For the past few years I have published an annual travel horoscope, where travel bloggers representing each zodiac sign share their travel recommendations for the year ahead. This year, I’m taking a different approach to your 2021 travel horoscope, due to two significant factors: the ongoing global pandemic and the fact that astrology isn’t real. I can’t keep up the charade of making up pulled-from-thin-air travel predictions this year: travel is currently off the table for most of my readers and it’s never been more important to embrace actual science while rejecting Facebook-style fake news and pseudoscience.
(For proof that astrology isn’t real, feel free to go back and check your 2019 travel horoscope and your 2020 travel horoscope, to see just how much they didn’t come true! Also, I hope that I’ll be able to return to your regularly-scheduled fictional astrological predictions for 2022.)
That being said, my annual travel horoscope post is a tradition that sparks joy for me, so I’ve decided to continue it in a very different way this year. Instead of inviting my travel blogging friends to share their recommended destination with you, I’ve compiled a list of twelve ways that you can bring more travel into your life, whether you’re stuck at home (like me!) or have the good fortune of being able to travel more freely.
My 2021 travel horoscopes are based on commonly-held beliefs about each of the twelve star signs. If you’re someone who believes in astrology, you might actually find your horoscope particularly insightful. If you’re someone who doesn’t believe the alignment of the stars at your time and place of birth shaped the person who you are today, you can read all twelve of the horoscopes and pick and choose from the ideas that resonate with your current interests and situation. Be sure to let me know your star sign and 2021 travel plans in the comments, so I can see if my totally-fabricated predictions hold any weight!
2021 Travel Horoscope for Aries
Aries are known for being super-competitive (you are the first sign of the zodiac after all!). In 2021, Aries travelers should take up an exotic new sport, either at home or abroad. I’d like to propose buzkashi, a Central Asian sport that is similar to polo, except riders on horseback compete to get a headless goat carcass into the opposite team’s net. People will cower in fear when they hear about your headless goat carcass polo prowess, and you will always be able to one-up other people when you’re bragging about who’s best.
If buzkashi sounds too extreme, or you don’t have consistent access to headless goat carcasses and a horse to practice, consider something a little less wild. Archery is the national sport of both Mongolia and Bhutan, and it doesn’t require close contact with others. Scotland’s national sport is golf, which is also perfect for social distancing. A few countries, like Slovenia and Austria, list alpine skiing as their national sport. If you have a ski hill nearby it’s a great way to blow through the travel budget you didn’t spend during the pandemic. Later, if travel conditions improve you can always plan a sporty trip, and if things stay local you can keep having a little foreign fun at home.
Creative Commons photo courtesy Peretz Partensky
2021 Travel Horoscope for Taurus
Taurus travelers are known for seeking out immersive experiences that indulge all of the five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. I’m going to go with one of the less-obvious options here, and suggest that in 2021, Taurus travelers indulge in fragrances that invoke the aroma of their favorite past travel destinations or places that they’ve always dreamed of visiting.
Don’t fall for the marketing gimmics: Chloe’s Nomade is a great year-round scent even though nothing about it is nomadic, while Armani’s My Way (with its jet-setting commercials) is nothing noteworthy. Instead, look for lesser-known perfumes from indie perfume houses, niche perfumers or small-scale, local perfume shops based overseas. Here are some of my suggestions, all of which have a range of unisex scents:
- Obsessed with Berlin? Frau Tonis is the quintessential quirky Berlin perfumerie
- Dreaming of Canada? Zoologist is a one-man Canadian perfumer with many scents inspired by Canadian wildlife (and some inspired by creatures further afield, as well!)
- Rather be in Barcelona? Carner Barcelona has scents that will bring you back to the Catalonian capital
- Imagining India? Bombay Perfumery captures the essence of India in a bottle
- Wish you were on a Roman holiday? Santa Maria Novella is believed to be the world’s oldest pharmacy, and this Florentine apothecary has been producing luxurious fragrances since 1221
Spritz away, imagining your powder room is a hotel bathroom, and then when travel becomes a possibility again head to one of these brands’ flagship shops to experience their full line of scents.
(If you’re new to the world of fragrance and thinking of buying a scent before smelling it, I recommend you first check the reviews on Fragrantica!)
2021 Travel Horoscope for Gemini
Gemini’s have a childlike curiosity, and are thought to be one of the most youthful zodiac signs. In 2021, Gemini travelers should look for opportunities to make meaningful connections with kids around the world. This blog does not support voluntourism, which is widely recognized as harmful to the social and economic well-being of young people in developing countries. Instead, I recommend setting up a recurring donation to a reputable, non-denominational international child welfare organization like UNICEF. Alternately, get involved in a local non-profit organization in your hometown that assists immigrant youth through tutoring, mentorship or financial donations.
Later, when we are able to travel, look for opportunities to support youth-based non-profit organizations as you travel. For example, I’ve written several times about Entreamigos, a community center and non-profit organization in San Pancho, Mexico where the proceeds from the shop and cafe support a multilingual youth library, classes for children and post-secondary scholarships. If you’ll be in Canberra, Australia, stop by Cafe Stepping Stone, a vegetarian restaurant offering employment opportunities to marginalized youth who may lack employability skills.
2021 Travel Horoscope for Cancer
For crabby Cancers, your home can be like your shell: a safe place to retreat when the world is dangerous, exhausting or just plain demoralizing. As the zodiac’s homebody, your love of travel has always been surpassed by your love of cozying up at home. With the possibility of traveling not on the horizon in 2021, there has never been a better time to bring some international flair into your home design and decor.
Looking for an easy DIY project? Consider painting an accent wall, or an entire room, in a color that evokes distant lands: Aegean Blue, Russian Red or Amalfi Lemon. Or, try creating a statement gallery wall, packed with framed photos and memorabilia from your past travels.
Not into DIY? (Honestly, me neither.) You can still bring some multicultural pizzazz into your home through easy, inexpensive purchases. I’ve been dying for one of these folding Thai-style floor cushions that would be perfect when I need a change of seating arrangements while I work from home. If you’ll be around to care for it, you could also bring in a low-maintenance exotic houseplant, like bamboo or ginseng (both are usually available at Ikea!). Feeling even lazier? It doesn’t get any easier than hanging a 2021 wall calendar featuring one of your favorite destinations, like US National Parks, tropical beaches or African safaris.
2021 Travel Horoscope for Leo
The most dramatic zodiac sign, Leos are famous for letting out a roar when they feel like they’re not the center of attention. I have got the perfect solution to your 2021 travel woes: diving deep into the world of foreign TV shows. I’m not talking about Dark or Money Heist; that’s way too obvious (and unimpressive). You, Leo, are going to wow everyone at the Zoom party with your intimate knowledge of obscure-but-awesome foreign TV shows.
Looking for easy-watching, bingeable recommendations from around the world? Check out Coisa Mais Linda, an effervescent Brazilian Netflix series set in Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s, or Bom Dia Veronica, a darker police drama from the same country. If you’re not an Old Person like me, you could also check out Blood & Water, a South African series about teenagers with families harboring some very dark secrets…
If you, and the people you’re trying to impress, actually have an attention span, then it’s high time you all get hooked on Line of Duty, which is hands-down the best police show on the air. This isn’t a show you can put on in the background while you vacuum your living room; with more plot twists and turns than you can count, you’ll need to give all five seasons of this one your full attention. While Line of Duty is well-known in the UK, it’s still a hidden gem for foreign audiences.
And, of course, when it comes time to travel again, you just might be inspired to hit up the beaches of Rio (caipirinha in hand!) or explore the gloomy cityscapes of Birmingham and Belfast.
2021 Travel Horoscope for Virgo
Virgos aren’t just sweet, virginal ingenues. Virgos are actually known for being highly logical and practical perfectionists, who won’t settle for anything less than the best. Back when we used to travel that meant you’d spend hours scouring the web for the best hidden travel gems, from secret hole-in-the-wall restaurants to opulent luxury hotels that might have cost an arm and a leg, but were so worth it. In 2021, I’m recommending that Virgos channel some of that perfectionist energy into mastering the world’s most delicious – and most difficult – dishes. Through meticulous trial-and-error, note-taking, research and (ample) taste-testing, you need to whip up these six notoriously finicky foreign foods:
- Macarons from France – Unlike the vulgar American macaroon (not shown because eeew), French macarons are pillowy kisses of egg white and almond flour, embracing a creamy ganache or buttercream filling. One wrong move and your macaron could come out lopsided, cracked, sticky, dry, lumpy and/or hollow.
- Beef Wellington from the UK – I don’t eat meat so I’ve never tried Beef Wellington, but I’m pretty sure that steak wrapped in pate wrapped in duxelles wrapped in Parma ham wrapped in puff pastry can’t be something you just whip up after work one Wednesday. Can it?
- Pho from Vietnam – The secret to a memorably mouthwatering bowl of pho is all in the broth, and I’m challenging you to simmer all manner of meat, vegetables and spices to create a dish rivaling the best street eats of Southeast Asia
- Mole from Mexico – A typical Oaxacan mole sauce features more than thirty ingredients, starting with multiple types of chile peppers, countless herbs and spices, and each cook’s secret ingredient, which run the gamut from plantains to peanut butter to dark chocolate. Have fun!
- Sushi from Japan – I accept no responsibility for any food poisoning or other negative effects of you learning how to prepare raw fish at home.
- Dosas from India – No, you can’t just buy a package of dry dosa batter at your local Indian supermarket. You need to make your own fermented rice and lentil batter before you can say you’ve mastered these crispy Indian pancakes.
Chef’s kiss! (Or is that too 2020?)
2021 Travel Horoscope for Libra
Yes, I can be excessively literal at times, and this is one of them. Libra is represented by the scales, which have come to symbolize fairness and diplomacy on top of the obvious equilibrium. In 2021, Libra travelers are going to do something that people of every zodiac sign should probably consider: find inner balance. Whether you’re spending too much glued to the news, caring for others, worrying about your health or staring at the same blank wall, 2021 is inviting you to spread your physical and mental energy in a more equitable way. While this might seem like an insurmountable task, I’m going to ask you to give it a try, with the help of some tools and strategies from around the world.
Is there something that you’ve spent more time worrying about than doing? And that would probably be done if you’d just get down to work? What about trying the Pomodoro Technique, invented by an Italian named Francesco Cirillo? Basically, you set a timer for twenty-five minutes, during which you give the task at hand your full attention. When the timer goes off, you give yourself an unrestricted five-minute break. Task finished? Move on to the next item on your to-do list. Not quite done? Set the timer for another twenty-five minutes and get down work. The Pomodoro Technique is named after the tomato-shaped timer that Cirillo first used, but you can easily use an egg timer or alarm clock (just not your phone, that comes pre-loaded with distractions!).
Seeking more mental clarity? I’ve got two suggestions for Libra travelers in 2021, and they both involve baths but neither involves water. First, I challenge you to try sound bathing, where you become fully immersed in vibrational frequencies from singing bowls and other traditional musical instruments. While sound bathing has been used in Tibet for more than 2,000 years, I first tried it in Ubud, Bali last year (shown above) and was immediately hooked. If you don’t have access to singing bowls and a gong, you can also look to Japan, the birthplace of forest bathing. Forest bathing is nothing more than spending time in nature. You can keep your clothes on (although some people like the feeling of the earth beneath their bare feet). As you spend time in nature, focus on what you experience through your five senses: the sound of trees whistling in the wind, the smell of petrichor after a storm, the sight of a bird flying overhead, the taste of the fresh air and yes, the feeling of the earth beneath you, bare feet or not.
2021 Travel Horoscope for Scorpio
Scorpios, do you feel like you’re always objectified? Like you’re always viewed as the sexy, sultry, spicy sign of the zodiac? I embraced that stereotype fully, writing a horoscope about finding your true love (and somehow ferrets were involved…) but right before I published this, I realized I owed you better. Because Scorpios aren’t just sex bombs, they’re also famously loyal.
Scorpio, in 2021, you are going to share the love. 2020 was a rough year for the travel industry, but hopefully things will improve in 2021. You’re going to help with that, and share your loving, loyal side, by celebrating some of your favorite travel service providers. It might be that great guesthouse you stayed at in Bali, or an amazing locavore restaurant you dined at in Jardin. Your challenge is to get out there and spread the word about businesses that might need a boost, by leaving them a great review on Yelp, Google, Facebook or TripAdvisor. If you made a personal connection with a small business owner during your travels, let them know that you appreciated their hospitality by sending them an actual letter or postcard from your hometown (it’s easy to find most mailing addresses online!). You’ve got a big heart and there are a lot of people working in the travel industry who could use a little piece of your spirit this year. Who knows? If things improve, maybe you can prove your loyalty by re-visiting an old favorite later in the year!
2021 Travel Horoscope for Sagittarius
I’m a Sagittarius myself. We are considered the most adventurous and well-traveled sign of the zodiac, mostly because we are always chasing something new, unfamiliar and unknown. In 2019 I recommended that Sagittarius travelers go to Berlin, because to me, it has a little bit of everything: old, new, familiar, strange, safe, dangerous, affordable, luxurious, inside, outside… and in 2020 I suggested Istanbul for its cosmopolitan atmosphere at the crossroads of east and west. This year, I’m refraining from recommending any particular destination, instead focusing on travel-inspired experiences that you can bring into your daily life, and for Sagittarius travelers in 2021 I’m recommending that you learn a new language (or two, or three!).
Pick any language you want, I won’t judge. Buy the Rosetta Stone (every pack now includes access to all 24 languages online) or access it for free through your local public library in many places. Tune in to YouTube language lessons (I’ve recently developed an obsession with Ecolinguist and can’t stop watching videos about languages that I don’t speak and will never speak!), learn the lyrics to your favorite foreign songs and see if you can find a virtual pen-pal or language partner for mutually-beneficial conversations. Report back to me in December 2021 and share your language learning progress after a year of giving it your all!
2021 Travel Horoscope for Capricorn
Ask any astrologer (and/or any random internet travel blogger) and they’ll tell you that Capricorn is the sign that represents self-discipline, leadership, responsibility and ambition. Basically, you’re a Boss Bitch. You’re the person sending me work emails at 7:00 am on Saturday.
What does 2021 hold for formerly-globetrotting Boss Bitches? You, dear Capricorn, are still going to live your travel dreams. You are going to jump on LinkedIn and start exploring careers that could turn your travel dreams into reality. You are going to move to a different time zone, so that when you send me work emails they won’t come through at 7:00 am on Saturday.
Ideally, you’re going to find a job where you can wear palazzo pants and take important phone calls while drinking a poolside martini. However, we’re in a global pandemic and we’re going to take what we can get. The first thing you should do, if you’re employed, is to ask your HR department about opportunities to continue working for your current company but in a fresh new location. If that’s not possible, look into open job postings in countries where you have, or could have, the legal right to work. Is there a posting that piques your interest? If neither look possible in 2021, could you attend a work-related conference abroad, or enroll in a short-term professional development course in an exotic destination? Surely an ambitious Capricorn like yourself can find a way to make it happen (preferably on your employer’s dime).
2021 Travel Horoscope for Aquarius
If you’re an Aquarius, you’re simultaneously imaginative and analytical, a combination that means you’re probably wrapped up in your own head more often than you’d care to admit. You might start off looking up French Polynesia on Wikipedia, then deep dive into the differences between Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora while making notes on an Excel spreadsheet, then lose an hour daydreaming about swinging in a hammock beside an over-water bungalow. I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to recommend this, because it’s bad for me to have more competition in the travel writing, but your mission, Aquarius, should you choose to accept it, is to try travel writing in 2021. It’s the perfect way to organize everything that’s going on in your head, and it might even bring you fame and fortune!
You definitely don’t have to build an entire blog to have an outlet for all your ideas. There are lots of websites where you can self-publish pieces of writing, including Wattpad (great for fiction) and Medium (perfect for informative articles and opinion pieces). You can also submit your writing directly to newspapers, magazines and websites that publish readers’ submissions. Of course, you can also turn your travel writing into an income stream. The easiest way to get your foot in the door of paid travel writing is through freelance writing, where a publisher hires you to write one piece, or a series of pieces, for their publication. Look for the “Contribute” button on your favorite travel sites to see if they have paid writing opportunities.
If the idea of sharing your travel writing makes you want to hide under the covers, you can always write privately, just for yourself. Buy a beautiful journal and use it to record your dreams for future trips, your thoughts along the road, and how you feel when you eventually get back home.
2021 Travel Horoscope for Pisces
If anyone is going to take their 2021 travel horoscopes seriously, it’s Pisces. Known for being the most emotional, intuitive and mystical zodiac sign, you believe in the unbelievable. Or, at least, you want to believe. So, in 2021, Pisces should use some of their newfound spare time to learn about spiritual and mystical traditions from around the world.
If there’s one thing we learned in 2020, it’s that cultural appropriation is not cool. Instead of appropriating these sacred practices, you should learn about them, directly from the cultures who authentically practice them, and only incorporate the into your life when you have a full understanding of their significance and the consent of the people you learned from. For example, if you’re interested in learning about burning white sage, see if you can learn about the Native American tradition directly from a member of their community, and purchase your sage from an Indigenous-run business. Considering adding kirtan (religious chants originating in India) into your meditation routine? Talk to your local Hindu or Sikh temple to find out if there are opportunities for you to learn and practice there.
We’re going to end this on a high note. If you really want to explore your spirituality in 2021, and if it becomes safe to travel, you might want to expand your horizons with a trip of a different sort. As discussed ad nauseum after the premiere of The Goop Lap, “magic mushroom getaways” where participants travel to exotic locales to microdose on psilocybin are becoming increasingly popular, seemingly stealing the spotlight from Ayahuasca retreats.
Necessary disclaimer: This blog is for entertainment purposes only, and doesn’t promote, recommend or condone the use of any medicines or drugs. Consult a licensed physician before taking any prescription or non-prescription drugs.