An unconventional tip for remarkable travel (wherever you go)
I’m glad you’re transiting here, at this digital stop in your virtual wanderings. Want to know how you can make the most of travel in real life?
Know enough to stay safe but then walk out the door and lose yourself. Sometimes literally. Prepare, sure, but practise packing lightly — and go. Adrenaline rumbles when you let loose your inquisitive, uncomfortable, uncertain and excited self. Wide-eyed and curious and passionate and scared all at once.
Repeat in as many places as you can.
From the next street to the next state to intercontinental journeys criss-crossing the globe. By foot, road, rail, sea and air.
Make love to the world.
(Just to be clear, I’m not talking getting intimate with all the people…but the world itself.) Notice details. Put away the screens. It’s the surrender to where you are that pieces you together so you may more fully see your own reflection.
If you’ve never travelled much
If you’re an old hand, you already know this but if you’re yet to venture far: your strengths will come. You’ll learn how to sit with the discomfort, even if it’s just via contemplation at the start. Stomach-contorting knots will ease.
You can thread this practice into everyday life; this determination to venture out as yourself but with the traveller’s desire for knowledge beyond the horizon. Let it percolate. Let your willingness to experience the world in as many ways as you can, bubble through your thoughts and your habits and your conversations. Let it steep.
It’s better when you’re feeling infused and enthused because it provides greater resilience against those telling you you’re doing it (life) all wrong.
When you’re out on the road, remember
Revel in the language, music and food of the exotic when you can. Burn it into your brain; liberate your tongue from its familiar speech, listen intently, eat adventurously (if your constitution allows).
Walk, dance, run on cobblestones and across fields. Touch buildings — rough-hewn or sandstone-smooth; keep a memory of them in your palm.
Retreat and relax; banish overwhelm. Let sleep spill into your weary but happy self.
Try all these things while knowing no one will remember your mistakes in years to come. Savour where you wander despite the possibility it will wrangle your patience to the ground.
Even if you’re not going far from home
Try all these things and be a better anthropologist in your own town.
If you have a tremulous affair with wanderlust, the desire for momentum and pace is never far away. You may feel anchored just now. Take heart in knowing it won’t always be this way — unless you allow it.
Sometimes people research, plan, save for and dream of travel for years. Then they don’t go. The fear creeps in. It’s not just about a myriad of unspoken dangers ‘out there’. They’re afraid to leave home because they don’t know who they are beyond it.
Do you know how to fix that?
When dreaming of world adventures secretly scares you
Home is not only a place; it’s also the person you become when you’re most alive. What you find over the horizon may change you for the better in ways you could never imagine.
Please don’t get stuck.
Go, make love to the world; wherever you are now. As you are. Let your anxieties fall away (and placate them and make peace with them when they arise; they’re usually showing you where you can grow). Surrender.
Yes, the world may hurt you but it will also make you swoon.
There is such beauty here.
I hope you find it.
P.S. You’re right to ask — “Who is this woman and what does she know?” GO: A memoir of wanderlust and anxiety is my love letter to the world. Check it out and see where to buy it, here.