So you’ve taken a break from work to travel South Africa for a month. You’ve fallen in love with the landscape, the culture, the climate, and the people. You’ve fallen in love with the idea of no one knowing who you are and that you can be as far away from the toxicity of work and family relationships as you want. But then, reality bites. You must go home. A family is waiting for you. Friends are asking when you will be back. And alas, there’s your boss bugging you to get back in the office and meet the deadlines you’ve put off for the better part of a month. It’s time to face reality.
But the moment your feet land at the airport, you know that you’ve left your heart in someplace else. You can’t shake off the feeling that you should be somewhere else other than your home. You are a realist, of course. No person can simply uproot themselves and move to another country, especially when a spouse and children are involved-or even if there is none. The move alone will take months to plan. So what’s the next best thing to do as you mull your plans? You need to bring that country to your home.
Thankfully, there are many ways to envelop yourself in the warmth you felt in Paris, Italy, Bali, or Tokyo, for example. Look around your house. How about your pantry? Why not fill your home with the sights, sounds, tastes, and feel of the city you’ve fallen in love with?
Have you watched a Korean drama lately? Don’t you want to eat in a Korean barbecue grill or have some Korean ramen at home? You can fill your pantry up with the food that you’ve tasted in your travels. So, for example, you can buy some Spanish tapas if you’ve just been to Mallorcato enjoy the sea, wine, and tapas. If you’ve just visited Tokyo, then fill your pantry with instant Japanese ramen, takeout boxes of premade makis and gyoza, and a bottle of sake.
To remember the taste of South Africa, get a Hariocold brew 600mL for sale and some South African grounded coffee beans so that you can remember all the wonderful cups of coffee you brewed all mornings there. Most groceries will have a section specifically for coffee beans from all over the world, so pick a bag that reminds you of your many travels. Not only will the coffee beans remind you of the taste of your mornings abroad, but the smell of it in your house is a nice touch, too.
If the taste of foreign food will transport you back to your beloved cities, how much more the smell wafting in the air? From coffee beans to the perfume used by your hotel room, you can never go wrong with investing in air purifiers, essential oils, and room scents that will remind you of all early morning breeze in the French countryside or even the smell of fresh bagels in the apartment you rented in the Upper West Side.
Imagine walking into your house and smelling the fragrance that reminds you of that musky but intoxicating smell of all the Churches you visited in Rome. Wouldn’t that instantly transport you back to those places? Try to look for a fragrance, whether natural or artificial, which will remind you of these favorite cities.
What is the sound of France or New York or Cuba, for example? Every city has a different sound-whether it be the indie band playing in the subway of Manhattan or the cello artist in a theater in Italy or the street party in Havana. You will be surprised how these sounds can transport you back to your favorite city, town, or province. Make it a habit to play a song that reminds you of the place you imagine yourself to be in. It doesn’t have to be a song that’s indigenous to that place. It can be the number one song in the Billboard right now, but you somehow connect to that place.
Did you hear a particular song while in a subway in Beijing? Maybe that’s the song that can transport you to the Chinese capital. Did the bus that took you from China to Mongolia blare a specific song in the speakers? Then, playing that song at home will remind you of that long travel.
Finally, surround yourself with things that will immortalize the city in your mind. It can be anything-from a tapestry you bought in the streets of Morocco to the ostentatious figurines you got from Singapore’s Chinatown. Souvenirs are designed to remind you of the places you visit. Even that cheap ratty old shirt you got from your travel to Bali has value to you. So, once in a while, though you have designer pajamas at home ,wear a souvenir shirt that you got from one of your travels. It will magically take you back to one of your favorite places.
Fill your world with things that will remind you of your travels. If the past one and a half years were any indication, these memories would power you through some of the worst times in your life. So whenever you miss traveling or any particular country, transform your home through sight, sound, smell, and taste.