Are you familiar with this scenario? The thought of a vacation crosses your mind after a grueling day at work. You’re brimming with enthusiasm, but as you begin to search for flight prices, hesitations creep in. You find yourself repeatedly starting and stopping the process, burdened by the anticipated costs. Questions arise: Can I afford to take time off? Will I deplete my savings? Is this truly worth it? Eventually, fatigued and burnt out, you throw caution to the wind and book your trip.
However, that initial excitement wanes after just a day or two, perhaps a week at most. Anxiety takes hold. Can you really afford to be away from work? Shouldn’t you be saving instead of spending? What’s the point of going away when you’ll return to a mountain of work? And speaking of which, where on Earth is your suitcase?
Before you know it, your vacation feels more like a source of stress than an escape from daily turmoil. For many, the notion of a truly relaxing trip seems like an unattainable fantasy, or worse, a waste of time.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. As a seasoned travel writer (and the host of the acclaimed Armchair Explorer podcast, nominated for a Webby Award), I’ve had the privilege of embarking on numerous journeys. I’ve trekked alongside Shugendo Monks in Japan, marveled at giant condors in the Peruvian Andes, participated in indigenous medicine ceremonies in Monument Valley, and even survived countless family road trips – some of which went surprisingly well.
While even the most idyllic trips have their share of ups and downs (ever found yourself needing to relieve nature’s call in the dead of night while camping on the edge of a cliff?), it’s these memorable moments that define our travels. What a life of exploration has taught me is that it’s not just about where we go; it’s about how we go about it.
At the conclusion of each Armchair Explorer episode, I proclaim, “The more we seek wonder in the world, the more the wonder of the world becomes a part of who we are.” To me, that’s the essence of travel. It has the power to lift us out of the daily grind, offering glimpses of beauty, awe, and adventure that remain etched in our memories forever. Travel inspires us to live life to the fullest.
Moreover, it’s essential for our well-being. Studies have demonstrated that travel can bolster confidence, enhance our health, and provide valuable perspective on our lives back home. It helps us grapple with challenging questions and chart a clearer path forward.
So, let go of the stress and the never-ending to-do lists, at least for now. Instead, let your imagination roam free. I’ve curated a collection of resources for you, ranging from inspirational podcasts (some featuring yours truly) to informative articles, practical tips, and even a heartwarming short film that will undoubtedly ignite your wanderlust.
Go ahead, cue up your favorite playlist, pour yourself a drink, and prepare to embark on your next adventure.