You’re officially a victim of the disease called wanderlust. You’ve spent hours upon hours scrolling through beautiful photographs on the internet (maybe even this blog), but you’re sitting at your desk or on your couch and you’re sick because you can’t travel anytime soon.


It’s called withdrawal.

After I booked my one-way plane ticket to Europe, I had a few months to prepare for my trip. I’d sit at my desk itching to leave New York City, with nothing else on my mind but packing and hopping on that first flight to Iceland.

I know the feeling you get when all you want to do is leave but you’re strapped to your existing surroundings, possibly going to a job you hate every morning, eating at the same places every day because you’re just too tired to go explore, driving down the same street to that job you hate, sitting in the same traffic jam, and spending every single sunny weekend in bed because the week before completely exhausted you.

Yeah, it’s tough to find inspiration when your mind is set on being inspired by being somewhere else. But then I realized that I had worked in New York City for four years and hadn’t once been to the top of the Empire State Building, or the Rockefeller Center. I had never been to a Broadway show. Always wanted to have a picnic in Central Park – had I done it? Nope. Had I walked the Brooklyn Bridge like I had always wanted? No sir. What about one of those music festivals? Made a trip to the Hamptons for the weekend? Coney Island? Mmmmk, no.

Wait, what the hell have you been doing all this time?

Working. I’d wake up and go to work, have drinks at the same bar after and come back home to work some more. Then I’d go to sleep, wake up and do it again the next day. Weekends? Maybe a movie at home, some wine with dinner – venturing off just seemed too… exhausting.

Humans are so addicted to routine, and there are many instances when routine is a beautiful thing. But my current routine wasn’t making me happy, or allowing me to feel fulfilled with life. So I shook things up instead of moping around for two months and made the decision to start putting effort into exploring my backyard – New York City.

I woke up on a Saturday and went to the Top of the Rockefeller Center (READ: Top of the Rock).

Top of the Rock | empire state at night | NYC | greaseandglamour

Stayed for hours to watch the sunset and took some of my favorite photos of New York City.

Top of the Rock | empire state | NYC | greaseandglamour

Then the next weekend I got my ass out of bed and went to the top of the Empire State Building.

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I had never seen the city from this perspective, and although it was bitter cold and my hands were completely frozen (even if with gloves on), I was mesmerized by this amazing view.


I walked the Brooklyn Bridge at night and spent a few hours soaking in the beautiful view from Dumbo. (READ: Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge at Night)

IMG_8538 copy copyDumbo Brooklyn Manhattan Bridge

It was beyond cold, there was snow on the ground thus my feet were frozen, but this view was one that I had never seen before, and it made me remember why I came to this city in the first place.

Downtown New York City Manhattan from Brooklyn Bridge Park

I went to City Bakery for the first time to try their oversized marshmallow-stuffed hot chocolate and a pretzel croissant. Yes, a croissant that tastes like a pretzel. (READ: An Afternoon at City Bakery)

city bakery hot chocolate festival new york city

Yes, it helps that I’m in one of the biggest cities in the world, but what if you’re not? Do you have to be from a huge city to find stuff to help cure your wanderlust, or at least lessen the symptoms?

NOPE. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. Here are a few ways that you can relieve some of that travel withdrawal without having to go too far from home.

1. Drive down a new road.

Take the long, scenic way home after work one day. Something as simple as driving down a road you’ve never driven down before will delight your senses, even if it’s only the next block over. Park your car, get out, sit on top of the hood and listen, watch and learn.

2. Try a new restaurant, cafe or grocery store.

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Order something new at your favorite restaurant, or go to a cafe you’ve never been before, and be able to share that experience with someone you love.

3. Get outside your house.

Not an outdoorsy person? Become one. Being outdoors and surrounding yourself with nature can be a bit messy at times and yes, physically exhausting especially in grueling weather, but it’s a feeling unlike any other. Go on the hunt for crisp, clean air in the mountains or the smell of pine in a forest, the willow wisping in the wind near your favorite lake, or miles of cornfields stretching into the sunset.

Inspiration | Grease & Glamour

4. Sit and watch the sunset.

It’s called golden hour for a damn good reason. Spend an hour or so just sitting outside, watching the sky change colors. There’s beauty in this no matter what’s going on in your life, where you are in the world, and whether you’re with someone you love or by yourself.

sunset harbor river hudson new york city birds

5. Find and book a tour in your area.

Hudson River | Grease & Glamour

When you’re not a tourist, you tend not to do touristy things. My good friend visited my hometown of Virginia Beach and booked a tour jet skiing along the Atlantic Ocean. I had never been on a jet ski in my hometown, much less thought to book a tour while at home. Look up local tours, whether it’s a boat ride, a wine tasting or even a museum.

6. Stay in a hotel one night just because.

l'hotel paris

Staycations can sometimes do just as much for the soul. Waking up in a new bed with fresh sheets and an uber-soft comforter can help you mentally get away, without having to travel too far.

Your wanderlust will probably never completely be cured. Traveling usually only makes you want to travel more, but there’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with that. I do hope though that you can take a few moments out of your routine to gain a new perspective on your surroundings. The world is filled with wonder, and even though you can’t leave right now to travel to a new destination, you can find ways to experience new things right in your own backyard.

Thank you so much for reading, and follow me on instagram for day to day updates from my travels. @projectinspo

With love,

  • Dear Jinna,
    Your blog was one of the first travel blogs I have found. It has been only a few days, maybe a week but you are my big inspiration! I even started my own blog and I hope that one day mine is going to be at least a half goo as yours. 🙂 A few days before you wrote this article I have decided that I have to explore my country a bit more. There are many beautiful cities, many beautiful places to go and I have been focusing too much on going abroad all the time. However, this article has inspired me to explore my city as well. I live in the second largest city of the Czech Republic which has around 400 000 inhabitants – ridiculous to compare to London, where I am now, or NYC… But still, we have so many nice coffee shops, so many places of interest. You inspired my to be excited about going home from London in the month and explore my own city, my home.

    Thank you for being my inspiration! 🙂


    • greaseandglamour


      I am so excited for you! Thanks so much for your lovely comment. Send over the link to your blog I’d love to follow along. 🙂 Do you have bloglovin? Make sure you sign up and hook up your blog – it’s how I keep all my favorite blogs in one place. The Czech Republic is such an amazing country – I’ve heard so many wonderful stories, and it’d be awesome to see your city/country from a local perspective. Keep pushing, keep writing, keep exploring and never give up on your dreams! Thank YOU for being an inspiration to me <3 <3

      • You are so sweet, Jinna 🙂 You can find my blog here: together with a link to bloglovin. 🙂 I hope you will visit the Czech Republic some day and I would be extremely happy to meet you there 🙂

        Hope you are enjoying Paris! 🙂

        Take care! 🙂

  • Kathryn

    Real positive post! Made me want to go out and explore now!

    • Thanks Kathryn for your comment! 😀 And yes, please do! enjoy your summer!

  • This is an extremely uplifting post! I’m so happy right now that I’m considering visiting the dolphin safari boat down in Marina Bay! Great post 🙂

  • Abria Mattina

    Doing stuff like this really helped me when I was a student 🙂 I didn’t have the money to travel, but at least once a week my boyfriend and I would make a point to go on “adventures” in our own city. Farmers’ markets, museums, public parks, the new giant Ikea store… we had a lot of fun for very little money over four years.

    • That sounds so perfect Abria! Having a partner to do it with also makes it that much more fun. I’m glad to hear it 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment, and a lot of events around town are free, which makes it even better. =P xx

  • Kumba

    Haaha this actually make me lol, such a wonderful post!

    I have a giveaway running to win a designer scarf if you want to take a peek..

  • i don’t recall how i came across your blog but in the months that i have been following, you always inspire me. i have recently been planning to travel but also playing tourist my own city more because as i have been telling the natives lately, the tourist get to do all the fun stuff 😉

    • Thanks so much for your kind words 🙂 – It’s true, tourists do seem to have more fun, but there are lots of times when locals who know the city and the best off-beat spots have a better time. Hell, we’re the ones who live there, right? <3

  • Queenie Lee

    Great post! I’m such a big believer in travelling around your hometown and experiencing everything it has to offer! xxx

  • After moving back to Australia from London 3 years ago, I’ve spent those 3 years convincing myself that I don’t want to go back. And it huuuuuurts my brain! You have a big city to play in, make the most of it 😉

    • Oh man… Are you happier in Australia or were you happier in London? Both sound awesome. I’d love to live in both place for like 3 months each. 😛 Not sure if that’s possible but a girl can dream, no? Thanks for your comment Megan!

      • Both.. home is home, but London is London. hahahaha. Funny you say that, I’m taking the dive and moving to Paris for 3 months soon. Stay tuned 🙂

  • Ever since I found your blog and read your about your travels, you have been a huge inspiration for me and my blog. More than anything I hope that I someday get to see as much of the world as you have. However, for now I am in my home town, and it is so helpful to have some suggestions for how to rediscover how cool the place I am currently in can actually be. I am dragging my best friend along to try everything on this list. Thank you for being an inspiration!

    • Yes, Sara – drag your friend and definitely keep me posted on what you guys do! Where are you from? Thank you for your comment. 😀

      • Encinitas, California! So far, so good. We have checked out a new coffee shop. 🙂

  • lovely article xxxx

    You are welcome
    to visit my blog —

  • We don’t do it any more, but when we couldn’t travel, and were living in Spain (where I’m from) my husband and I would just take day trips around the city. We would make some sandwiches and take a bus, train or drive (once we got a car) and just went to see what was going on out there. Sometimes we would just stay in that city overnight in some cheap place. It was cheap and would help us make it to the big vacation. We also went to the airport and try to figure out what awesome places the planes were going to 🙂

  • Thanks for the comment you left on my blog Jinna. You are awesome as well and I really believe it’s time for us to chill again 🙂

  • I’m so glad I came across your blog! I absolutely love blog
    posts like this because they echo the whole concept behind my blog, and the way
    I live my life. I love travelling, but more than anything I just enjoy doing
    new things and you don’t have to necessarily go far to do that. In September
    2012, my boyfriend and I started “Something Saturdays” where we do something
    every weekend that we’ve never done before. We currently live in a medium-sized
    city in a somewhat isolated place and we haven’t struggled yet to find things
    to do. You just need to make the effort!

  • Olga

    This is a lovely,inspirational post! I think it is so important and healthy to break up your routine sometimes and look for new things around you! I have lived in London for almost nine years now, but I always look for opportunities to explore! Even regardless of the fact that I have been travelling more or less non-stop over the last eight months!

  • Shana Manuel

    Love these suggestions! I’m a huge proponent of exploring ethnic culture in local places. We can’t be taking jetted flights around the world every weekend, but there is still so much to explore and open up your world in places within your community.

  • Tiaraa Budgettripper

    Hi Jinna, I landed up here in your blog through Bloglovin. You have got some perfect ideas for a travel freak here. I too live in a metropolis but no metro can come close to NYC. U are a lucky gal. But yeah I too like to indulge myself in crazy activities like these. But the idea of staycations sounds interesting to me after reading your post. I feel so tempted to book a hotel right now after seeing that bed with ruffled sheets! Looking forward to read more of your posts.

  • runwiki

    As the mom of three young children and ex-traveler, I’m not sure I can explain how much hope this post gives me. To be quite honest, I get depressed–don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for my children, in fact, sometimes I feel like their all I have, but I miss the adventure, and the challenges that traveling brings forth. These are things that I can do when I get down– I can see how they would really lift your spirits. Adventure is a state of mind… thank you for the gentle reminder and wonderful tips.

  • Joy Corkery

    That as really good advice. Sometimes we totally forget about the great things we have on offer in our hometown. Maybe another thing people could do that would be really fun is have some theme nights. Whip up some cocktails and snacks and bring the Copacabana to your very own living room!

  • cliffhangersblog

    This, Madam, is seriously some great advice there. I often catch myself in the act of thinking of exploring another world when there are practically thousands of hundreds right around the corner. Berlin has like NYC or any other metropole and big city so many sides, aspects and diverse facets. We all forget so easily that there’s more to it than we believe and that we do not have follow famous actor’s and star’s example of discovering other worlds in other countries/continents. Great post, love it.

  • Corey Tucker

    There is a world of wonder right in our own back yard. I get out a lot, shoot every day and am still in awe of what is waiting to be discovered. The seasons also give us a chance to see the world differently four times a year in the exact same place. Fantastic post Jinna.

  • Isabella

    Absolutely loved this! I printscreened it all for the huge inspiration it gave (hope that’s okay), to look back and get reminded. Thank you.

  • The Queen of Dreaming

    Amazing post, I’m sure this will help me 🙂

  • I just found your blog today and I’m now here sitting in my cubicle searching up flights to get the heck out of here. Your photos and story is amazing!

    Since I’m still exploring your blog, I don’t know if you have this post yet but if you don’t – What would you suggest to pack for first-time backpackers? Especially for a girl, we want to pack as lightly as possible, but still appear presentable 🙂

  • I absolutely adore this list. And you know what’s funny? I was just thinking that I should book a hotel just to get away for an evening with a good book and completely unplug. I work from home, so change of scenery is always appreciated. Also, I absolutely adore the pictures you took of NYC/surroundings. I lived for years in Hoboken (and am in Montclair, NJ now so not terribly far); I’ve yet to cross the Brooklyn Bridge, but you’re absolutely right–sometimes you just need to see the world through a new lens. Thanks so much for the inspiration 🙂

  • love no 4 – to stay and watch a sunset…

  • Elizabeth Braun

    This suggestion is kinda bad for business as far as travel bloggers are concerned, but one of the best ways I find to cure a yearning for almost anything, is just to go cold turkey on it! Carrying on reading travel blogs, going through brochures, planning imaginary journeys on flight sites etc is going to feed a yearning to do something, whereas finding something else to do will help to distract from it and the urge will decrease. You won’t lose the interest etc, but you won’t be feeding it constantly and making yourself miserable and even envious seeing what others are going when you can’t.=)

  • Vincent

    Hi Jinna! I discovered your blog and started following it recently. Being a real-life global tourist, I love it lots! Being adventurous, I have done all the 6 things you have listed in this post. What I have done most is the adventure of fine dining in the many awesome restaurants in my city, Nairobi (the capital of Kenya). Also, reading your “10 Ways Travel Changed My Life Forever” inspired me to start sharing my world travel experiences with friends through my new travel blog . I just did the first post earlier this week. Thank you.

  • Laura

    I have just discovered your blog and I’m so inspired. I’ve lived in London my whole life and yet I’ve seen so little of it 🙁 There are so many free things to do as well, but like you said it’s so easy to make excuses and not do any of it. I’ve booked my first city break in Barcelona for October, so exploring London should keep me busy until then!

  • Love all the tips, Jinna–not to mention your gorgeous photos! It’s so true–when you’re feeling down from not being able to hit the road, shaking up your routine and having new experiences at home can do wonders for improving your mood!

  • Ann C

    I love your recommendation of doing things locally. I had to laugh and nod when I read all the things you hadn’t done in NYC that others travel there to do. I think we always think we will get around to it, it will always be there. But that’s not always true, so we need to take the time to do things now!

  • What a great idea! Seeing your own city in a new perspective was something I haven’t thought of, even though I live near the harbour in Australia. Thanks for the great tips.


    Miss Eliza WonDerland

  • Wow the pictures in this post are beautiful! I live in London so there are plenty of touristy things to do that I have never even thought of doing myself! x

  • Debs

    hahaha its easy when u live in NY!!!

  • salo

    I just found your blog ,amazing *-*.These tips are pretty good , but i`m unfortunately only 15 years old and can`t do most of the tips,but the stuff i can do is great.I hope i`m going to do a backpack tour trough germany next year with my friends.

    If your intrested you can maybe come around my blog 😉

  • Maria

    This post is amazing! I’ve actually been sitting here forever, looking at many different travelblogs, daydreaming about being on the road, too. I kind of feel caught now 😀
    but you’re absolutely right! The best way to cure wanderlust when not being able to travel is to discover home from a whole new perspective.

  • sia

    Awesome Photography….I just Love your Blogging Style…

  • Richard Bernal

    I googled “how to gain inspiration without traveling” and stumbled upon your blog. Coincidentally, my hometown is Virginia Beach (and still is…). Your tips are so simple and easily overlooked, but it’s a lot more refreshing when seeing someone else’s words and prospective about the topic. I wish I could leave Virginia Beach for NYC, and I’ve thought about dropping my day job, but haven’t found the courage to risk everything just yet. I’m also almost 30 and want to make moves asap! But I’ll make do with what I have and squeeze every bit of this lemon. Thanks for the read!