traverse the alps. no passport required.


“Life happens” can often be translated to mean travel doesn’t. Holidays get postponed or canceled altogether due to work requirements, a personal injury, or family members needing care. Sometimes life’s circumstances lead us to being homebound. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t travel while staying local. Quite the contrary! We can create a vacation experience at home with ease and delight. All types of households (from those with small children, to adults living solo or couples embracing retirement) can build a “travel itinerary” that brings forth worldly excursions to (ultimately) enhance everyday living.

Thanks to technology access and the wave of diverse cultural experiences found across most regional landscapes, voyages abroad (from home) are easier than ever. However, for optimal benefit, align your trip with your distinct interests. What is important to one, might not matter to another. Be sure to listen and respond, just like a hotel concierge would, to your very own travel wishes so a most memorable trip unfolds!

Looking for inspiration? Let’s review one household’s ideas to create their very own virtual holiday experience. This couple’s vacation plans were scratched due to a surgery’s lengthy recovery - so it was understood the months ahead would be without an airport visit or new passport stamp. Not wanting to lose the enrichment travel brought into their lives, the savvy duo decided to embrace global travel experiences while homebound. Becoming household concierge(s) they investigated their specific travel desires, selected three locations (Bavaria, Austria, and Tuscany), and created a meaningful activity listing. Ignite your own at-home travel ingenuity by taking a sneak peek at this couple’s travel itinerary as they “visit” a few locales hugging the majestic Alps.

Oktoberfest any month? There is no off-season when globetrotting without a passport! So, for this twosome sitting home dreaming of Munich, they simply decided to discover the best Bavarian beer they could find. Beer tastings quickly ensued. Tastings can always be expanded during our own travels. Many know that Bavaria is renowned for sausages too! Why not take shopping excursions to a local butcher or specialty market and pair sausage with a beer tasting for dinner? Don’t like cooking? No problem. Drop by all the local German restaurants you can and rate beer and sausage selections as you go. Unexpected fun was found when these folks discovered a local beer garden and enjoyed locally crafted (as well as imported) beers to the backdrop of festive accordion music. Purchasing beer steins (bought direct from Munich) punctuated this Bavarian tour experience.

Amusing Austrian arts! Once the couple had their fill of Bavarian delicacies, their focus turned to the performing arts. What better place to further study classical music than the home of Mozart? Classical music was played most days which led to further study across classical composers. These dance enthusiasts also discovered that the Viennese Waltz was something they wanted to learn so eagerly signed up for a weekly ballroom dancing class. A virtual tour of Vienna’s famed opera house prompted the purchase of local opera tickets. Learning about the acclaimed Salzburg Music Festival provided for a delightful detour into ordering/importing Salzburg salts. The music festival was also a reminder of a famed musical so watching the production of The Sound of Music captivated them one Sunday afternoon. History and art are often intricately intwined, so they visited on-line museum gift shops, purchased locally produced books on the subject, and read in the evenings. Learning together while reading together concluded most days.

Tuscany’s treasures (twice)! Have you ever taken a holiday that just begs for a repeat visit? Tuscany was the final selection on this excursion as the location was less new territory, more favorite vacation spot. Having previously summered there, Tuscany was an obvious choice by both individuals because it was already deemed a beloved destination. A return “trip” to Tuscany was a nonnegotiable as they knew this location was sure to elevate spirits. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar tastings immediately commenced as excavating memories helped pinpoint these tastings were exceedingly enjoyable. Date nights were spent on virtual tours of favored museums. Fond vacation recollections conjured visions of afternoons spent painting in the Tuscan countryside, so a paintbox hidden in the closet was dusted off and weekends were dedicated to watercolors. To cap off their Tuscan travels, a unique dinner party was thrown. Guests were enthralled when a pizza-oven food truck made an appearance. Bespoke pizza creations accompanied by a vast chianti selection brought gastronomical delight to everyone’s taste buds. Bellissimo!

Doesn’t globetrotting sans a passport sound like an enchanting way to ward off any melancholy associated with a health concern or travels being sidelined? What’s interesting is somehow everyday homelife is nurtured by these travels “afar” without packing a suitcase. As an example, traveling the globe from home distinctly changed this pair’s lifestyle in perpetuity. They reflected on the joy experienced attending the opera and purchased season tickets. Future daily living routines were elevated once it was decided an outdoor kitchen renovation called for a pizza oven installation and in confirming their favorite purveyors (albeit in person or at foreign on-line shops), retail decisions became a breeze. Not to go unnoticed, as well as cause for celebration, we can learn an enormous amount about each family member while taking these global journeys at home. New discoveries are inherent to the process and part of the fun! In this instance, both household members recognized painting watercolors was a wonderful way to leave the world’s cares behind (and shouldn’t just be savored while on vacation). Painting together quickly became an everyday living ritual to reduce stress and increase familial bonding. What could you discover about yourself or how could you enhance a special relationship by traveling the world remotely?

We learned so much that summer and had lots of fun in our own back yard (somewhat counterintuitively) being international explorers.” – Hotels to Home, page 85

Traveling virtually is relatively effortless and can ultimately satisfy the wanderlust in those who find themselves homebound. Be open to immersing yourself in a cultural study that can be found right outside your front door (like cooking classes or festivals). Noteworthy opportunities (uncovering a new art exhibit, local restaurant, or foreign purveyor) also have a way of revealing themselves once you delve into researching your chosen destination. You just never know what lifestyle enhancement might be uncovered as you travel the globe, from home.

Fulfilling experiences await!

The Concierge