I’ve been having a hard time with some things. This includes, but is not limited to, writing about getting outside and travel with some meaning. With some purpose. I found myself saying, “Yeah, but why does it even matter?”
I’ll throw a full disclosure in here to say I’ve been feeling like that about many of the things in my life. But this in particular was (read: is) feeling incredibly frustrating. Travel, and adventure travel at that, was the thing that pulled me through grad school. This blog as a creative outlet got me through some rough days. And why would such an important part of my life all of a sudden feel meaningless?
I think it might have had something to do with me and how I was choosing to travel.
I adored my 12 trips in 12 months challenge. I still adore it. But towards the end of it, I was starting to grasp at straws (err…plane tickets) just to say I was traveling. And when I started towards my goal of 12 new outdoor activities in 12 months (how about we tackle this one next week…), I kept that feeling. And all of a sudden I felt like I was floundering. It was stressful. I sure as all heck didn’t want to write about anything. Why would anybody want to read my useless stories?
I’m not here today to claim to you that I solved the problem. Heck, I could post this and then not post anything for another two months. That seems to be my style (ooof). But maybe I’ll blog my way through it instead.
What I think might be missing is intention.
What a buzzword, right? Hear me out.
When I practice yoga, I love when the teacher has us set an intention for that specific class before we begin to practice. It helps me get in the moment and direct my thoughts and feelings.
So why can’t I carry that over into different aspects of my life? Why does travel matter to me? Why do I have this NEED to get outside? And most importantly – how do I make this happen with limited vacation days (which is a post for a whole ’nother day)?
I think I’m going to start bringing intention into my adventures.
Here are some recent examples. Tell me if you think I’m crazy.
Case Study One
Destination: Atlanta, Georgia
Intention: Creative Retreat from the Cold (that wasn’t actually cold)
Details: Atlanta was a two-day trip. Literally. I left Philadelphia at 6am Saturday morning and got back at 11:30pm Sunday night. Technically, I think that makes it less than two days. Michelle, Marissa, and I were going to workshop the bejeezus out of creative thoughts and projects we had buzzing around in our heads. AND WE DID.
Results: I did feel the exhaustion of travel AT ALL. I was re-energized and so happy to have had the chance to explore.
Case Study Two
Destination: Costa Rica (Tamarindo and Arenal in particular)
Intention: Get my international travel on and not speak English all the time.
Details: Paul and I decided to spend my first five vacation days on a week-long trip to Costa Rica (spoiler alert – that was not enough). I wanted to work on my confidence in speaking another language and get one step closer to proving myself that I could backpack Central America.
Results: Aside from mixing up Italian and Spanish TOO MANY TIMES to count, I rocked it. The difference from me at the beginning and end of the trip was astounding. I want to keep speaking Spanish now! Oh, and we got some crazy relaxation in AND I’ve got some outdoor experiences to tell you about somedayhopefullynottwomonthsfromnow.
Two case studies does not a theory make. But maybe enough for a hypothesis I could explore. I can feel the PhD already.
I’m going to practice this. Go back to the “why” everybody always talks about. And you know what? Sometimes my intention could just be spend time with family and relax so hard. It doesn’t have to be this big, meta, earth-shattering intention every time.
But I think I’m going to give it a go.