" the streets of London with the click of my mouse and looking up my old apartment in Trešnjevka, Zagreb, Croatia. It's an amazing way to actually SEE what many parts of the world actually look like.
2.) Restaurant Menus - Living in the digital age, we have access to REAL WORLD RESOURCES to use as language learning tools! If you would love to visit Zürich but can't fly over, search for the best cafes and restaurants in the Old Town (Altstadt) on Yelp. Once you find one you like, navigate to their website, and explore the menu! While you're at it, test your knowledge of the food vocabulary and if something on the menu sounds especially delicious, why not try to recreate it at home?
3.) Make International Friends Online - As children, we were taught not to speak with strangers but thanks to the Internet, we can interact with people from all over the world. I've mentioned before how Instagram is an amazing language learning tool (especially thanks to Instagram Stories!) but by searching a geotag, you can find users who have posted from that location and follow along their adventures. I like to comment on photos and videos and practice my language skills that way. You can get to know people and make some friends who actually live there or have visited the place you've always wanted to go.
4.) Skype Buddy - if you really want to visit but can't leave your country at the moment, find a Skype buddy to video chat with! You'll both be able to share your experiences while practicing your new language. If you don't know anyone who lives where you'd like to visit and you haven't been able to make a friend on Instagram, try out iTalki. You can start start a discussion and find a language partner from anywhere in the world.
5.) Music - Put some music on from the country you'd like to visit! You can do a quick Google search for the latest hits in whatever country you'd like to visit, you can stream a radio station directly from your phone or laptop, or search for a playlist on Spotify with the type of music you'd like to hear. Turn the music up, close your eyes, and imagine you are there! You'll be passively practicing your listening skills while enjoying the music of another culture. I transport myself to the seaside in Croatia by playing my favorite summer hits on YouTube, feel like I'm in a crowded cafe in Cairo with this playlist, and keep up with the latest news and music in Bavaria, Germany by streaming Bayern 3.
Polish-American polyglot, language consultant & educator, married to my dream guy (the Croatian Sensation). Let's connect!
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