Adventure without Travel – a TCK necessity

by | Oct 13, 2020 | Blog | 4 comments

Feeling antsy? Blocked from travel? How can we get adventure without travel?

So something that comes up a fair bit with my work with adult Third Culture Kids is the ongoing desire for adventure. We grow up with change being our normal, and we can develop a certain internal need for adventure in our environment.

Moving frequently becomes one obvious way to ‘scratch that itch’ for adventure, as does changing jobs (even career) and making sure there are enough fresh relationships (friends or romantic) every year or so to keep us feeling engaged and stimulated. This isn’t problematic while a) our adventures remain in line with our broader life goals and b) we still feel able to access adventure…

If we can only ‘hop the fence’ that adventure will be right there, waiting for us with open arms on the other side. We get to adventure by rail, boat, plane and with the aide of new groups to meet, new challenges at work, new languages to learn.

Adventure is out there, after all!

Except the way over the fence is now barred. Travel is restricted, social access limited and we may not even have work to lean into for new challenge any more. How do we access adventure without travel?

How are you coping? Are you separated from your family, unsure when you’ll be in the same country again? Maybe your work is in question, especially if you work in an international industry reliant on regular travel.

And how about your internal need for change? One of the ways many of us managed to keep on keeping on – at work, in relationship, in place – is to inject a good dose of adventure and travel every now and then. How are you doing without as ready access to this? For some of us, the not-knowing when we’ll get to ‘get out there’ again is deeply uncomfortable, and can trigger a sense of stuckness and depression.

When lock down first kicked in many of us were pretty quick to adapt to the ‘new normal’. Many TCKs clicked into a familiar adaptive, ‘okay this is what is happening now’ set of skills and acclimatized well. At least initially. The problem for many of us is when the ‘new normal’ becomes the ‘old normal’. Some of us find ourselves hitting new levels of fatalism and lethargy, ‘Well I’ve not seen friends for while… I guess they’ve left the country by now”. Some of us start to get cabin fever and the mundane routine of every day life is leaving us craving the adventure out there.

Adjusting quickly to a new normal works well short term, but our enthusiasm for adapting to a new way of life can soon run dry. So does pressing a big Pause button and trying to just ‘wait it out’ until we can book the next plane ticket.

So let’s click Play again – let’s nurture the adventure in here!

What can we do to find adventure without travel?

We can book a COVID safe hotel room locally – indulge in some luxury in an unfamiliar space.

We can explore a new author, diving deep and stretching our mind into new spaces.

We can explore new recipes, adopt a new cuisine for a time.

We can have local adventures. How many of the local tourist beauty spots have you actually been to?

We can deliberately reach for our relationships. Maybe they haven’t left the country. And if they have, Zoom. Connect where we can.

We can be a child for the day – visit a local beach on a cold day and eat ice cream. Put your swim suit on and dive into the waves with complete abandon (stay safe though!)

We can visit a greenhouse or butterfly house – for me this is always an opportunity to spot plants from my childhood. It does my soul good and is an adventure “home”.

We can find a new favourite take out restaurant. Support a local business and enjoy new spices and flavours.

We can play pretend at visiting a new country and try out their local food and activities ‘translated’ into our own local space.

We can move our furniture around. This is an old TCK standby and it works!

We can walk! Walk around our neighbourhood and find charming corners, and neighbours to smile at.

We can tend to our own garden. Literally, we can buy plants. We can look forward to those leaves unfurling and buds opening up. Metaphorically, we can review our own life trajectories – what are our goals? What soil and feed do we need to achieve them? Breathe life into our own leaves and flowers.

We can have adventure without travel. We can find adventure ‘in here’.

We Can.

** The images for this blog post are a collection from my more recent adventures without travel. Fun was had.



  1. Brian Stell


    Thank You Rachel! Your narrative and advise rang true. We have tried “getting away” to Colorado last month but I had terrible altitude sickness [8000 Ft] so couldn’t do much.

    Still, my wife and I got away and saw the Aspens changing color and enjoyed the natural hot sulfur springs right in the middle of town! Took two days of travel but we aren’t in a hurry at our age.

    In the military kids we called it “the traveling bone” in your body that made you need to travel as you said very clearly in your narrative. I’m lucky I have a wife that had never traveled until she met me; but now she has seen a lot of the world

    • Dr. Rachel Cason

      I like that term – the travelling bone! And glad you were able to get a change of scene – changing colours still feels a bit novel to me, growing up as I did with different seasons! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Brian

    Hi Rachel! My Ex and I had a wonderful “just lets go talk” outside our regular. Those days are LONG over. She’s actually a sweet lonely woman who I have taken care of in the past, but time to move on as we both agreed….
    Five friends (male and female) came out to make sure we were OK as we haven’t talked in a month; half were worried about me; half about her.. We have come to Peace (I hope)! Sigh…

    Closure sucks!

    I shall listen more to your soothing voice on the podcasts etc.

    Keep on keeping on! We need people like you!

    • Dr. Rachel Cason

      Glad you are feeling checked on – and feeling some peace. Closure can be very hard. Thank you for listening to the podcasts! Take care of you.


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