Recently, I had a conversation with a friend about travel. She said, “I’ve gotten to the point where my life is defined by the next trip.”
When you travel for fun, as your hobby or passion, you probably find yourself in the same situation. While you’re gearing up for your trip to Italy, you’re already thinking about booking that trip to New Zealand. Some people view this mentality as not living in the moment, but when you find something you love doing which has a profound impact on who you are and how you grow, it’s easy to get wrapped up in it.
When your life is defined by the next trip, how should you handle the time in between trips?
Do: Assess Your Travel Needs
What moments of inconvenience did you experience during your last trip? How can you improve that situation for your next trip? If security was slow and painful, could you get a pair of slip on shoes to wear on the plane and through security? Did you over-pack? Did you under-pack? Each trip gives you the ability to improve your packing, planning, and efficiency for the next trip. Reflect on these inconvenient moments and discover ways of making life easier in the future.
Don't: Always Believe Social Media
Along the same lines of feeling travel envy, don't feel like you have to keep up with anyone who travels frequently. If you follow people online or on Instagram who are always look like they're jetting off to Bali, Chiang Mia, or Eastern Europe, don't feel you have to "keep up." I typically post photos of my travels, but from the comfort of home, usually in PJs after a marathon editing session. Traveling is time consuming and can be challenging. Social media only shows the brightest and best moments from a trip.
Do: Travel More
Yes, travel more. This may sounds backwards, but the time in between big trips is the perfect time to explore places near your home base. When you're between trips, spend a weekend exploring a cool city near you. Maybe you can even score a great flight deal to somewhere across the country for a weekend. Working little getaways in between big trips keeps you living in the moment and keeps your sense of adventure.
Don't: Feel Envious
If you're between trips and your friend or coworker is going to somewhere fun and exotic, try not to envy their trip or feel sorry for yourself. Travelers should support each other. No matter how frequently or infrequently someone travels, each trip should be treasured. By supporting those who learn and grow with each trip, we all win.
Do: Keep Up With World News
I am the first to admit the news is usually awful, horrible, and generally unwatchable. However, it's important to keep up with world news and understand what might affect you. If you're traveling to Spain soon, how will the Catalonian secession effect your trip? How might Brexit change your travel plans? If you don't know what's happening in the world, you may find yourself in an unnecessarily stressful situation when you travel.
If you travel frequently, you most likely want to talk about your adventures and share all your wonderful experiences. However, to combat others feeling envious of your trip, try to keep your vacation conversation at a minimum… unless asked. As a traveler, it's so challenging to come back from an amazing trip and not talk about it to everyone. If someone asks how your trip went, feel free to share the highlight reel.
Pro Tip: When asked how a recent trip went, I say, "do you want the long, detailed version or the highlights?" This gives people an option based on their time and interest level without inviting travel envy or trapping them in a conversation when the question was asked to be polite.
Do: Enjoy Your Hobbies
During your time away from travel, kick back and relax wherever you feel most comfortable. People often feel they need another vacation following their trip. If you need time to recuperate, don't feel obligated to go anywhere or plan anything. Spend your time between trips doing the things you love. If you're a travel nerd like me, your hobbies probably relate back to travel, like photography and videography.
However you choose to spend your time between trips, these helpful tips will keep you focused and improve your conversations with others. Traveling brings out all sorts of emotions and reactions in others, so be cognizant of what's going on around you and around the world. This will make you a better traveler, storyteller, and person overall.