Let’s face it. We don’t always have enough time or money to indulge all our travel goals. My desired travel capacity is so much bigger than I can realistically accomplish at this stage of my life, but that doesn’t mean I stop trying. I am constantly keeping myself inspired and rejuvenated in between trips by keeping the spirit of travel alive even when I’m staying local. I call it traveling in place.

For me, my favorite part about travel is the time spent outdoors, sight-seeing, having cocktails on a patios and the overall downtime to enjoy my surroundings. An easy way to recreate what you love most about travel is to show some love to your personal outdoor space. In other words, create a backyard oasis.

Now, I realize that not everyone has a “backyard.” Heck, I don’t even have a backyard. I have a patio and before that I had a stoop. It doesn’t matter how small the space is, it is about what you do with it. A few simple touches can turn any outdoor space from boring to mental getaway in a snap. Just take a minute to think a travel memory that gives you the best feeling. What elements come together to create that feeling? Is it the smell? Is it the sounds? Is it the scenery? What aspects of your outdoor space can be highlight or be enhanced to evoke that vibe?

I loved sitting on my stoop, because we lived on a greenbelt and had this amazing tree. On hot sticky summer days I used make a gin and tonic, sit under the tree listening to the blues and imagine I was in New Orleans. It would get my writing juices flowing and revitalized my soul after a long day at work.

CIMG0172 CIMG0196Find what you love and make your own version of at home. That is what my brother did when designed his backyard oasis. He loves the peaceful feeling he gets from Hawaii. Tiki men peek out randomly from his lush foliage as Tiki torches light up the night. Waterfalls splash peacefully into the pool and Hawaiian music fill the air. When you are in his backyard you really feel like you are on vacation. By turning his backyard into a tropical escape, he gets to take a mental vacation to Hawaii as often as he likes.

DSCN7187DSCN4569Make your outdoor space somewhere you want to be and put the suitcases away to settle in for a staycation. No airport hassles. No road trip woes. Just make a cocktail and step outside your door. Travel in place with your own backyard oasis.