Staycation: How to pretend you're on vacation in your own country

Low budget? Too much going on and you don't have time to travel? Or are you like me, constantly having post-travel blues?

I'm not gonna lie and tell you I have the solution, I don't, but I do know a way to make you feel better, I'm taking about a "staycation". It's all about appreciating what you already have where you're living. And so I've made a list of how to pretend you're on vacation in your own country. Faking it till you make it.

1. GRAB YOUR CAMERA 

When you have a camera and a goal to take cool pictures, you'll start noticing new things, details and even new places. Look around and be curious. I live in Oslo, Norway, and one day when I was just walking around with my phone, looking for something to photograph, I saw a mosque. I've seen it many times, thought about how beautiful it is, and then forgotten all about it. But now I have a picture, and it makes me happy everytime I look at it, because it feels like it was taken in Turkey or in the Middle East or something.

The mosque "Central Jam-e-Mosque located in Tøyen, Oslo, Norway.

In case you ever visit Oslo, this mosque is called "Central Jam-e-Mosque. It has room for about 700 people and is one of the largest mosques in Norway, according to VisitNorway. The walls are decorated with tiles from Iran and Spain, both on the inside and on the outside. It also has Persian carpets and a Turkish chandelier in the main hall. Next time I'll have to check it out on the inside too!

2. SET THE MOOD AT HOME

Buy some fancy cheeses, put on Edith Piaf and voila you're in Paris! If that's not enough you'll have to see "Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain". I've seen it many times. The way this movie catches the essence of Paris along with the charming tunes of Yann Tiersen really makes me feel like I'm in France (and in love)! To my french readers: Watch "The Grand Budapest Hotel"?


3. GO TO THE MUSEUM OR A GALLERY

Looking at art, dinosaur bones and such is something we often end up doing when in a foreign country. I'm pretty sure there's a museum where you live as well, right?

In Oslo we have The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art. Last summer they had an exhibition of Chinese contemporary art, called Chinese Summer, a metaphor for a nation and art scene that have seen explosive growth over the last two decades.

Anyway, the exhibition was magical, and I had the time of my life. Here's a photo I took of Huang Yong Pings "Colosseum", which says something about the dialog between nature and civilization.

Huang Yong Pings "Colosseum" featured at The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo, Norway.

4. GO TO A BOTANICAL GARDEN

I'm a huge fan of botanical gardens, and whenever I'm travelling I like to check those out. However, we do have a botanical garden in Oslo too, Botanisk hage. It's a large garden at Tøyen, most of the area is designed as an Arboretum, with roughly 1800 different plants. There's a scent garden, and my favorite: "The Palm House" and "The Vicoria House" where you can find exotic plants from other parts of the world.

If there's a botanical garden where you live, there's a good chance they have a tropical, hot and humid glasshouse. Now that's a perfect place to hang out for a while in the winter, especially if you're from a cold country like NORWAY...

Everything you take pictures of at the botanical garden looks amazing, so it's also an awesome photo op. Like that time visual storyteller and crochet queen Mayce El-Reem (@mayce on IG) and I met up for a shoot just for fun. We where all up in those cactuses and against those plain walls.

Namra Saleem by Mayce El-Reem.

5. EAT AT A RESTAURANT

When we're travelling we eat at restaurants everyday. Just picture yourself looking fresh, eating  a delicious breakfast at a diner. Treat yourself! And hey! If you ever come to Oslo, let me know and I'll take you out for brunch - scandi style, at GRÅDI, or at Galgen (they don't have the sexiest web page, but their brunch is good).

There you go - this turned out to be a 2 in 1 blog post on a way to deal with post-travel blues slash an Oslo-guide. If you want to read a funny little piece about "Staycation", head on over to Condé Nast Traveler.

If you ever wanna read about my real travels tho':

Comments

  1. Great post! I recently decided to try and explore my city as though I was visiting, which is another way to attempt to ward off the wanderlust blues. I *still* have a strong itch to get out of the USA, but I am grateful to explore my local sights when I have down time. It's funny too - I would dream of vacationing in Norway! It's easy to take advantage of where you live.

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    1. It is kind of funny how you got a itch to get out of USA and dream about vacationing in Norway, and I have an itch to get out of Norway and love visiting USA. That been said, come to Norway!

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  2. I also love to watch Amelie. Didnt think of such an idea though! That is quite cool when i am thinking about it.

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    1. It's a charming and cute movie, it's been a while since I last visited Paris like that.

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  3. I love all these ideas! I enjoy going exploring in my own city. Even through I have lived here for years, I can still manage to discover new places.

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad to hear that you still manage t discover new places in your own city, I feel like I still have more places to discover where I live!

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  4. I strongly believe in staycations in between foreign trips. It's even better when you live in a city like Oslo. I'd love to visit the beautiful Central Jam-e-Mosque and the botanical gardens.

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    1. I am quite happy about living in Oslo for sure :) Hope you get to visit!

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  5. Yeah, why not?? I love exploring my own city and sharing stuff about the hidden gems around, review popular and new restaurants/cafes, etc. It feels great to actually know the place you live in like the back of your hand and be considered a "local travel expert" ;)

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    1. That's actually a good point, I imagine you're an epic guide when friends visit your city/country!

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  6. Great post! I always say that I want to be a tourist in my own city but I never set aside the time. The next time I take a day off I’m definitely grabbing my camera and finding new places!

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    1. Thanks, and hey, I sometimes use my weekends ;)

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