Expats would agree with me that travel opportunities as one of the driving force why some (if not most) of us became an Expat. Well, at least for me, that was one of the reasons why ended up here!
Every year, I always look forward to packing my bags to go to the next destination especially during the nicer weather of summer or to make the most of the long weekends brought forth by the spring bank holidays. However, certain circumstances will not always allow us to travel whenever we want. And for me, these circumstances could range from difficulty traveling with an infant up to financial issues.
Being on a traveling hiatus can be hard – especially if you have dreamt all your life to go visit as many places as you want while your body can. But over the past couple of years when I realized that sometimes, being on a traveling hiatus is necessary, here are some of the things I did to make it easier for me to get by.
Join local activities within the community
When we think of upcoming holidays, we always think of “Where is the best place to be for this event?” Spring makes me crave to go to Keukenhof in Netherlands or sakura viewing in Japan. Christmas makes me want to go back to Rome or Vienna for the Christmas markets. And the list goes on! It is very rare that if there’s an upcoming “big” event that I will think of checking the local festivities around Dublin on the onset – except for Paddy’s Day, of course!
When we had a travel hiatus for a year, I became a bit more aware of the local happenings around Dublin during festive seasons like these. I became aware what the locals do and I think it is a great way to fully integrate into the community as well. It is also a great way to see what kids here in Dublin do so my son will have a similar experience while growing up. And could be useful once he reaches school age, too!
Take local trips within the suburbs instead
I will celebrate my 5th anniversary of becoming an Expat in Dublin this August but quite ashamed to say that I haven’t been around in comparison to my friend based in the US. I was truly thankful for the travel opportunities I had, especially in the first two years of my residence here. But all the trips I had were for international trips.
This changed a bit when we had a travel hiatus last year. We didn’t want to sulk at home during bank holidays or to just “reminisce” of the trips we had a couple of years before the hiatus. I took it as an opportunity to make new travel memories. But instead of going to the airport to board a flight, we took the train and went to the nearby counties such as Galway, Meath, Kilkenny, and Wicklow. We also got lucky to be able to FINALLY go to the Titanic Quarters in Belfast, too!
Make the most of the ‘free’ time you have to plan the next trip!
Apart from planning alternative activities locally, you can also make use of the time to research on your next future getaway. Come up with a list of itineraries free to visit or cheap places to grab an authentic local dish. Having a well-researched “cheap” list will give you a rough estimate on how much you need to allocate on your next trip. And sometimes, you may even realize that boarding that next flight is not too far ahead!
Apart from researching on cheap places to dine and visit, use the free time you have in between travels to look for additional money-making opportunities.