… and how to regain the joy of travel
It is easy to find reasons for staying home instead of exploring the world. You might simply love your home, or you might feel exhausted and saturated by traveling and in need of peace and quiet. After all, vacations appear in the Holmes and Rahe scale of most stressful life events, above minor law violations. In addition to fatigue and love of home, various factors and concerns can hamper our desire to travel:
- Fear of flying: According to a Norwegian study from 2013, mentioned in Danish Politiken, one in three is afraid of flying.
- Difficulties associated with traveling with young children.
- Travel expenses can be discouraging.
- Physical challenges/disabilities: According to UK hearing care provider Amplifon, thousands of Brits have become more anxious about traveling due to hearing problems.
- Fear of terror which, sadly, has crept in with many people in recent years.
- Concerns about practical matters: For some, concerns relate to finding a dog sitter or someone who can empty the mailbox. Others may be unsure about vaccinations, transport from airport, language issues, potential food poisoning, and/or potentially forgotten items. According to a survey conducted in 2013 by TNS Gallup for Danish Berlingske, 60 pct. of Danes are more anxious than exited before going on vacation.
In case your curiosity has not died completely, there are ways to regain wanderlust:
- If you are afraid of flying, try out different methods like hypnosis or meditation to calm nerves. Or, skip flying and go by train, boat, bus, car, or bike! These modes of transport give an exceptional feeling of traveling, as you can monitor changes in landscape while moving toward your destination.
- Traveling with children brings families closer together, according to a survey conducted by Canadian Leger, and it is easier than you might think: When children are young enough to fit into a stroller, they can rest on longer walks and sleep in the stroller while you enjoy outdoor dining. I have been traveling with my children since they were born. Of course I had to adapt, e.g. by packing very few adult clothes to make room for diapers. And ‘pool’ has become a standard search criterion.
- Travel can – but does not necessarily have to – be expensive; book early and get cheap flight tickets; stay with locals for free e.g. through servas; avoid the most touristy places; enjoy free activities such as hiking and biking; stay in European hostels (some are luxurious); do volunteer work; use local transport; eat street food which is often both cheap and tasty.
- Physical challenges may require additional preparation. Ask for help if you need it. People with disabilities have the right to assistance at airports and on board aircraft. You simply have to notify the airline.
- It is impossible to guard yourself against terror attacks, whether you travel or not. Accordingly, there is no reason to stay home, as long as you stay alert and act sensibly, for instance by checking the State Department’s travel warnings.
- Try to overcome worries and loosen the reins a bit. Even if you forget something at home or on the trip, things usually work out fine. The adventure is rewarding and travel experiences enhance your quality of life.