So you have the Travel Bug Blues?
I cannot be the only one who has felt this pain, experiencing the yearning to travel, but lacking the funds to do so. All the while you are watching your friends Facebook and Instagram feeds flooding with images of their amazing travels. You are sitting there asking yourself how in the world they can afford to travel to your dream destination, while you yourself are struggling to pay rent and buy groceries this month.
This past summer I graduated from post secondary with high hopes of landing a dream job, or traveling to a dream destination… I have done neither.
Instead, while I enviously watched a friend score an internship on the other side of the world, I got to endure rush hour traffic to work and back every day. Oh, and did I mention that this was an UN-paid internship.
On top of this, I watched my loving boyfriend fly to South America, experiencing a beautiful new culture with his well-traveled pal, while I again was left at home, staring at the celling, wondering “when is it going to be my turn to have an adventure?
It’s frustrating, of course, but here are a few steps I take to beat those travel blues, while keeping the travel bug alive!
Step 1: Live your own life.
Take a moment to remind yourself that you are not your friends. Yes, roll your eyes, I know it sounds cliché but it is so SO important to your inner travel-junky psyche. Each and every one of us is experiencing different circumstances. That person you follow on Instagram may have worked for years to have the opportunity to travel the world like they are, and you are just at the start of your adventure! Nothing wrong with that.
Step 2: Find a new hobby.
Travel is incredible, no one could argue that, but it is also not always feasible to do all the time. I find a lot of the thrill from travel comes from experiencing something totally new! So maybe instead of going to China this year, you try out that pottery making class you have always kept in the back of your mind? For me, it was knitting. Today, I am the proud owner of a wonderfully warm soft pink wool blanket (and it is gorgeous, if I do say so myself). The point is, a new experience can be anything you haven’t tried yet! You don’t have to cross oceans to learn something new.
Step 3: Take a (small) trip.
So you have some vacation days coming up, but you can’t quite convince yourself to spend your student loan money on a flight to Europe? YOU CAN STILL TRAVEL! just keep it a little bit closer to home. The travel bug blues can be draining, but a great cure is to pack the suitcase then get up and go! Visit the next town over. Take a small road trip. Go camping. It doesn’t much matter where your destination is, so long as you have fun on the journey. Living in Canada, I am quite lucky to be able to drive out to the mountains within a couple of hours to take in that fresh mountain air. I am even more fortunate to be only a day’s drive from Vancouver B.C. This summer was my first time visiting Vancouver Island, and it was one of the best vacations I have ever been on! I met up with old friends, made new friends, and experienced new adventures every single day. To quote Disney’s UP “adventure is out there,” you just have to go find it.
Step 4: Invest in future travels.
This can be one of two things. Maybe you invest some time in researching where you want to travel next. Make a list of all the things you want to do while you are there. Heck, go crazy and plan the whole trip! This is the perfect motivation to start saving for your next big adventure!
Pro saving tip! – Start a money jar or envelope and save all your $5 bills. Lets be honest, all it is going to get you is your next coffee anyways. Start putting every $5 bill you receive into your travel savings and you will be shocked at how quickly it adds up!
Of course, if you are like me, seeing is believing. Make a small purchase relevant to your travels to keep you excited for your next adventure. For example, if you know you are going to need a new suitcase before you can hop on a plane next, spoil yourself and pick it up sooner than later. You are still investing in your future travel dreams, and every time you see it in your closet you will be motivated to keep working towards that dream.
Step 5: Stay present
It is easy to get wrapped up in the longing for adventure. The monotony of the day-to-day can be draining, and scrolling through “travelgram” feeds, watching other people enjoy your dream destination can be envy inducing. But it is important to remember to take a breath and appreciate the place you call home. Your own bed to sleep in, your favourite food in the fridge, Friends are all around you whom you can call on to get you out of the house and out of a funk. Reminder, Dorothy had it right, “there is no place like home”. After a long adventure, it is place the place you will be longing to return to. Try and appreciate home sweet home while you are here.
A case of the travel bug blues is rough; I’ve been there too. Heck I am there. But hopefully these little tips that I use help you make the most of your time between now and the next adventure.
XOXO – Aaron