Cycling on a beautiful day in Maldives. (Pic credit: Anita Ahmad)

After we come home from our travels, most of us to return to work or chores and pretty soon, we feel like we need to go on another break. This is unlikely to be possible unless you happen be drowning in leave, cash or airline miles. So here are some tips on how you can continue your travels even after your vacation is over!

1. Find time to look at all the photos you took on your travels 

I find that the best time to do so is when I feel overwhelmed with everyday routine life, particularly with my work load. On such days, I go through some photos and remember the experiences I had. The result? I start to smile, and it almost feels like I am back on that particular trip again.

2. Pop into a local market and buy local ingredients to bring home

Soup spices from Indonesia, noodle paste from Sarawak, Malaysia and sugar from Mauritius (Pic credit: Anita Ahmad)
Soup spices from Indonesia, noodle paste from Sarawak, Malaysia and sugar from Mauritius (Pic credit: Anita Ahmad)

For example, coffee, cheeses, smoked meat, nuts, spices and all kinds of things that I might have eaten while I was in the country (a habit I picked up from my Mom, who used to bring home food from the UK, like toffee apples!). Back home, I would use these ingredients to cook – or if they are edible uncooked, enjoy eating them. I have even bought recipe books that I didn’t think I was likely to find in Malaysia. Most times, the dishes I cook don’t quite taste like what I sampled in the country of origin – but cooking it is a fun experience. Some of the things I have attempted to cook include the Ćevapi, a Balkan kebab, using a recipe I found on the Internet (and which a Serbian friend has promised to teach me to make after I told her it really wasn’t up to par!); a fried potato and aubergine wrap with tahini sauce like the one I had eaten in Jordan, and stuffed vine leaves which I learnt to cook from an Egyptian army officer while I was working in Sudan (but had eaten in several Middle Eastern countries).

3. Invite friends over and share stories from your trip

This is particularly easy if you have a Smart TV that can play photos while you tell them about your experiences, especially if you have been to places not many people have explored or heard about. You can also serve (and impress) your friends with whatever you may have bought during your travels – the country you are promoting should probably hire you as their tourism ambassador!).

Picture 02 - Mined area warning sign
Mined area warning sign (Pic credit: Anita Ahmad)

4. Decorate your home with the designs of countries you’ve visited

You may have gotten inspired by the décor that you see during your travels. Perhaps you fell in love with the simple Greek island aesthetic of white walls and blue décor (kind of like in the movie Abba). Maybe you liked the way tiles are used to decorate the walls in Morocco, or you could love the classic French look. If your budget allows it, buy some of these items to replicate the look in your home. In the same vein, you can also buy paintings or art that captures the city or country that you have visited, which will immediately bring you back to a certain location every time you look at it. One of my favourite items is a metal poster warning people not to walk in the field as there could be unexploded mines. I know it sounds quite disturbing (and no I didn’t take it off from the field but was given one by a friend who was working on demining), but it made a great impact on me because it reminded me how fragile a country can be, if war were to hit it. It also reminded me how far Bosnia has come since the war.

5. Listen to music from your travels

Picture 03 - CDs of Rent, Johnny Clegg and a Bosnian superstar- Dino Merlin
CDs of Rent, Johnny Clegg and a Bosnian superstar- Dino Merlin (Pic credit: Anita Ahmad)

If you enjoyed the music you heard while you were travelling, try asking around where you might get a copy of the CD and play it once you come home. Better yet, if you attended a concert while you were in the country you were visiting, get the CD of the performer/performance. I was lucky enough to catch a couple of plays and concerts with some great company while I was travelling. Among my favourites was the play Rent, which I watched in New York. The performance was the last ever season to play in Broadway so that made it really special. I watched Johnny Clegg in a street concert in Cape Town; it wasn’t planned, it just so happened that he was performing right in front of the hotel where I was staying so I went down and joined in. I was rather moved because his songs are mostly political. I also attended Nancy Ajram’s concert in Cairo. Even though she sings mostly Arabic commercial pop music, I like her voice a lot.

So there you have it – some of my tips on how you can relive your travels once you are home and feel like you’re still somewhere else!


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