Stay-at-home travel guide

The staff at The Paper Mouse love to travel! All of us here are enthusiastic about eating new foods, seeing new landscapes, and of course checking out stationery shops around the world. We love how a little change of scenery can give us a big perspective change.

Of course, travel is out of the picture this summer. But with a little creativity, we think it’s still possible to experience some of the joys of traveling, even in our own homes. With that in mind, we wrote this little stay-at-home travel guide.

Photo of a watercolor painting of a Rudbeckia hirta flower, leaning against a mossy tree

1. Explore the natural world
One of the best parts of travel is seeing new landscapes, flora and fauna. Here in our homes, we may be used to the nature we see around us - but how often do we really see it?

Our first stay-at-home travel tip is to take a fresh look at your surroundings. Is there a tree outside your window? Do you know what kind of tree it is? Try looking at your tree every day, and see if you notice any changes. If you like to draw, grab a sketchbook and sit outside - try to capture what you see. Go for an urban hike and take pictures of interesting sights. Or take a blanket to the park at night for some stargazing. Can you name any constellations? There’s nothing like thinking about our place in the vast universe to give us a new perspective!

Paper Mouse Recommendations:
Earth Astroreality notebook A cool notebook with an augmented reality experience to inspire you to think about the universe
Match a Pair of Birds A fun matching game that will help you observe the natural world more closely
Cotman Pocket Watercolor Set and Watercolor Postcards A great little kit for painting out of doors
Traveler’s Notebook The ultimate travel notebook to jot down your observations

Photo of a recipe in a Stonit notebook with some bay leaves and spices

2. Try new foods
Ask any of our staff what the best part of traveling is and we’ll probably say: the food. (We really love food.) New flavors, new textures, new spices, and an excuse to eat a little more freely than usual… what’s not to love?

For those who like to cook, pick a country or cuisine and try out a new dish! See if you can find a specialty grocery store with ingredients you may not usually have access to. There are endless recipes online to play with. For those who prefer to just enjoy the meal, it’s a great time to support local restaurants! See if you can find a cuisine you haven’t tried before, or a dish that’s new to you.

Paper Mouse Recommendations:
Stonit notebooks This notebook has waterproof pages - perfect for experimenting in the kitchen
E Frances Notepad Adorable illustrated grocery lists
Gather Review Journal Review your favorite dishes and restaurants with Baronfig’s special review journal


Photo of a set of Felix Doolittle bookmarks, Field Notes Haxley notebook, and the book Howl's Moving Castle

3. Travel through reading and writing
Back in the day when traveling was a lot harder than hopping in a car or getting on a plane, travel literature was wildly popular. Next to going somewhere new, imagining yourself there is the next best thing!

If you’re a reader, try picking up a travelogue or adventure book this summer. Even a fantasy novel is a great way to travel somewhere else. Alternatively, check out a travel guide for your own city or state, or a book that takes place in your region. Sometimes we’re so accustomed to our surroundings, we never stop to learn about their history. You might discover something new!

Paper Mouse Recommendations:
20,000 Leagues Art Print A beautiful reminder of how far literature can take us
Haxley Field Notes This story-based notebook and sketchbook set might inspire you to write your own adventure
Felix Doolittle Bookmarks Beautiful illustrated bookmarks to help you keep your place


Photo of a photo album, Field Notes reporter notebook, and Blackwing Volume 10 pencils

4. Learn about the people around you
Travel gives us a chance to explore different cultures and get curious about the people we encounter. Luckily, we can be curious about the people around us any day! Checking in with our family and friends is extra important these days, and it’s a great time to have conversations that don’t come up in everyday life.

Try to find your inner reporter! Think of some things you’re curious about, whether they’re trivial or deeply philosophical. What do your friends like to eat for breakfast? If your family had endless amounts of time, what would they do with it? If your coworkers could invent one thing to make their lives easier, what would it be? Then survey the people around you and see what you discover.

Paper Mouse Recommendations:
Front Page Reporter’s Notebook Take notes on your findings like a real reporter. Who knows what you’ll find!
Blackwing Volume 10 Pencil Get some inspiration from this special pencil dedicated to investigative reporter Nellie Bly.


Photo of a cozy reading area with lit candle and Be More Sloth book

5. Take a break
Of course, one of the best parts of any vacation is just… relaxing! If you can take some time off this summer and lighten your load, try to give yourself a mental vacation. Block off some time and give yourself permission to ignore the things that aren’t urgent. Have a picnic and lie in the grass for a while. Take the time to smell the flowers. Watch some TV. Do whatever relaxes you!

Paper Mouse Recommendations:
Be More Sloth Learn to take it slow from nature’s experts.
Mizu Water Candle Water is the element of purification and healing - perfect for helping restore a sense of calm.


  • Linda Matchan

    These ideas are brilliant!
    (Especially the part about being a reporter!)

  • Diana Traylor

    This is so beautiful it made me tear up. I’m taking it as a sign I need to treat myself to a spree at the Mouse. Sending multiple heart emojis.

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