Whether you’re exhausted from an extended RTW trip, travel for business, or travel is your business it’s easy to lose sight of the privilege that is traveling. Neglecting luxuries and taking them for granted, much like your car when you’re stuck in traffic, is a common ailment. The problem arises when you disconnect travel from all the things it’s tied to in your particular life. Perhaps you come up with a trip plan so meticulous it can’t possibly be met or stress yourself bald saving up for a honeymoon to Turkey.

pulling hair out

Whatever the case may be it comes down to reconnecting with your old flame – travel – and realizing the problem isn’t quite with it itself.

List The Disconnects

Chances are if you made a list about all the things you hate about traveling, the word “traveling” wouldn’t be atop that list. Your list would be full of all sorts of things revolving around travel; long lines at the airport or hours of answering emails upon arriving at your hotel. Relieve yourself from the burden that you might actually be coming to despise travel by listing what you love and hate. Look at where the two aren’t connecting so you can begin to shift your focus.

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smiley stress ballRoles Reversed

Traveling becomes work when you focus on everything in preparation of traveling rather than actually traveling itself. You might be intent on saving thousands of dollars or seeing every square centimeter of Australia in a week – when it’s painful you know you’ve lost sight. Working so hard to make travel work takes the fun out of it – so what’s the point? There are plenty of tough situations in life where the bright spots are dull at best but travel isn’t one of them. You might have the small joy of eating on the company dime in El Paso or sipping on a beer with your wife in southern France. The moments don’t have to be long or perfect but are there if you look for them.

Reconnect with what you love about traveling. It might be the food, meeting new people, or simply seeing something new; while keeping in mind that it’s an opportunity many people around the world don’t have.

Shifting Direction Between Your Ears

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The most straightforward way to put the fun back into traveling is to take a step back from all the work you’ve made it become.

  • Long lines at the airport are a pain but consider what traveling across half the world would entail 100 years ago?

We can all miss the slow creep of the scales tipping from travel to work yet once you do there’s no need to feel guilty. Look at what’s weighing you down and lighten the load by letting go – if even for just a short time. Traveling can be work and that’s fine; but if that’s all it is, you might as well stay home.

[photos by: stuartpilbrow (pulling hair out), bottled_void (smiley stress ball)]