Grounded

Every so often, my traveling comes to a halt. Trip ideas get filed away because I’ve run out of travel money. I don’t take for granted that I’m lucky to travel as often as I do. But when traveling is so integral to my raison d’être, it’s hard to fill the void when I have to ignore the airfare alerts, look away from the Instagram feeds of my fellow travelers, and content myself with catching up on Netflix. If only I felt as passionately about painting, hiking, Colonial history, or anything that doesn’t require the bulk of my paycheck to pursue.

But recently, while realizing that my travel plans for this year had to be postponed, a lightbulb went off. And not one of those LED lightbulbs, but an old Edison style lightbulb. I decided that the best way to get through this lull is to start writing about the stories within my travel stories. I’ve always kept my travel blog as a diary of my journeys. In the beginning, it was meant as a way for me to record what I did and share this with friends and family. As I started networking within the traveler community, I understood that content was essentially the right photo and hashtag. But I maintained the format of my blog, because I honestly liked reading it and reminiscing about trips.

But that trendy, antiquated lightbulb revealed to me that I had more to tell. That within these public diaries of my travels were some great anecdotes. Amusing or insightful episodes that had been abridged within a longer post but merited a fully fleshed out, stand-alone story. And so I challenged myself to revise these nuggets, not just mentioning “we got lost then found our way back” but rather describing how we got lost, what we saw, and who we met along the way. It has turned out to be a fun way to revisit old trips while I rebuild my travel fund, and also to remind me what I loved about travel in the first place. Getting likes on Instagram is fun, but recounting the time you shared a table with a llama or kept your hands in your pockets to avoid frostbite while gazing at the Northern Lights, unable to reach for your camera either time, brings far more delight.

When you’re grounded from traveling, there is only so much joy you can find in scrolling through pictures on your phone. Returning to a place in order to rewrite, refresh, and reconsider an experience brings far greater satisfaction, for me at least. I don’t have these new stories on my blog yet, as I’m still deciding how I want to present them. But I’ve enjoyed writing them, and have found that they are influencing my future travel plans.

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