Most people have dreams of traveling more often than they do. Often, we focus on the “reasons” that stop us from traveling rather than problem solving and making it happen. It’s important to differentiate real obstacles from excuses. Obstacles can be overcome, while excuses are based in fear and block our dreams from being actualized.
It’s time we reframe the American cultural perspective that travel is a “luxury”. Here is a better alternative — travel should be considered a necessity for self-growth and an invaluable tool for increasing our psychological well-being. Traveling to new places, even for two days, can provide an opening to be present and alive within, rather than numb and uninspired.
Using your lack of resources as the excuse why you cannot travel, may be more about overcoming your fears or learning how to create self-care priorities. How much of your income do you spend on health care, entertainment, and counteracting career burnout? Can’t some of that money be channeled into a travel growth fund? Why not opt for “travel therapy” as part of a self-elected alternative wellness plan? Over time, this will save you money on traditional “health care” — and you don’t have to get sick to receive the benefits!
For those that are only swayed by facts, there are significant research findings on the health benefits associated with vacation/travel time. For example, “Blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of epinephrine (a stress hormone) decline on holidays of only one or two days.” Just the anticipation of vacation travel has found people’s psychological well-being to increase. And, the health perks associated with vacations continues…for more information see footnote link.
So, if you feel less than satisfied with how much travel you have done… but are unsure of how to do more of it, here’s my suggestion. Try taking mini-exploration trips rather than daydreaming of your someday-a-long-way-away holiday. Like any new practice, even the smallest steps forward, help us to go outside of our comfort zone and create more opportunities that are otherwise not available to us. Consequently, it becomes a good training ground for us to be fit travelers, limited only by our imagination. This is what I call “exercising one’s travel muscles” and thus preparing us to face new experiences more courageously.
In my article written for CIL’s February Edition, “Travel To Self-Love,” click here, I provided great resource links for overcoming obstacles to traveling on a limited budget and/or solo travel concerns. Often these are not problems if you are willing to be flexible in your approach.
Most importantly, we need our perspective on how we explore travel, to be fluid. In our society, having an exotic travel experience is much more valued than ensuring that you go on trip with a receptive headspace. But traveling to foreign lands with a rigid attitude, can be far less beneficial than going on a domestic trip with an open-hearted spirit. The quote by G.K. Cheserton speaks to this point, “The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at least to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.”
Let go of waiting for the perfect time, person, or travel funds to take that trip. You might find that the passage is far more influential than the destination!
Enjoy the Journey!
 Gilbert, D. & Abdullah, J. (2002). A study of the impact of the expectation of a holiday on an individual’s sense of well-being. Journal of Vacation Marketing, 8(4), 352-361.