One of my favorite ways to pass time is to plan trips. Some I may never get the chance to go on, while some are booked and in my near future.
Mapping stops, adding up prices, and timing flights is therapeutic.
I can get lost in a “vacation hole” for hours. Suddenly, nothing else matters.
I focus on every detail, doing extensive research on a region to find things to do, places to see, and places to eat. I learn more and more about the world which only ignites a brighter fire to travel.
It’s a good reminder that I’m much smaller than the world.
My problems are miniscule compared to most of the world. This isn’t to say my problems don’t matter and aren’t problems at all, but it eases my mind. Sometimes I realize whatever I’m stressing over is so small, that I feel stupid for being upset in the first place.
There’s much worse that I could be going through, and doing research on different areas of the globe helps me see that.
It motivates me to help others.
I’m fortunate enough to have food, water and shelter. I’m even more fortunate to be planning vacations. I’m increasingly inspired to go on mission trips rather than vacations. Of course, I love the thought of vacationing, but doing good on a trip would be much more fulfilling.
Clean water trips and animal or environmental conservation trips sound more and more intriguing with each passing day. If I want to visit other countries, why not try to do some good while I’m there?
From elephant conservation in Thailand, to Himalayan Mountain conservation in Nepal, there are hundreds of mission trips to choose from. The more research I do, the more I realize these trips are far out of my comfort zone. I feel a twinge of fear, but quickly realize that’s what life is all about. The best stories come from stepping out of my comfort zone, so I better make it count.
It teaches me self-control.
This sounds a little out-there, but it’s true. Growing up, I’d spend every dollar as soon as I got it. I’d buy things I didn’t actually need, or totally love, just because I had the money to spend on it.
Looking at flights and viewing pictures of the world makes it very difficult not to go rogue and hit the “purchase” button. I sit and contemplate booking a flight to somewhere new at least once a week.
I’ve learned how to reign my feelings in. There are plenty of places on my list to see, but I also have plenty of time. I realize I should be traveling every chance I get, but it’s also important to keep my trips within my means. I can’t afford a 3-week trip around Europe right now, and that’s okay. And when I can afford a vacation to Australia, you better believe I’m booking it.
I know I have big dreams, and I understand it’s going to take some time to fulfill them. In the meantime, I’m sticking to domestic and quick trips with the occasional week-long vacation abroad.