In March 2021, I wrote a post for my travel alphabet blog (travelalphabetabc.wordpress.com) around the topic of what I have learnt from my travel experiences Travel Alphabet this year: let’s go forward and how I wish to cover the travel alphabet this year or at least until I can travel again and write a post about a new place/ country/ experience. It’s now near the end of October 2021 as I sit to reread the draft I started in April which I believe is testament to how busy I have been and also how much my creativity in terms of writing blogs has left me. It also left me for writing my travel book, however I’m returning to that slowly but surely.
From the post mentioned above, I have taken the A’s as they seem a great place to start: ‘Adventure and Acceptance’ certainly incorporate the true positives of travel experiences when we go with an open-mind and open-heart so they do deserve those capital letters! Adventure and in particular acceptance have certainly helped me since March 2020 when my travels stopped along with everyone else.
Sense of adventure: This has always been part of my life and I’ve noticed this more and more these past few months as it has been in this non-travel life and I realise how much it was there before and no doubt led to my love of travel in the first place. I will try new things, new places & meet new people without any concern. I search out different ways of travelling, different ways of doing things & will try to find the fun in it all.
From a very early age and perhaps backed up by my love of languages, I always had a yearning for travel and as a young child, travel abroad simply wasn’t an option for whatever reasons that existed around that time.
There is clearly a link between my reading as a child and a young adult, the choices I made in academic subjects right through university and beyond. Often, I have spoken about how learning languages offered me an escape as a child to be able to leave situations, circumstances and to determine who I was outside of societal and cultural restrictions. Learning another language provides you with many different mindsets and outlooks to explore.
Therefore, it is clear to me how much travel has provided me with that sense of adventure which has been in place for a while now whether it was in the planning stage before I could really get away or the many travel experiences which eventually followed. For me, there is nothing better than trying new things, meeting new people and learning about different life aspects and cultures and of course making new friends who often become family through those shared experiences and years.
This sense of adventure helped me approach my 40s in a positive way. Whilst so many around me were worried about entering the next decade, I set myself a travel challenge of visiting/ exploring 40 countries in my 40s and recently set up a blog to include those adventures.
We will all have a different level of adventure and what appeals to us or what would scare us. I still have many experiences left to experience and more countries to visit along with languages to learn, however I am also aware that there are some adventures which simply don’t feature anywhere near my to-do list.
Acceptance: Being able to accept all situations & people has been a gift I’ve certainly enjoyed for many years. Perhaps being a Buddhist has helped in terms of accepting change and different circumstances and situations which is certainly a regular occurrence in travel.
In terms of life, this is a quality I love and hope I always have as a big part of me. I’ve learnt and understood the value of walking in the mud when you need to as it can often lead to the best parts to see in ourselves, others and the situation. Standing strong in the mud and taking time to look ahead can help us find the right path to follow and that comes more when we accept the situation we are in. During the pandemic, I realise that it was acceptance which helped me the most despite any frustrations I felt, being able to accept what was happening and that it wasn’t permanent, nothing is, meant I could move forward and stay positive.
When I start travelling again I believe acceptance will be there for however that looks like and that’s the reason I’ve used the expression ‘start travelling again’ as opposed to ‘return to travel’. I am aware that travel may look differently both internally and externally to me and that’s ok I will accept it all.