Even though the possibility of travel (at least long-distance travel) is pretty much out of the question for many countries, including the U.S. for now, as travelers and people who love getting out into the world, in a fully immersive way, these times can be crippling in more ways than one.
Between keeping each other safe, keeping our distance, and thinking twice before doing the things we used to do automatically, travel is still a thought and feeling that comes back time and time again, isn’t it?
Whether it’s romanticizing the thought of being on a beach somewhere in Mexico, or enjoying coffee culture in Paris – these thoughts come up even if we are going through a pandemic, and that is completely normal.
I used to feel a bit shameful for thinking of such luxuries when I knew that many people didn’t have the current mental capacity to think that “lofty.” However as quarantine has continued to become a part of our every day, and as the summer has been in full swing for a couple of weeks now, travel thoughts have become kind of inevitable. Plus, no one gains anything if you and I shame ourselves for thinking about travel, and how much we would love to be traveling. Personally, I love to imagine myself taking a stroll in Montreal’s Old Town, or having a cafe con leche at HanSo cafe in Madrid.
So, knowing that I am not the only one feeling this way, I decided to share a few travel thoughts that have helped me get through the non-travel season (especially now during the summer). I know they will help you as much as they have helped me. These are simple thoughts/reminders that I know can turn things around in your mind, and help you alleviate any daunting thoughts about the if’s and but’s of current travel possibilities or lack thereof.
A difference in mindset, perspective, will result in having hope and belief that things will get better – because they will (it may look different, but it will get better) and we will be able to travel again and be in our element.
So, without further ado, here are some travel thoughts that have helped me, and will also help you get through travel-less times.
Travel is a state of mind
I’ve talked about this thought in a couple of posts in the past, such as this one, and it’s been so helpful to remind myself of it that I want to bring it up again to you. In short, I believe that travel elements and experience can be boiled down to a feeling – once we are aware of that feeling, we can think of ways to recreate said feeling, at home, or anywhere.
For instance, if it was food the reason you traveled, what about trying the food of a foreign country gave you that “high” exactly? What feelings did you experience? How can you recreate that at home to the best of your ability? It may not be the exact same feeling because you’re not actually traveling, but it’s something, and that’s what will accumulate to a stronger mindset and feeling overall the more you do it and the more you break down what feelings you experience, and the connection of them to travel.
Add a bit of imagination, and that really elevates the feeling even more. When the mind believes something as so, it communicates that to the body, and the body will start to feel the effects of the mindset of “trying new foods” and therefore traveling, even if you’re at home, and that’s what we want to get to.
Recreate a dish you tried abroad, learn about a country through a new dish like I did here, and know that travel can be a state of mind – if you want.
Related: A Culinary Tour of India
You actually do have a trip coming up soon
Isn’t that exciting to read? Well, not only is it exciting, it’s true as well! Like I said, things will get better, and we will be able to travel again – so in theory, you do have a trip coming up. The details will come as time passes, but that is still something to be excited about and look forward to. No matter what is happening, repeating this belief and knowing this to be true, can really hold a lot of power and positivity in knowing that you have a trip coming up. I personally like reminding myself of this fact, and I like to often think and visualize that feeling of getting on a plane, getting off at my destination and enjoying the sun as I walk around, learn, and experience a city and culture.
You never really know how things will come into your life, opportunities, and amazing surprises that can lead to your next trip, so if you’re thinking about how that can be, stop right there. Let yourself be surprised. Your role here is to keep believing that you have a trip coming up, the details of the how are not up to you to fully know right now, as the details will come in time. The thing you can do (and the only thing you really have control of right now) is to understand that you will travel again, and maybe even sooner rather than later.
What do you have to lose, right?
You’re surrounded by culture and history where you are
If you’re an explorer by heart (which if you’re here, you probably are) then you have the gift of finding interest and history and awe for what is already around you. I used to think that what I had around me in my state wasn’t as fascinating or interesting as the century-old buildings in other countries. However, the more I traveled and came back home, the more I made the intentional shift to view my surroundings differently, no matter how much I already knew them. This new belief and mindset lead to me to actually see that there is a unique culture, interest, history, and awe around me already, I just didn’t bother to really look into it before. This has drastically helped me to almost put a filter on to see my surroundings in a more interesting way.
From small towns, to the lake, to the big cities and fields of gold (corn) that melt off into the horizon, this is unique to my region of the world, and I encourage to look at those things that you have around you. Maybe you have the sea, the forest in your backyard, or the mountains as a magnificent backdrop when you run errands and go to Target.
As we travel and marvel at the world, we tend to want to always look at the “local” things, right? Whether it’s people watching at a park or piazza, listening to locals speak their language and interactions with one another, or even going to the supermarkets, and viewing them as gold mines to learn more about local everyday life (which we crave as travelers to learn about). That’s the kind of mindset to work on and create for yourself at home even if you think you know everything there is to know about it.
There’s always something new to learn, there’s always so much beauty and awe around us, and there is always someone out there who wishes they could be walking the paths you walk at your local park or drive the streets you do to get around and run your errands.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – travel vibes and beauty is all around.
Everyday is an adventure
Continuing the previous point a bit further, if you can find the beauty, awe, and inspiration of the things, places, foods, phenomena, and people around you, you can create an adventure out of anything.
As travelers, we come back changed – we like to think. But how is that change really being transferred into our beings – into our everyday lives, if we can’t find beauty in the everyday? Adventure in the norm? I’m not talking big, adrenaline pumping adventures, I’m talking about the thought of possible adventures and seeing your local parks, natural beauty, and neighborhoods with the eyes of an observer. A thoughtful observation, an attitude of why and curiosity, and an eye for beauty in any part of the world.
Can you do that?
Can you distill from your travels abroad the curiosity, wonder, thirst to learn and understand and experience and connect, at home too?
I hope these thoughts have helped remind you that although travel is not as accessible as it once was, that doesn’t determine that we won’t travel soon.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last couple of months, it’s been that things can happen in an instant, and a day is a long enough period for things to change drastically.
If you have any travel-related thoughts that have helped you go through this travel-less time, please feel free to share! I’d love to continue this conversation in the comments below.
How are you “traveling” right now?
To many more travel thoughts that take us places ✨