Tired of staying home? It´s time to plan some fun stuff
Restlessness is growing. People are tired of staying at home, tired of restrictions on whom to meet and when to be back home. They – WE – are all ready for some relief. Going outside the house lightheartedly, visiting a beer garden, or meeting friends at a restaurant would already be a huge change. Let alone going to the museums or attending a concert. People don`t want to stay inside anymore. They want to change places without restrictions – they want to travel again. Traveling is not only a selfish attempt to change our location, but it can also even increase our health. Let’s pack our bags and off we go!
Dig toes in the grit and feel the water splash your ankles
The COVID pandemic has completely overridden our routines. Luckily, we humans seldomly tend to put our heads into the sand but face the necessities instead. The increased rate of vaccination will hopefully give us some of our freedom back. Wouldn´t it be nice to put our feet in the sand again? Dig toes into the wet grit, having the refreshing saltwater of a clear blue ocean bath our ankles. Grab a plane and head off to some distant destination, where we can let go and relax.
Yes, the pandemic has changed dramatically the way we move. Scientists have already proven that the drastically decreased travel (flights, cruise ships) has given nature and wildlife a chance to restore. (Worth seeing “The Year Earth Changed” by David Attenborough.)
Nevertheless, we humans are adventurous and love to discover new places. What is it that makes traveling special? Why do we like to pack our suitcases from time to time and leave our lives behind – at least for a couple of days or weeks?
What makes travel so special:
Getting out of the comfort zone.
Changing your location for a little while forces you to leave your comfort zone. You are challenged to make yourself comfortable with the new location, new people, new food. The burning sun of the dream summer destination is suddenly too hot, the food too spicy, you don´t find easy access to new people. Whatever it is. Stepping out of the comfort zone can be challenging but can reward you with multiple different experiences.
Travelling is an escape: you escape your routines, the weather conditions of your home country, maybe the people in your day-to-day life. This can be enriching and uplifting for the remainder of the year.
Meeting new people. Another important reason for people to travel is to meet new people, make new friendships, or deepen the relationship with the people they travel with. No matter, if you travel as a family or as a couple, being together in an unfamiliar situation can strengthen your relationship and support the overall solidarity.
Explore! Explore new things, new places, new (world) views, new people – traveling means to explore a new everything and to LEARN. We can learn about different cultures, different tastes of food, different sounds, different climate zones. Being in an unfamiliar situation like travel makes us more open and eager to learn and broaden our worldview.
Traveling widens our perspective and succors us to appreciate the life we have. Haven´t we all had this insight that we met people who had fewer possessions than we have, but lived a life so full and rich, strongly connected to nature, that we came back enlightened and with the awareness that less is more?
In Germany you say “Vorfreude ist die schönste Freude“ – anticipation is the greatest joy. Already planning a vacation brings us in a state of excitement and joy, can increase our heart rate, and let out the discharge of dopamine (the happiness hormone). Thereby, we already benefit twice.
Traveling makes us happy! Time to leave the comfort zone.
But not all of us are the same. When I traveled as a kid, my mum always complained. About the accommodation, about the food, about the surrounding (mess and dirt on the backside of the hotel). I think she was just afraid. Being out of her routine frightened her as she couldn’t control the situation. Up to today, she prefers to stay home.
You see traveling is not for everyone. But once you are able to open your mind and let go of the tendency to control every situation, making a trip abroad can really enrichen your life. Let go of expectations, fears, and the need to feel relaxed in the very first moment you set your foot on new ground. Feel the pleasure of discovery and adventure instead. It’s time to pack your bag and explore!
Already the Dalai Lama said:
“Once a year, go someplace you’re never been before.”