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Making the most of your time at home

Helen Alexander

Senior Contributor

As a member of the ASMALLWORLD Community, we know you love nothing more than setting off on an adventure and exploring a new country. Here’s how can you indulge your wanderlust when you are not on the road.

1. Organise your photos

In between our phones and our DSLRs, we return from each trip with hundreds (sometimes thousands) of photos. Rather than letting them linger on memory cards, now's the time upload them to your laptop or store them in the cloud so you never run the risk of losing those precious memories…

2. Create a lasting memory

While you are at it, think about making a photo book. Companies like Blurb now offer a range of customisation options that can help you create something coffee table-worthy. Pick the size, the paper and the cover, and start laying out a lasting reminder of your time away.

While you are getting creative, edit that GoPro footage or stitch together mobile phone footage. Free video-editing apps like Magisto make it possible to craft mini travelogues within minutes – you can even select your own soundtrack. 

3. Sort through souvenirs

Brightly coloured fabrics from Peru, wood carvings from Costa Rica, traditional African beaded jewellery, Japanese pottery. Whatever you bought while shopping overseas, think about how best to show it off.

Frame those silkscreen prints, hang up that hammock in the garden and arrange the hand-painted ornaments you picked up on your last trip. Then channel your inner interior designer by painting a feature wall a different colour to provide the perfect backdrop to your favourite travel photos or dedicate space on the bookshelf to your collection of well-thumbed destination guides. 

4. Catch up with new contacts

Returned home with a host of new Instagram friends? Keep up those connections by sending them a message. From email addresses scrawled on napkins to hastily swapped phone numbers following an awe-inspiring excursion, check in with the people you met along the way. Not only will you have the chance to reminisce, you’ll have your very own personal tour guide the next time you are in that person’s home town. 

5. Record your experiences

You’ve thought about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) for years, so assemble those diaries and journals, and start telling your travel story. Flex your literary muscles by setting yourself a few writing challenges – recreate your most memorable meal in words, tell the tale of the craziest mode of transport you ever took, describe the destination that changed the way you see the world. 

6. Give your travel skills a boost

All good explorers know that preparation is key, so use your down time to get ready for your next adventure. For example, you could start learning a language. Online courses and free apps like Duolingo (31 languages including Japanese and Korean) or TripLingo (19 languages including Hebrew and Hindi), will have you sounding out new words and phrases in no time.

You could also explore the local customs of the places you want to visit, brush up on your map-reading abilities, and learn some basic survival skills – Frontier Bushcraft, Woodland Ways and many more organisations offer online lessons, while the Red Cross offers digital first aid classes.

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