No one wants to feel tired, bored or stressed while on vacation, yet so much of our behaviour while travelling is counterproductive to how we want to feel. The process of travelling can be chaotic and raise a myriad of emotions. How we deal with it and the lessons we learn can serve you well in your day to day life. Paying attention to these 6 challenges may just have you enjoying your travels … and life, that much more.
- Materialism Has No Place in Travel: Your body and mind craves routine and are accustomed to having choices – what we wear, when we eat and even the products we use on a daily basis. Since we can’t take it all with us, packing becomes a source of anxiety. It’s here that we have to change our mindset. The truth is a) you never actually use all of what you take and b) no one will remember you. Ouch! That last one hurt, but seriously even in the most “fashionista” cities in the world, who’s going to remember what your wore? Keep it easy care for clothing, simple hygiene/makeup products, with no fuss hairstyle and accessories. The less you have, the less you have to take care of. Here’s my son’s take on doing without when we lived on a 7 sq/mi island in the Caribbean!
- Expect the Unexpected: What if there is traffic congestion getting to the airport, you don’t know where to park, your luggage is overweight, your carry-on has to be checked, your flight is delayed AND your luggage doesn’t make the connection? Accept that you don’t have control over everything and that getting upset will only raise your blood pressure. Lesson learned and maybe you can do something different next time, but for now it’s time to step into “problem solving mode”. We’re more capable than we think if we can just put the frustration aside. Odds are you will forget about the hassle by the end of the trip and be focusing more on the positive experiences you had.
- Travel Builds Character and Confidence: Think about how this will translate when you return home. Have you ever thought back on some of your travel experiences and felt “Wow, I did this!” For some it might be an experience or activity you never thought you’d try, or tasting a new food you’ve never heard of, or perhaps having a conversation with a local person who spoke a different language? Push yourself outside your comfort zone and you’ll reap the rewards. Opening yourself up to the travel experience is empowering and probably less expensive than therapy!
- Attitude Sets the Stage: How you approach your travels is part planning but the majority is about the attitude you pack. Have you ever thought that something was going to be amazing, only to be let down by your expectations? What if you changed your thinking to being open to the experience and the possibilities and less on putting limits on what you want it to be? Travel, if you let it, will open your eyes. It will force you to ask questions and to dig deeper into the vast world we have the privilege to explore. Travel is not a “right” for the majority of people on the planet. Crossing geographical boundaries and cultures teaches us how we are all spinning around on the same planet we call home.
- See with Fresh Eyes: Travel is a time to bring out your inner child and be truly in the present. Put away the itinerary and just BE. Once, while taking my Dad on an out of country road trip, he asked if we were lost. My response was a gentle “No Dad because we don’t know where we’re going” and it ended up being an unforgettable day of exploration and father/daughter bonding. Take time each day to just be still. Stop looking through the lens and absorb the beauty in front of you and within you. When do we have the luxury of time to look inside ourselves without daily distractions? You’ll be surprised at what you discover.
- Reconnecting with self and others: Travelling is a golden opportunity to reconnect with those you are travelling with, be it a partner, family or friends. Even solo travellers can take the time to truly connect to people they meet while travelling… and to themselves. Put down the phones, tablets and screens and REALLY get to know the person sitting next to you. Listen, learn and laugh. This time will never come again!!
Anne Brobyn, Founder & President of Hibiscus Tours International Ltd. is a professional travel advisor, tour director, educator, trip designer and travel writer. Anne shares her insider travel news with you! Please join us here for tips, trends and topics of interest as we find our way through to a healthier planet. As always, we welcome your comments, emails, and calls.