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How to Plan a Wanderlust Weekend

A wanderlust is someone who travels All. Of. The. Time. For those most afflicted, planning a trip away from home is an obsession. The next adventure begins immediately after returning from the last one. And, because closed borders and travel restrictions are still a reality, here are some ideas to spark your wanderlust weekend that don’t require a passport, plane or train.

Spring is in the air, and let’s face it, we’re all still a little stir crazy at this point. If you’re dreaming of escape, leave the dishes in the sink, the laundry in the hamper and go. Here are a few ways you can live like a wanderlust this weekend.

Take a Trip Outside

wanderlust weekend ideas woman looking through binoculars wanderlust weekend ideas

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

The most invigorating part of travel is the constant novelty, the ever-continuing discovery of new things. When we travel, we automatically switch into adventure mode and become more alert and in awe of our surroundings. But you can train your mind to think like a traveler.

The key to a wanderlust weekend is a bit of imagination. So grab your backpack and fill it with sunscreen, a hat, water, snacks, and other supplies you’d think to bring if you were traveling outside the country—hint: binoculars. Also, taking photos is another activity that occupies the intrepid traveler. Whether you own a camera, smartphone, or both, why not pretend you work for National Geographic?

You’ll see the world from a different vantage point and boost your Instagram account. Perhaps it’s less about how far you go and more about how you think about where you are …  Go to your furthest outdoor state park or off-the-beaten-path destination and spend the day in nature, And please, go ahead and take off your shoes.

Wanderlust Tip: The experienced wanderlust always carries a bee sting kit and knows to arrive early to beat the crowds. 

No Passport Required

woman leaning on rock reading a book

“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” – Danny Kaye

Be grateful and impressed by every sunset, even when you’re seeing it from the same standpoint. To stay refreshed, curious, and adventurous, find a different vantage point to watch the sunrise or set. If you can get to a body of water, go there super early in the morning and watch the world awake.

If you’d rather avoid crowded places, simply,  grab a folding camping chair, hat, and find a piece of deserted nature to read a book. This of course, disqualifies your couch or backyard. You’ll be surprised how quickly reading a book will transport you to that place your reading about. While it won’t make your wanderlust worse, it’s not guaranteed to cure it.

Wanderlust Tip: Bring a picnic lunch filled with the types of food the protagonist in your favorite read might eat. See suggestions below:

Book Suggestions for Wanderlust Who Loves to Read

On the Road, by Jack Kerouac

Written in 1957, Jack Kerouac’s Beat Generation classic is a timeless travel novel. The story follows his character, Sal, as he leaves New York City and heads west, riding the rails, making friends, and partying the night away.

The main character’s frustration and desire to see the world are themes that can resonate with many of us. “An authentic work of art . . . the most beautifully executed, the clearest and the most important utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named years ago as ‘beat,’ and whose principal avatar he is.” –Gilbert Millstein, The New York Times 


Picnic Pairing: Mid-century Americana cuisine is dominated by Jello and Spam, which might just be your excuse to eat unhealthy for a minute. Although Sal and Dean did eat a lot of Mexican and Chinese food on their road trip. 


Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, by Katherine Boo

Won National Book Award for Nonfiction

Behind the Beautiful Forevers, written by Katherine Boo, is a powerful book about what it is like to live in poverty in a slum in Mumbai. Warning, it is not a pretty story.

The author holds nothing back, informing us what it is really like to live in extreme poverty.  

Reported like Watergate, written like Great Expectations, and handily the best international nonfiction in years.”—New York Times Book Review


Picnic Pairing: Garlic naan with your choice of filling and lemonade or iced chai tea.


Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel 

National Book Award Finalist
PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist

Station Eleven is a beautifully written novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse (yes, after a flu pandemic), that tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity. 

One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Buzzfeed, and Entertainment Weekly, Time, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Minnesota Public Radio, The Huffington Post, BookPage, Time Out, BookRiot. “A superb novel . . . [that] leaves us not fearful for the end of the word but appreciative of the grace of everyday existence.” —San Francisco Chronicle 

Picnic Pairing: Tuna or grilled cheese sandwiches, jerky, oranges, or a ground-beef burrito with chips and salsa. 

Most of us just simply aren’t hardwired to sell the house and a lifetime of worldly possessions to live life with complete abandon making a wanderlust weekend the next best thing.

Maybe you really want to try out the wanderlust life. So before selling everything you own, try storing your belongings in a secure, climate-controlled storage unit.

You can lease your storage unit with Metro Self Storage for as much or as little time as you need. Moreover, according to articles like the one featured in Politico, we can expect mass migrations out of big cities into more rural areas moving during the coronavirus.

Until then, enjoy the perks of being a wanderlust even it if just a nice walk in nature as the travel bans continue to lift.

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