One of the things I like most about travel is how much confidence it gives me. Yes, I love exploring other cultures, trying foreign food, seeing the sights, and meeting new people. But through all of these aspects of travel comes a great deal of confidence for me. It’s one of the reasons I love solo travel, but it works when I travel with Andy as well. But what happens when I’m not traveling?
Travelers who aren’t traveling
Other than a quick weekend in Frankfurt for the Christmas Markets, Andy and I haven’t traveled since September when we were in Portugal for a blogging conference. That’s six months without taking any trips, and it doesn’t look like we’ll be traveling for a few more months. We have our reasons for this, saving money and planning some big things for our future, but it’s frustrating to not go anywhere.
Being at home this long makes us feel stuck, trapped. But we’ve started noticing another unpleasant effect of not traveling. We’re not getting our regular doses of confidence. Andy and I aren’t necessarily the most naturally confident people out there, so we need reminders and a boost now and then. Travel gives us that boost in a way nothing else really does.
We need more frequency
Having a really amazing travel experience six or seven months ago isn’t enough to sustain us. I’ve slid back to doubting myself and needing reassurances. Travel shows me I can handle so much more than I ever imagined, but if I don’t travel often enough I forget about that strength.
Fear and stress
I’ve also noticed how easy it is to let certain fears take over when I’m not traveling. I find myself reading about a destination I know tons of people have traveled to and loved, but because of the media and preconceived notions, I’m hesitant to go there. Even though I know that’s silly. Traveling shows me there isn’t as much to fear as we’re led to believe.
Travel constantly puts us in stressful and overwhelming situations. We often have to make quick decisions on the road. It doesn’t take long before those situations don’t feel so overwhelming anymore because we just handle it and it works. That spills over into our everyday life at home as well. But only if we travel often enough.
It’s a different mindset
When we travel, we expect things to be different. We expect that not everything will go the way we expect it to. In general I think that makes us more laid back, more easy going, more go with the flow. Like when we had to get from Cappadocia to Selcuk. We actually got a rush from booking a hotel room in three minutes using wifi from another bus. I don’t get things like that at home.
So what’s the solution? Definitely more travel. We need that confidence kick. Unfortunately we have to wait a little bit longer before we can actually hit the road. In the meantime, we’ve been watching the Amazing Race and old episodes of No Reservations, and working on those elusive travel plans. Hopefully I’ll be able to announce those plans soon!