What do you do when you’re in a rut? When you have high ambitions of places to go, things to do and people to meet, but for whatever reason (work, life, lack of funds, and an unfortunate location) you’re not able to scratch that travel itch? How do you get by until your next big trip?
Here are some of my personal coping mechanisms to stave off the travel bug:
I dream. The first thing I do is dream, think, ponder over the next big trip or adventure that I want to take. For me this isn’t difficult. I am a victim of circumstance and a poor economy. I am the one family member in a party of four who has not clinched that international job yet. So I have plenty of fodder for my ruminations; my family’s travels. I see what they are doing, where they’re going, I read their blog posts and look at their pictures and I yearn for the life I once lived and plan to live again.
I remember. I remember the places I loved. I remember the places I didn’t love so much and during that time of reminiscence I recall the hilarious circumstances I found myself in. While I’m reflecting on where I’ve been and possibly places I’d like to go back to, I begin to formulate plans for new destinations.
I plan. Now this is my favorite part. I love to plan my travels. I know there are many inspirational travel posters, blogs and books that are all hell bent on spontaneity. And as a romantic notion, spontaneity is great. I don’t think planning every second of every day is very fun. But I love to plan. I relish in searching for cottages in the Lakes District on Airbnb, watching movies set at Windsor castle while I imagine a certain boy wizard zooming past on a broomstick. I read German thrillers set in a fast paced Berlin and cook recipes I find online that get me ready for my next jaunt. Planning is my opportunity to imagine that I am richer than I am and more adventurous! I pull from every possible opportunity and then choose the absolute musts.
I book. Now this part is thrilling in more ways than one! I go over my finances again and again, I make sure I’ve budgeted correctly; I pick the best possible flight for the least amount of money. I pick my seats. I click the “Buy Now” button. I get a call immediately from my bank’s fraud protection agency. I get all of that mess sorted and at the end I have a date and a ticket. I am ready to go! Except…
I wait. The wait is excruciating, I try not to count the days because then it feels like even longer. I search through travel posts on Pinterest, I check my calendar. I search for “comfortable, attractive travel clothes” that I never buy, I check my calendar. I go to the store to buy Birkenstocks that my husband reminds me are made in Germany so I wait, and I check my calendar. I go to work, I remind the students that Summer vacation is still far off and we have one more trimester to go, they need to focus (I need to focus), I check my calendar. I’m packing my suitcase, my classroom is clean, everything is in order, we leave tomorrow.
I panic. Do we have the passports? Where are the tickets? Remind me to put my cellphone on airplane mode, I had a nightmare that I forgot and got a $12,000 bill!!! Where are the passports? How much cash should we carry? I call my credit card company to remind them about those tickets I bought, yeah, we’re leaving tomorrow and I really need you guys to not block my card for fraud protection… You have the passports right?
What do you do when you have that pesky travel itch?
Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.