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7 ways to deal with travel deprivation

7 ways to deal with travel deprivation
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Hands up if you’re feeling a little suffocated knowing that June is just around the corner but things don’t seem to be turning around just as quickly as you would’ve expected. Me too. 

It’s been exactly one year and 26 days since my last plane ride, and I miss it. But that’s not all I miss.

I miss the strangers that have turned into friends, I miss the thrill of discovering bars and restaurants hidden away in alleyways — I even miss the thrill of purchasing groceries in a foreign supermarket, and I’d bet you do too.

It’s no wonder that Expedia’s Global Study revealed Singapore as one of the most vacation deprived countries in the world!

As much as I would like to turn this article into a sign-up sheet for a pity party (limited to eight of course), we’ve come up with seven easy ways for you to combat the travel-deprived cabin fever instead —  so you don’t just survive the season, but thrive through it.

1. Weekends as mini vacations

What better way to combat travel deprivation than with some fresh air? During circuit breaker, the one thing that kept me sane was my daily jogs around the neighbourhood (I saw humans and dogs and cats, oh my).

Lucky for us, we’re now free to roam the island and paid to do so — in case you didn’t know, your SingapoRediscovers Vouchers (SRV) are expiring in just two months. So if you haven’t spent them already, now’s the time to go, go, go.

2. Stay connected to your loved ones

Sometimes it’s a lot easier making new friends than maintaining your current ones — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t! Since groups of eight are now allowed to gather, why not hold a Netflix slash Disney+ party at home?

Get everyone to bring one dish each and you’ve got yourself the recipe for a perfect night in without the travel deprivation blues.

3. Work out

One of the most common ways to destress is through exercise. That’s because when we work out, our body produces endorphins (aka stress-reducers) that not only helps us take the edge off mentally (goodbye travel deprivation!) but also improves our sleep.

There are a ton of ways to get your daily endorphin intake but some of my favourites include running at any one of Singapore’s coastal parks, cycling through Coney Island and hiking up Bukit Timah Hill! While you’re at it, why not look the part?

ALSO READ: The travel lover's guide to staying at home: Everything you can do while you wait to travel again

4. Start a travel fund

What better way to fully utilise this season of barren-travels than to actually plan and save for that long vacation you’ve always dreamed of taking? If you’re unsure where to start, we’ve got you covered.

5. Pick up new skills

IMO, one of the best parts of travel is meeting new people while doing a new activity. Well, guess what — there are a ton of activities you can sign up for in Singapore that will allow you to do just that! If you haven’t already, why not get your diving license?

If water sports aren’t your thing, why not check out this bunch of creative workshops available on Klook that you can redeem with your SingapoRediscovers Vouchers?

Don’t fancy meeting new people but keen on learning a new skill? Check out SkillsFuture Singapore for courses that will help you level up career-wise!

6. Let your mind travel

George R.R. Martin once said, “a reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one.” While travel we can’t just yet, reading allows us the luxury of escape through imagination whilst keeping us safe at the same time.

Plus, a shift in perspective really helps to alter the way we feel life. Two books that have personally helped me deal with travel deprivation have been The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.

If starting on a novel alone intimidates you, why not join a book club? Stay up-to-date with Books & Beers, who hosts book swaps, events as well as share all things reading-related from the community.

Girly Book Club is another great global alternative (with a local arm!) that hasn’t been stopped by Covid — they simply moved their book discussions online!

7. When all else fails: Retail-therapy

In a study by the Journal of Consumer Psychology, it was found that shopping had an immediate positive effect on individuals who felt sad or scared — this is because retail therapy works as a logical albeit expensive coping mechanism for moments when one feels like they otherwise have no control over (aka our current travel stitch).

If there were ever an appropriate time for retail therapy, it would be now

Travel deprived? No siree!

Whether you choose to take the weekend off with the family, learn a new skill or chill out with a book — know that you’re not alone in adapting to this strange turn of events.

Even though we’re looking forward to when vaccinations are fully doled out and we’re able to take the next flight out, we’re learning to make the most out of each moment on our sunny island.

ALSO READ: How would travel look like in 2021?

This article was first published in YouTrip.

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