Turn Off the TV and Travel!

April 19, 2016

Life is complicated. Sometimes it is just easier to sit on the sofa and fall head first into the television set.  While watching whichever series pulls you into the story line, you forget about deadlines at work, your kid’s problem at school, the visa bill and all other aggravations.

Did you know that according to Nielson numbers as of 2012, the average person over the age of 2 watched 34 hours of television per week.? And once you pass your teenage years it creeps up.  Seniors watch closer to 50 hours per week!

We all need escape from the daily grind. We all deserve to leave our troubles behind and have some adventures.  Why not give up the passive experiences of television and dedicate time for travel and travel planning?  Let’s talk about that dream trip to Italy.  

Try this:

  • Starting tomorrow, unplug the television.  Promise yourself that this week there will be no television on any device you own for 5 days.
  • You will feel antsy. Take a walk outdoors instead of watching television. Really search your surroundings for the beauty of Spring. As yourself what it would be like to be walking in the streets of Italy in the Spring.  Imagine it while enjoying your surroundings.
  • Go to the local library and pick up an Italian travel or history book.  Read about what Italy has to offer. Take your book home and when you want to escape, read about Italy.
  • Make an Italian dinner—even simple spaghetti and your favorite marinara sauce. While eating discuss just how much better it would taste in a restaurant in Rome.
  • Balance your checkbook and check your savings.  Set up an automatic deposit into a Travel fund. Set a plan for paying down your charge cards in order for you to charge your airline tickets and hotels in Italy. Making a plan empowers you! It is creative and can actually be fun with the goal of travel in mind.
  • Set a goal for visiting Italy. If you are saving and paying down bills, give yourself a year or more to accomplish your goals. Put your goal in writing in a prominent place for positive reinforcement. You can do this!
  • Do you have a local Italian area? If so, stroll through it. Stop at a butcher shop and buy a small amount of prociutto or other Italian meat you like. Stop at the bakery and pick up Italian bread or rolls. Find a bottle of vino and a park bench and have yourself a picnic, Italian style. Imagine you are actually in Italy doing the same thing!
  • If your town does not have an Italian area, find a checkered tablecloth, pack a picnic lunch with wine and sit in any park area in town. You can imagine it is a piazza in Florence or a small town in Italy. Playing pretend is fun!
  • Part of travel is meeting people, hearing the language and trying to speak a few words in the local tongue. Stop at a bookstore and purchase an Italian language book for Travelers. I particularly like Rick Steve’s book. It is short and funny. Practice with your partner or friends. Take the book to a bar and share drinks while attempting to talk to each other in Italian.
  • Purchase an Italian/English dictionary. Carry it with you on your next walk. Stop to smell the flowers and look up their Italian names. Look up words for whatever catches your eye. It will give you the feeling of being in another place. It will keep you on track.
  • On the 4th or 5th day of this experiment, pick someone to help you plan your Italian Adventure. That is what I do for a living through my business, TAKE ME HOME ITALY. I would love to assist you. Our first contact would be a phone conversation to discuss Italy in general and what you plan to spend for your vacation. We talk of dreams, special interests and time frame. The first 15 minutes are free.  We can stop there and schedule a second appointment later.

You have made it through nearly a week of ZERO TELEVISION. Now what? When you plug that television back in, start looking for travel shows on PBS and other channels.  If you are going to fall back into the TV, why not keep the dream going about travel?  

Continue the suggestions above. Read about Italy, picnic like in Italy, learn a few words in Italian, walk outside and dream of narrow Italian streets, the scent of flowers and caffe’ in the air.  You can do this. Italy is calling. She wants to share her Italian Soul with you!

Ciao for now!

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