10. Travel Shows
There's nothing wrong at all with a little televised escapism. In fact, there's a whole channel dedicated to it. And whether it's Anthony Bourdain, Michael Palin, or even Karl Pilkington, there's someone out there traveling the world, looking at it through eyes like yours. Find someone with a perspective you appreciate and opinions you respect (or at least enjoy) and take in the world.
There is no shortage of books out there to help that itch for travel. Whether it's autobiographies of people in other countries or diaries of people traveling themselves, reading is an intimate way to experience other parts of the world. Bill Bryson is an amazing travel writer, and you can find even more great reading suggestions on our list of 15 books to fuel your wanderlust.
8. Foreign Cinema
Maybe you're not much of a reader, or maybe you're just a more visually-oriented person. Either way, foreign auteurs are a great way to experience other countries. Whether you're looking at Paris through Godard's eyes or seeing Wong Kar-wai's Hong Kong, not only do you get the see the architecture, the landscape and the people, you get to feel the attitudes and ideas that living in that country can engender.
Maybe you're looking at National Geographic photos, or maybe you're looking at a country's master painters, but you can still get a great understanding of the scenery, the culture, and the people through their artwork. You don't even have to travel to France to see French painters. Simply head down to your local art museum and explore their international collection.
Nobody does trip-hop like the British. Nobody does funky dance-pop like the French. Japanese Pop is bouncy, energetic, and unlike anything else. And we're not even getting into countries that use non-Western scales. Music is the soul of a place. Even when it's contentious, like the socially-conscious parody R&B of the Rubberbandits in Ireland, or the dadaist Afrikaans hip-hop of Die Antwoord, that conflict still speaks to the region the music came up from. Music is as vibrant and unique as anything you could hope for when learning about new places in the world.
5. Facebook Friends
Keep up with the international students from your university, or look up the exchange student from high school. Add that group of guys dong a bar crawl dressed as monks that you met in London. Follow your space-cadet friend who's read Eat, Pray, Love too many times and backpacks around the world. Maybe you can't afford to travel right now, but that doesn't mean that you can't enjoy what the world has to offer through your friends. Broadening the types of people that are on your social media can only make your world bigger.
Maybe you don't just want to kick around a couple of Indian cities. Maybe you're thinking about a big change. Maybe you're wondering how far your California salary could take you in Arkansas. Looking up house prices on Zillow may not be the best way to actually find a home to purchase, but it's a great way to get a feel for what's out there, and an even better way to scratch that itch to get up and take off somewhere.
3. Virtual Reality
We already live in a world where 360-degree video is a thing. We also live in a world where virtual reality is becoming more and more feasible. Last year a software developer made headlines when she let her 90-year-old grandmother explore the outdoors in spite of her cancer, with the help of an Oculus Rift headset. Most of the demos available are computer-generated, but surely it's only a matter of time before this combines with the 360-degree video.
2. Google Street View
Google Street View is an incredibly powerful thing. While some people use it (and Google Earth) to look for naked sunbathers or embarrassing license plates, it's also an incredibly comprehensive, helpful, and down-to-earth view of the world we live in.
1. Reading Travel Articles on Alot.com
You've made it this far; we thought we'd have some fun. You can travel the world, sure! Or you can let your friendly neighborhood Alot.com bring it to you for much cheaper.