Confession: I’m The Traveling Island Girl that hasn’t traveled in 4 months. I’ll patiently wait till you pick up the bottom of your jaw from the floor and let that sink in for a while. Say what???? Yes, you read that right. Why, you ask? I guess for the same reasons you are not on a plane to your dream destination right about now. Financial reasons, family obligations, work commitment, and the list just goes on and on. One can always find a reason or excuse not to just up and leave.
To me this is of course completely unacceptable. How can I call myself a travel blogger when I have not traveled to anywhere in 4 months? Seriously, it’s like uno, dos, tres, FOUR months. Hot-damn, I’m almost embarrassed to confess this to you right now. Then there’s my irresistible desire to wander, explore and discover. My poor itchy feet don’t know what to do with themselves. How do I cope? How do I avoid going completely loco? I’m talking about hard core wanderlust here, not your average rock fever. This is so much worse. Imagine a wild mustang in captivity. That is exactly what this feels like.
So how do I cope with my wanderlust without actually wandering? I can tell you it’s an ongoing struggle. I have not completely figured it out yet and I don’t think there is a cure other than just getting on a plane or boat and leaving for another adventure.
So I’ve learned to deal with it by doing at least one of these 4 things as often as I can:
I read for inspiration, for motivation or just to keep my mind occupied and away from thoughts of self pity like “oh poor me, I’m not traveling”. My current book of choice is “What I was doing while you were breeding”, a super funny memoir by Kristin Newman, a sitcom writer who traveled the world, often solo, for several weeks each year. She has a real knack for describing her love for the places she visits and the local men she falls for along the way.
What I don’t read for entertainment I read for research. My ticket is booked for my next great adventure and every single chance I get I pour myself over my laptop finding out as much as I can about the next place I’m traveling to. Things like what to add to my must-see/do/eat list, best way to get around, advise from other bloggers who have been there, etc.
I love to completely lose myself in a movie, especially when that movie features an interesting heroine like Reese Witherspoon in Wild or one of the destinations on my bucket list. The first Twilight for instance is on repeat on my Netflix and Roku. Yes, you read that right. Just try to watch the movie without focusing on the whole Bella, Edward and Wolfman drama and just focus on the scenery in the background. After all, it is the reason why I got interested in visiting La Push in the Quileute Indian reservation and the rest of Washington state to begin with. To satisfy more of my need for the Pacific Northwest I like to watch the Goonies, just so I can see that epic scene filmed on Canon Beach in Oregon. Sleepless in Seattle, Say Anything and Singles all have some awesome shots of Seattle. Then there is Chicago PD for great scenes of well Chicago. For a little bit of Santo Domingo I watch movies like The Godfather II and In the Time of the Butterflies, which were all filmed in historical Santo Domingo.
It recently dawned on me that I live in a place that most consider to be paradise. Just last week I had the task of driving around an American from LA, and while helping her find her way around I re-discovered my island. Let me tell ya, beauty can be found in the most mundane and unexpected places. You just need to know where to look. Playing tourist in your own country is an ideal way to deal with itchy feet. I came to realize that what I miss most of traveling is exploring the unknown and discovering new sights or places. So I take the time to re-discover my island. There is still so much I haven’t really seen.
I’m curious: how do YOU cope with Rock Fever or Wanderlust while in between travels? Any suggestions on what else I should add to the above list?
Until my next adventure,
Riselle a.k.a. TTIG