Do You Suffer From Travel Envy?
“It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I still have to go, the more there is to learn. Maybe that’s enlightenment enough; to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom…is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.”Anthony Bourdain
Travel envy is a real thing; I know because i have it. Nobody’s perfect. It is always difficult to write about negative emotions. Jealousy is definitely a would rather not have emotion.
When I read other people’s stories of places that I have yet to see, I get that little ping. The little green monster rears its ugly head and all my travels pale in comparison to this place I want to go.
I realize that different people experience things at various levels and times that result from their actions and available means, but when it comes to travel – all reasoning disappears. I envy those who have seen things and places that I have always wanted to see, but haven’t yet or may never go.
I am normally not a jealous person. If i was, I would get off social media. Isn’t social media one giant platform for bragging? That’s what it seems like anyway. All the baby photos, the food pics, the status updates about a new job/car/partner, showing off your engagement ring, your graduation ,wedding, new home, grand children – what ISN’T a brag? A bombardment of achievements clutter my news feed on a daily basis. If you’re having a crappy day (or month), you’re going to end up feeling pretty shitty when you look at me exploring Myanmar. I get this.
When I start feeling the pangs of travel envy, my cure is to start planning a trip. This is perhaps the best and the easiest way to get over it. Now I have something to look forward to. Instead of watching videos and photos from other people’s trips, I start intensely researching my next destination. I take the focus off other people’s lives and focus more on my own.
I also start doing tourist things in LA. I make plans to try a new restaurant downtown, visit the museum exhibit I’ve been putting off, and explore neighborhoods that I don’t know very well. I live in a great city and there is always something going on.
I look at my photos from my past trips. I tell and write stories about those trips to remind me about all the amazing places I have already been. This all helps with the jealousy I am feeling.
Even the most well-traveled person has someone else they are looking at and thinking “now they are lucky–I wish I could go there”. In the last couple of years I have had many people ask me some form of the question ‘how do you travel so often’? And the thing is, I don’t think that I travel often. I think that I sit at home thinking about traveling a hell of a lot more than I actually travel. Yet people are envious of me. Which is insane.
Travel changed my life. It isn’t about envy but about different ways of thinking. The world is too big to stay in one place.I need to remember to be inspired by other people’s trips to create more of my own. I have to remember that social media is about the highlights of people’s lives and not the lows.
And somewhere, someone will be jealous of me in a few weeks when I am hiking in Iceland.