I’m talking a full-blown holiday to someplace very far away from reality.

As a sufferer of chronic wanderlust, I’ve coped by tricking myself into feeling as if I’ve vacationed by daydreaming. I’ve tried weekend mini-getaways, but at some point, the quick jaunts stopped satisfying the urge to experiences new cultures, taste new flavors and see new and exotic sites.

Unfortunately, the desire to travel is much higher than my bank account balance.

But who says you have to book a plane ticket to experience the exotic? Oklahoma City is quite diverse if you know where to look. So before you charge a flight, cool your jets and immerse yourself in what the metro has to offer.

First up is the Asian District and a visit to Super Cao Nguyen (2668 N. Military; 525-7650). One way to experience any culture is to eat the food.

At Super Cao, there are exotic fruit and veggie sections, cookbooks with Asian recipes, spices you’ve never heard of and the most interesting experience in town when it comes to buying meat.

Super Cao’s butcher counter is bustling and culturally traditional. So, do a little research on what kind of Asian feast you’ll have, then make a night of it with whatever treasures you uncover at the market. If you’ve never been, just look for the orange palm trees!

Shopping for clothes and gifts is another essential part of travel. Not only is it an excellent way to remember trips, but it’s usually a unique and fun addition to any wardrobe. India Boutique (6834 N.W. 23rd; 787-1155) in Bethany isn’t exactly like the streets of Mumbai.

But our summers are nearly as hot, and this boutique imports henna, bangle bracelets, belly-dancing accoutrement and an array of textiles. The second you walk inside, you’re surrounded with items that can’t be purchased in just any shop. Browse
through bangle bracelets in every color imaginable or get a custom-made
sari, a traditional type of dress in India.

Lastly, during your travels, experience part of the local culture. After all, local is the loveliest.

To get a taste of something new, Shookah Lounge (5801 Northwest Expressway; 773-3663) offers a window into south Asian and Middle Eastern cultures with a hookah lounge. It can be a little intimidating, but the employees will set up your pipe and mix your fruit-flavored tobacco.

Go on Friday or Saturday and get a show, too. The AALIM Bellydance performs there, so you can have a fullon Arabian night.

Whether it’s hopping a plane or just driving across town, do some exploring to satiate the thirst for globetrotting. Let’s shop, OKC!

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