It’s been about 3 weeks since Eric and I got back from our 5 day and four night stay in Napa. We have always been avid travelers, we are big on long road trips and finding new things to do and see. Even if it’s just a short drive to witness something is fun and exciting to us. We learn a lot about each other and have found that traveling and exploring is something we like to do together. Even after almost 10 years of being together a few surprises pop up along our journey. You think after so much time that we would know everything there is to know about each other but there is always something that one claims we never knew. And maybe it’s because we are still growing and creating ourselves as individuals that we find there is always something new to learn. Although I have traveled many times without Eric, I find that my best memories were created with him. So, whether you go out on your own or take your favorite person with you I think there is so much to learn about yourself and that person- that can drive you closer to your own soul and the understanding of connections.
Understanding your traveling method
There are 2 types of people in the world when it comes to traveling. The planner and the floater. And then there is ME who is somewhere in between. What I mean by this is that I like to plan certain activities out. Like what we are going to do- you know the main events, what do we have to schedule beforehand if we want to see or experience said activity. In my head, the last thing I want to do is arrive and not be able to partake in any of the cultural festivities, events, attractions and or touristy activities. So, I like to plan those certain things out and I also can’t just eat anywhere because of my gluten allergy. So, I do a bit of research for local grocery stores and restaurants. But that is really as far as my planning goes and I realize that it may be more than most people do. And yet there is another side of me that simply enjoys the moment. Once I arrive at said destination I do not have to follow a set schedule. I like to have time to wander and see what pops up. Sometimes I find the best and most unique places that way. So, if you relate to this then you are probably somewhere in the middle like me (so does that mean there are 3 types of travelers?).
Anyway, understanding your travel method can give you so many insights about the way you think and why you do certain things the way you do. When I was in my early twenties and going through my untimely life crisis I found myself often irritable, anxious, angry and full of BS. Granite the feeling and overwhelming emotions I was trying to force down my throat were definitely not BS but the way I was dealing with them were just another form of coping in the most unhealthy way. So, whenever it was time to travel I often nip picked at everything. I would look for the things that would go wrong and try to plan every single detail and if my details did not add up I found myself acting like a toddler about not getting my way. There was always this part of me that felt embarrassed and ashamed of the way I was acting but I didn’t know how to change. Through all this I learned I liked to plan certain aspects of my travels. It gives me a certain type of calm that fuels me in the best way. And I even have people in my life that have learned to appreciate it. My point in all this is that certain frustrations or those pumps along the road are great teaching moments for how to live your life. I found myself so ashamed of my uncompromising ways that I realized I didn’t want to live my life that way, that I didn’t resonate as that kind of person nor did I want to be her.
So much happens while traveling. Good pumps, fun ones and also the ones that make your stomach turn. All in all traveling should be a fun and exciting experience. But that is not to say that sometimes things can go wrong.
Milo (left) & Rocky (right) on our Christmas Vacation at Big Bear
Like the one time we drove to Mammoth lake and for some reason my stomach decided to betray me resulting in an uncomfortable outdoor bathroom experience. Or the one time we decided to take Milo and Rocky (our pups) to our Christmas Vacation to Big Bear. Milo is a husky/shepherd and was barely 2 years old and he is a covid puppy so staying alone was something he was getting used to. Anyway for his breed, Milo is not a destructive puppy but this was his first big boy vacay and to say the least he did some damage to the airbnb couch. Which resulted in my future mother in law having to sew it together. I have many more stories like these but I also have a ton more that are funny, happy and good. So, with each traveling experience I learn something new and find that I am more than capable of handling any situation. I am all the more wiser for it. Don’t let every little mishap twist you all out of shape, take it as it rolls- you never know where it might lead you.
And as a side note, I know it can be hard to travel, especially if you have health, family, time or financial obstacles. I’ve been there myself when at one point I didn’t even have enough cash to buy myself a cup of coffee! You can just add this to the list of challenges you will have to face. But, since then I have made it a life-long goal to avoid falling back into that kind of situation by implementing new habits. So, whatever it is you gotta do to add travel on your list of goals has got to get done. Don’t let the obstacle of money keep you living a stagnant life.
Expand your mind, expand your life
I learned so much about wine and the Napa valley on our recent trip. The information is exciting and new and I get to take it with me everywhere I go. Now that I have this new found wine information I now know what to look for and what I like. Wherever you travel to, you get to learn all sorts of new things. For example, Napa County is a valley and the temperature is just right for the grapes to develop and ripen. Just on the other side of the valley, on the hilltop there is a ten to fifteen degree difference that changes how the grapes are developed. So, you see information is key. I think that rhymes.
There is so much to learn from other people and places and the more we get out to see and experience these things, the more we learn. Ignorance keeps us from moving forward–travel allows us to break through those limitations and gain real life experiences that we can apply.
Excite your life
Disrupt your daily routine of purpose! We are creatures of habit and don’t even realize we have gotten into a funk until we have gained 10 pounds and our jeans no longer fit right. When we become so focused on doing the same thing over and over again we can find ourselves becoming bored and unmotivated. When we try something new, not only do we experience something entertaining and we are stimulating our brain to think outside the box. So, get off your couch and out into the world to improve your creativity. New and different experiences help us view our surroundings with different lenses and help change our perspective. Creativity is all about expanding our inner mind and looking at the world in a way that makes us smile like a dork and dance like no one is watching. And if you dance anything like me, lets hope no one is watching.
And I don’t think I have to write much about his, but it is worth a mention. The memories you will make will forever be embedded within you. For you to carry and take wherever you go and visit as often as you like.
To travel is to self care
Literally, look it up if you do not believe me, travel is linked to lower stress and anxiety levels. Travel even helps you appreciate your life and experience more gratitude. A lot of self-reflection can come from traveling which ultimately leads to a more positive lifestyle.
I recently learned that most people don’t actually experience on going anxiety and although many of us suffer from this, there are just as many people who go through life without ever experiencing it. And I don’t know if that new knowledge leaves me feeling more alone or more hopeful for my well being. If you know first hand what it is to experience overwhelming anxiety then you also know it’s difficult to overcome. Although traveling can provoke some feelings of anxiety, I’ve always found it to be worth it. When we travel we are able to escape from many of our stresses and enjoy the moment. The excitement from exploring a new place releases certain chemicals that make us feel happy and alive. Plus, the less stress we experience, the longer we live.
And the longer we live, the more we should learn to appreciate life & experience gratitude. Traveling gives you an insight to how other people live and function around the world. This helps you appreciate your opportunities. And you don’t have to go very far to see how other people live. It doesn’t matter if people live a better or worse life than us, seeing how other people live helps us gain perspective about our own. We learn despite our different backgrounds we are flawed and all dealt with a different hand.
And what is life without some self-reflection. Whenever I feel like I am in a rut or feeling mentally blocked, getting out of the house clears me up. I know technically we are talking about traveling here but if you can’t just travel on a whim (which most of us can’t anyway) try visiting a new place, even a place as small as a coffee shop. This always helps me tune in to myself and try to make sense of what my thoughts and feelings are trying to communicate. And when you travel you are giving yourself the time to pause and ask yourself certain questions. You let your mind wander and find solutions to any questions or problems you are facing.
I think there is just so much to learn by stepping out of your doorway. The world is open to explore (maybe not free to do so) but definitely open. So, get out there and get those happy hormones coursing through your body.
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Until next time,