Oh, it was a long 4 years without a vacation as we prepared for perpetual travel. A very long and painful 4 years.
The first 2 went by the quickest, we had a lot of distractions that helped keep the passion for our dream burning. But when those distractions started to disappear: Our careers were over, the home business was wrapped up and most of our house contents were sold or moved to Mom and Dads, it just became a waiting game. A gut-wrenching, expensive, on hold for 2 years for our house to sell, kind of waiting game.
Here are 5 things I did to stay positive when we were waiting to travel:
I got a part time job at a travel adventure store– I went back to work because we needed the money. I was also looking for a way to get some serious discounts on the travel gear we needed. Working for Atmosphere an outdoor enthusiasts’ dream, whose mission is “to help Canadians live healthy active lives” checked both those boxes and helped my mental outlook in so many ways!
I did end up getting all our gear for at least half off retail, but that wasn’t the best part. The best was, meeting all the people I did who were as passionate about travel as I was. There are so many world travelers on staff at the store I worked at. I got to hear their stories, live vicariously through them as they traveled and learn some seriously valuable travel tips.
Oh yeah, I also got paid to spend time with these great people and learn about great products which ultimately helped me find my favorite travel things. The downtown Atmosphere in Calgary is also a huge draw for tourists so I got to meet people from all over the world on an almost daily basis.
Working in a travel store, for me, was a great thing to inspire and to help keep the faith we would get on the road. Do you have a favorite travel store in your town? Maybe working there is just what you need to pass the time while you wait to travel. Working for Atmosphere had another benefit, it rekindled my passion for running, so……
I walked and Ran a lot– We were living with my in-laws, for almost 2 years. I really needed an outlet to burn off frustration and find some clarity. Running with our dog Zulu really helped me do both. I have always found that physical activity, especially running, made me feel better when I felt sad or stressed. There is a lot of research that proves physical activity improves mood. Some say it can even make you smarter. There was a time not so long ago where I couldn’t run, it hurt too much. I made another change during that trying period; I eliminated all my symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis. How did I do it?
I seriously changed what I ate– One of my biggest concerns about setting out to travel was managing my rheumatoid arthritis. I worried how I would get the medicine I needed to move and how long arduous travel days would affect my health. And then a connection with an old work friend changed my life. She suggested that cutting certain things from a person’s diet can reduce and in some cases like mine, eliminate the effects of rheumatoid arthritis. She had done it and reaped the benefits as an R.A. sufferer as well. I made the changes in my diet and my symptoms disappeared.
After 3 weeks, not eating wheat or gluten, I was able to stop taking all 3 prescription drugs I was taking to control my symptoms. Now drug-free, I could run, haul a 50-pound suitcase and a carry-on or give my 5-year-old son a piggy back ride for hours! Making this change for myself was not only a distraction from my travel woes it galvanized my resolve, anything, seriously anything is possible. Feeling better physically inspired me to get out more and I started to see a lot of things differently, including my home town.
I got to know my hometown like a tourist– Running our home business we got to travel around Calgary, Alberta, and British Columbia a bit. It was so much fun, I can’t wait to do that again (maybe next summer). But when our home business wrapped up we stopped exploring the city and the province. We realized that was silly, there was still so much we didn’t know about our home town and province. We loved visiting places we haven’t visited before and there were lots just a short drive away.
So we took day trips and visited national parks and art installations. We got to really know what’s great about Calgary and that made us feel like we were traveling. I honestly consciously tried to notice more things in the ciy, home of the greatest outdoor show on earth, the feistiest hockey fans and an hour drive from the majestic Rocky Mountains. I sought out cool things to experience and I am so glad I did.
Have you seen all of the tourist draws in your town? One great thing about visiting these places is there are tourists there. You may have an opportunity to meet someone from a place you want to visit. What great parks or festivals are close to your city? They are worth checking out. You will be glad you did and maybe feel like you took a trip too.
And last and probably most helpful, I read a lot of helpful, soul feeding blogs-
- So Many Places
- Sarah Somewhere
- Further Bound
- One Dad One Kid One Crazy Adventure
- The Barefoot Nomads
- Soul Travelers 3
- Wandering Earl
- The Hectic Travels
- Bacon is Magic
- Gringos Abroad
- The Travel Chica
- Fearful Adventurer
- One Road at a Time
- Location 180
- The Planet D
- YTravel Blog
- Raising Miro
- The Everywhereist
- Almost Fearless
- Sprinter Life
- Man On The Lam
- One Giant Step
There are so many inspiring stories and support in each these links. They have all had their struggles and come out the other side. Their photos and stories made me feel like I was traveling too sometimes.
If you have to wait longer than you’d like to travel, I hope my experiences or the experiences detailed in these links gives you some ideas to make passing the time a little more bearable. Find a way to keep the faith and know your countdown to that trip, you so want to take, will start and the having to wait will make the travel even better than you imagine.