Although today’s situation does not allow many people to leave their homes, one can’t help but think about travelling.
Any harrowing experience will take a toll on a person’s emotional well-being, and it is natural to want to take a breather and decompress. Eventually, the usual hustle and bustle will resume, and travelling will be relatively safe again, although it is inevitable for certain restrictions to take effect.
Your travel plans may have taken a back seat for now, but that doesn’t mean you can stop dreaming about jetting off to your desired getaway. Ease your wanderlust by taking note of the following ways you can make your travels meaningful and enjoyable.
Travel with Purpose
Vacations usually mean entertainment and letting your guard down albeit temporarily, but who says you can’t travel for more personal, serious reasons?
If you’ve read Eat, Pray, Love, you know that author Elizabeth Gilbert went to India and stayed in an ashram, which is Indian religions’ equivalent of a monastery. She spent three months there as she tried to get in touch with her more spiritual side after going through a personal crisis.
Regardless of your religious or nonreligious beliefs, spiritual retreats involve spending time to contemplate your life: the things that trouble you or give you joy and what you want to do with your life.
As you are cloistered in a secluded place, you leave behind the weariness and distractions of the material world. This gives you the opportunity to look at your circumstances in a more objective manner and emerge a better person after your healing journey.
You can also think about purposeful trips in the sense that you want to learn something new. Travelling to centres of art and culture is another viable option. Whereas spiritual retreats compel you to look inward, cultural immersion enables you to look outward, to experience life in a place where the mind-set and beliefs may be different from your own.
#You get to know the locals and do what they do for leisure or even for work. This experience will cultivate your appreciation for the diversity and connectedness of people around the world.
Enjoy Doing Spontaneous Things
Having a plan and an itinerary will certainly make your travel much relaxing because you have all the contingencies and places of interest figured out.
However, you will know, as a traveller, that no amount of preparation can spare you from a few untoward circumstances along the way. In such cases, there is no choice left but to roll with the punches and improvise.
Don’t be too upset if things don’t go according to plan. If you happen to lose your way, you can try exploring the sights and sounds of this unfamiliar area.
You never know when you find a good hole-in-the-wall spot where you can drink wine and eat local food in silence as you watch people.
Pay careful attention to the small details around you: the smell, the colours, the mood, the language, and even the decorations.
Just live in the moment and appreciate everything that leads you to that pleasantly serendipitous discovery.
Document Your Experience
The more you go out and explore what the rest of the world is like, the more opportunities you have for interesting interactions.
Sometimes, it is these interactions that bring out traits you wouldn’t have otherwise shown in a regular, familiar environment. For example, some glitches in your accommodations and itinerary may test your resilience and resourcefulness.
Other situations may end up with you making new friends or laughing over something funny or wild.
Every trip has its own set of epiphanies and lessons, and it is worth immortalising these in words, through a journal.
During or after your trip, you can write about curious observations, singular moments of profound thought, or even small expressions of gratitude.
When you’re much older or when you feel that you need something invigorating, you can read your journal entries and think about all these experiences that made your life colourful. It is, after all, possible for time to change your perspective of things.
Pictures tell a story that words may never fully articulate. If you’re a shutterbug, you can take photos of the scenery as you travel. You can even start selling your photos online if they look good enough to become stock photos or just gifts.
It goes without saying, of course, that the new normal will include lots of physical distancing and other safety precautions. You may even have to take extra measures to ensure your good health while you travel.
That doesn’t mean you should keep living in fear and lose your composure. It is healthy to take a break every now and then so you can recharge and continue functioning well as a human.
You only have to remember during your travels that you can prepare for certain things and, at the same time, be creative in times of adversity.
How will the new normal influence your travel plans and choices? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.