When your travel bug is itching, it’s so easy to get stuck in a dream-like state of planning your next ideal adventure. The hard part is, life can get in the way and does not always permit you to travel across the world. From starting new jobs, not having accrued enough vacation time, or using all of your precious time-off on other life priorities -- dream trips really do become only a dream. While taking a month-long Europe vacation sounds thrilling, it’s not always realistic to be a regular part of your life. I am the first to admit how fun it is to daydream and plan exotic trips, but this can really have a negative effect on your mind and take you out of the present moment.
In order to always make travel a part of my life, I had to connect with my inner explorer and find interest in the world around me. Coming to this realization made me notice that I have always been this way, no matter how big or small the exploration was. When I was a little girl, it meant exploring all the hills behind my house and noticing every pathway and crevice. When I went to college, that meant discovering new cities and driving without a specific destination. As an adult, it meant bigger adventures across continents that left me hungry for more.
While my adult life has given me a taste of bigger adventure, it’s also made me reflect on my mindset as a little girl who was ecstatic just being able to roam the trails behind my home. Being a kid, I was given spatial boundaries by my parents, but everyday I kept myself entertained and fascinated with the same surroundings. Becoming an adult, instead of facing the boundaries of my neighborhood, most of us struggle with the boundaries of work and other life obligations that hold us back. While I know I won’t be satisfied roaming the same neighborhood like when I was younger, I’ve adapted to realize how much there is to discover within a short drive of me and all the different day trips and weekend trips that aren’t too far. Not only does this offer an ease to the explorer in me, but it is the type of traveling I can always incorporate into my life.
If you are a dreamer like me and wishing for a big adventure, but can’t make that happen right now, take a step back and realize how much there is to explore around you right now. No matter where you live, I guarantee there is something new for you to discover. Start with where you are; find new hiking trails, coffee shops, neighborhoods, or experiences that you could try. Now start to branch out and start mapping out some day trips that you could make on your days off from work or booking an Airbnb for the night to make it a weekend trip. Think about what you do when you are on vacation or traveling somewhere new, and think of how you can adapt some of these behaviors into your regular life. Honestly, the majority of us don’t fully experience or explore where we live the same way as we do our vacation destinations.
To be a true lover and explorer of the world is finding interest in all the world has to offer, including where you’re at now. This gives you opportunity to express gratitude in the present, rather than looking for happiness in your next travel destination. While there is nothing wrong with being a world traveler, there is a power when you realize that your happiness does not lie in the excitement of your next destination, but in yourself and your own mind. Yes, it sounds cheesy, but this attitude is what will help you get through any hardship you go through. Travel shouldn’t be used as a way to escape or even find yourself, but to enjoy the world. When we are obsessed with travel, we are intently focused on changing. While you can change your environment all you want, you will never be fulfilled until you take the time to express gratitude for where you are in this moment. You can always make travel part of your life, no matter how big or small it may seem.
Alexis Mills is a freelance travel & lifestyle writer, blogger and content marketer. A lover of travel and authenticity, she is passionate about all things positive and adventurous. Alexis is an old soul with a young entrepreneurial spirit who is always up for the challenge. And so the adventure begins... firstname.lastname@example.org.