Travel, for me, is about more than just getting from A to B. It’s the journey, new experiences, stepping outside my comfort zone just enough to make things exciting, and learning things about the world and myself. Things
sometimes rarely work out how I’d imagine, with hiccups and pitfalls along the way, but that’s part of the fun, right? And this goes without saying, but all the breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime things we’ve seen and done truly make the struggles worthwhile. Even on our worst, chaotic, hellish, uber frenzied days, we end things on a glass half full note. Mostly. Worst case, we come out of it with an award-winning travel tale to share with partially engaged listeners over dinner (made even better with a few cocktails under our belt). And with you, of course. 😉
The key? Finding my happy place; the little nook between my heart and mind where I feel at ease and can enjoy the moment. My tried and true methods for turning lemons into lemonade, or simply looking beyond all the bologna…
Go for a walk. Sometimes just getting outside is all you need. A little sunshine, fresh air, and nice walk will do it. Even in the city, where the air isn’t smog free, it’s good to get out and move.
Turn the volume up. Music can really turn a mood around. When I need creative inspiration, I go for something rhythmic or instrumental. Smooth, beachy tunes calm me and a little pop/rock can perk me right up.
Get silly. Especially when things get bad. When there’s nothing you can do, might as well have a laugh.
Breathe. When things have just been crazy or stressful, I’ll find myself tense and muscles on high alert. Exhale. Relax. Breathe.
Eat something. If I’m getting irritable and a headache is coming on, and we’ve been stuck on a stupid runway for 2 hours, and my hair is frizzy, and the kid behind me is kicking my seat*… I should eat something. Food always makes it better.
Take a hot shower. Hot, high-pressured showers are a luxury in many destinations on and off the beaten path, but I always find my disposition infinitely better when I’ve had a great shower and feel squeaky clean. Cold showers, on the other hand…
Soak up the view. Simple as that.
Kill ’em with kindess. When you’re dealing with the guy that needs to find your lost luggage, be as nice as possible. Yes, it’s a sh***y situation, and no, you do not have your contact solution and fresh underwear for tonight, but put on a happy face and you’ll get better service. And maybe, just maybe, your undies will arrive tomorrow by 10 am.
Make local friends. Human or animal. Both are good.
Hug it out. Or cry it out. Or scream.
Call home. Being half a world away from family and friends, it’s nice to get on Skype or Google Talk to find out what’s going on stateside, exchange I miss you’s, and hear a familiar voice.
Hit the road. That’s the beauty of travel. If you don’t like where you are, change the location. Can’t ship off to the next spot on an earlier flight? A quick change of scenery is easy with a day trip.
Not exactly innovative techniques, but they’re the things I need to remind myself now ‘n again to turn my frown upside down. Best part? They work.
*This case is a whole other animal; may require multiple methods of coping to survive.