Everyone is so busy!  I hear it all the time.  I am my own example in that I never seem to find the time to travel the world as I’d like.  I crave the adventure of new places, cultures and cuisines, and yet, life at home, my job, and my commitments don’t really allow me to get out.  I’m sure I’m not alone.  Check out the quick-list for travelling, even when you lay your head down at home!

5 – Engage in Surrogate Travel:  When friends and family go abroad, or take adventures, ask about their experiences and enjoy all those pictures!  Everyone has a unique experience and they enjoy talking about their adventures, so ask questions, make comments, and give them time to really tell you about what they did and how it made them feel.  Give someone a chance to involve you in their story.

4 – Seek out local international communities.  Arizona is rich with diverse populations from nearly every country on earth, and almost all of them have a group of some kind that has events.  You can find these groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, through a quick search for Chambers of Commerce, or through friends who have ties to cultural groups.  Look for festivals and celebrations to get a good glimpse into another culture.  Global Ties Arizona is increasingly adding events for cultural/ethnic groups to our calendar.

 3 – Research your heritage.  You can take the plunge and get a DNA swab to find out your heritage, or do your research and ask your elders where you come from.   Better yet, combine the two to discover the truth vs. myth and then create a written and oral history for your family.  Dig deep and find out why Aunt Hazel makes that perfect dish and where it came from, or try to find who is in an old photograph.  You’ll not only travel in your mind, but you’ll better understand the interconnectedness of us all and maybe find out some cool details about you!

 2 – Host an exchange participant. From exchange students through groups such as greenheart exchange, Scottsdale Sister Cities, Empower International, and yes, even Global Ties Arizona, you can home-host students, adults, a group for dinner, or even a professional appointment.  Exchanges are proven to be the BEST way to learn about another country and culture, and to teach others about who we are in the United States.

 1 – Get informed.  Watch international films, read books (both fiction and non-fiction), and listen to music that isn’t what you’re familiar with.  You might find that you have a love of Mariachi or Bollywood-cinema.  Pop culture is a GREAT way to explore the world while you rest at home.  Read the newspaper or set up google alerts for areas of interest.  Better yet, join a Regional Interest Forum and get all the latest about your areas of focus.

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