Submitted by Editor on Tue, 01/05/2012 - 08:03

We’re tired of going oot, and no doubt you are too. It’s the weather that’s the issue of course – one week it’s gorgeous, the next it snows, and every time we leave the house we must burden ourselves with wellies, suncream, mittens and a snow plough (which is murder on our handbag).
However, help is at hand in the form of experimental tourism – an invention by French journalist Joel Henry. His plan was to get people to travel in a different way – for instance, counter-travel is an exercise in which you go on holiday and stand with your back to famous landmarks, taking a picture of the view. It's given us some ideas of ways to go oot with-oot leaving the immediate area of your own home. Here are four, because the best things always come in fours.
One: Literary travel
This is a method actually invented by Monsieur Henry, so we can’t claim credit. The idea here is to start with an author from your country – perhaps Edinburgh residents such as Marianne Wheelaghan or Catriona Child – then read a book by someone from a neighbouring country, then the country neighbouring that, and so on until you make your way around the globe. If you’ve an e-reader of some sort, you won’t even have to get up (assuming you’ve organized yourself in the kitchen with a chamber pot and a particularly understanding friend to give you sponge baths).
Two: Cyber travel
Pick a destination by any means you fancy (names in a hat, throwing a dice, pin in an atlas), find a street beginning with A, and locate said street on Google maps. ‘Walk’ along it for as long as you can, and when you get to the end Google-map the name of the next available street and walk down that. Continue until you’ve seen the whole city, or until your mum calls you downstairs for tea.
Three: Invite a friend round for the afternoon
Working with a friend or loved one, each draw a fantasy map (first ensuring you’ve stained your paper with a damp teabag to get that authentic ‘soggy old paper’ look) to find a castle / treasure / chasm of doom, making it as complex as you possibly can. Swap, go outside, and try to follow the other person’s map to their imaginary destination.
Four: Art appreciation

Choose several countries you fancy going to one day in the future when you have the time and disposable income available.  Using Google, or perhaps your local library, find the most famous work of art from each. Marvel at its beauty for a while, then ruin it by crudely PhotoShopping in a poor quality picture of yourself. Post the results in an album on Facebook or other preferred social networking site claiming these works of art have always included you and that it must be a sign you are destined for great things.
Have fun, and do let us know how you get on.