Making An Excuse To Travel — How To Say Yes To The Itch
I know when I need to escape. Get away. Just go. There’s a feeling I get that can only be described as “antsy with life.”
It’s a feeling that I can’t ignore because it builds and builds until I finally go somewhere, anywhere. More often than not it’s a quick escape to the woods for a weekend of camping. But sometimes that feeling is a sign that I need to pull the trigger on something bigger, where I have to (no, scratch that, need to) hop on a plane and leave for some place new.
I’m making it seem like I’m the most spontaneous person in the world and I’m always jetting off somewhere, I’m not. In fact, I’m a free spirit locked down by an inner-planner. This means I’ve got excuses just like everyone else.
“I really want to go, but …” Insert long list of excuses here, right? I can’t take that much time off of work. It’s too expensive. What are we going to do with the cats, dogs, kids, etc.?
I get it.
I’m sad to say I’ve talked myself out of several big adventures in the past few years (please don’t talk to me about Thailand). But I’m also glad to say that I’ve talked myself into a few great trips in recent memory too (Puerto Rico with the girls, New Zealand on a whim for a pre-honeymoon and rafting the Colorado River on a solo journey!).
I’ve decided to travel more, travel often and put it at the top of my priority list because it seems (in my world at least) to re-balance life.
Yet, when my husband and I were supposed to take a trip to Belize earlier this year, the little voices in our heads started getting to us. February had sounded perfect for hiking in the jungle, exploring Mayan ruins and snorkeling one of the world’s best barrier reefs. How could it not?
Somehow as our trip got closer though, both of us had some anxiety about going. We were going to miss meetings, deadlines and have to play catch up for weeks (excuses). We went, of course. We’re not crazy.
And something amazing seemed to happen after I stepped off the plane in Belize. All the noise in my head disappeared. I was able to completely enjoy this adventure we were having without thinking about what was looming back home, back in reality.
At some point on our trip I wondered if my husband was as blissed out and enjoying life as much as I was. I asked him if he had been thinking about work while we were away. But I knew the answer. He had lugged his laptop all the way to Belize just so it could sit unopened in a closet.
I think I found the answer to why we travel.
Traveling is therapeutic. Throwing yourself into the unknown is energizing. Seeing another culture is inspiring. Barreling down a river in a raft is liberating. Connecting with another human being on the other side of the world is life-changing. And perhaps most important, but often disregarded, is that taking time for you is healthy.
So why do so many of us continue to make excuses and convince ourselves NOT to travel?
We have to keep telling ourselves that there will never be a better time to go on that trip of a lifetime than right now. We have to keep telling ourselves until we make it a priority and go.
Because when we do go, when we finally escape, it’s so worth it.