As someone who loves to travel, I was very surprised that I didn’t go stir crazy during the pandemic. I have been traveling for work and pleasure for so many years that I didn’t think I would be comfortable staying in one place for any length of time.
I was very pleased to discover the many benefits it offered and it has given me a new appreciation for being at home.
As travel restrictions are loosening, I thought about where my next adventure will take me. Where do I want to go, what do I want to do, all of the questions I normally ask myself when I start to plan a new trip.
What used to be a very easy and fun process has changed significantly for me. Now, there are so many new considerations that have to be taken into account, especially if I am leaving the country.
What I love most about traveling is that it is a total departure from my real life. I actually feel like a different person when I am away. Getting out of my normal routine and disconnecting from the world is pure bliss.
Even in the best of times, travel can be a challenge. Unexpected things happen and you need to be flexible enough to adjust. Right now, I’m not really looking for that kind of experience but I do want to have the enjoyment of getting away from it all.
Find the Inspiration
Recently, I had an appointment across town and stopped by a food truck for lunch. It was a large dirt lot that had a variety of trucks offering Mexican food. It was mid-week, so most of the trucks were closed. I drove toward the rear and found one that was open.
As I sat outside, waiting for my order, I felt transported to Mexico. Sitting in the shade on a hot summer day, music playing in the background, tattered flags blowing in the breeze, I was no longer home, I was in a tiny Mexican village.
I realized then that I didn’t have to get on a plane to go somewhere, I could do it right here at home.
I began by making a list of some of the things that I enjoy about travel – I really like the planning, staying at a hotel, not having to cook or clean, trying the local cuisine and meeting new people.
I also thought about what I don’t care for while traveling - crowds, flight delays, strict time schedules, noisy neighbors, access to food and services, getting help if I’m ill or injured.
Those are just some of the things that can happen when traveling but now may be even more unpredictable and difficult to manage. My preferences have changed over the years and now I’m more interested in ease and comfort than action and adventure.
I used to enjoy long haul flights to Europe but now the thought of being on a plane with hundreds of strangers for 12 hours is not at all appealing.
I decided to create a trip right here in the comfort of my own home. A fantastic journey with all of the benefits and none of the issues.
Make it Realistic
In order for this to feel real you have to do everything as if you are actually leaving.
It reminds me of playing fort at home with my brother when we were young. It didn’t matter that we were sitting on the living room floor with blankets, we played make believe that we were far away and it was so much fun.
One of my favorite places to visit is Mexico. I love the slower pace where I can sit under a palapa, read a good book and drink a cold cerveza. I wanted to see how close I could come to replicating the feeling of those wonderful trips, so I went all in.
A few days before “leaving”, I had my hair and nails done and told my family that I would be away for a few days. How much you share with them is up to you. I find that if I say too much, they will discount my idea and it takes the fun out of it.
Pack a suitcase - nothing says vacation like packing my bags. I like to travel light but now I have no stress about forgetting something I may need.
As soon as I decided to try this, the excitement began to build. Just as it does for a “real” trip. The more believable you can make this the better.
Time to Relax and Enjoy
Turn off your phone or put it in airplane mode. Disconnecting is something I love about being away and I rarely do at home.
I used my guest room as my mock hotel suite for the trip. Unpacking and using only what I had in my suitcase.
Thanks to YouTube I was able to have a gorgeous beach view with the sound of waves gently washing ashore.
I gave myself permission to do everything I like to do on vacation – take a nap, have a drink with lunch, explore the local shops as a tourist, speak the language, order room service (delivery), book a massage, dress up for dinner, anything goes.
So Many Advantages
The benefits of this type of fantasy travel are tremendous. You have total control and flexibility of how much or how little you do. If something urgent should come up you don’t have to worry about how to get home to take care of things.
Minimal expense, no passport, no flight schedules, no jet lag, no dirty crowded airports, no check-out time, no stress – just the pleasure of having what you want most from your getaway.
I’m enjoying this trip so much, I may just extend my stay!