I’ve personally decided against air travel during the pandemic. While home, I’ve spent quite a bit of time reminiscing on past trips as Facebook and Amazon Photos show me reminders of where I was this day the last few years. Spoiler – I was out of the country. As I look fondly on past travels, I can’t help but recall how those experiences changed me. I’m reminded of the people who went the extra mile to help me find my way every time I got lost (it’s been quite often lol), the friendly strangers who took the time to translate for me, and an assortment of others who went the extra mile to assist in the little ways that make a huge difference.
Thinking of all the goodness that was poured into me gave me pause – it gave me a reason to reflect on the different ways I pour it back out into the world when I’m not traveling. I find myself much more patient with tourists when I’m out and about and they are obnoxiously not embodying the understood NYC culture of “stay out the f***ing way”. When someone who doesn’t speak English comes into my job looking for assistance, I take my time to be patient and use my translate app. I’ve always been a kind person but travel has allowed me to see first hand how many different ways I’m able to be more compassionate simply by giving me extraordinary experiences where that compassion was shown to me.
My travel has also given me the opportunity to sharpen my situational awareness and intuition. It’s very easy to get complacent with seeing the same things day in and day out. I’m not much of a social person who goes out often, so my opportunity to experience new surroundings has most often been through travel. Constantly being in new environments and trying new things has given me a much more expansive knowledge base to pull from. It’s a constant reminder of how much of the world there still is to see and experience while giving me such a sense of gratitude to be able to attempt to do it.
Every Thursday I release an episode of my podcast Travel N Sh!t where I discuss the nuanced ways travel permeates our lives and re-enforce the concept of travel being more than a vacation. Visit www.travelnshitpodcast.com for past episodes and more travel resources.