Keeping that Travel Mindset in “Real Life”

by Megan Pagel

Travel MindsetI love to travel and highly recommend it to everyone. I believe it’s a great way to expand your worldview and an opportunity to learn about a new culture first-hand. There’s a whole big world out there that’s meant to be explored.

I’m not just talking about traveling overseas. You don’t have to shell out $2,000 for a plane ticket and spend 14 hours on a plane to have a life-enriching experience. Just take a 2-hour drive or train ride in any direction and see where you end up!

When I’m traveling, I greet each day excitedly. I hop out of bed and have a pep in my step because I’m looking forward to trying unique foods, going to museums, visiting parks and monuments, and meeting new people. I stay up late, get up early, try new things and soak it all in. This mindset quickly fades as I make my way back home to my “real life.” But, really, this mindset can be applied to everyday life.

Obviously we have responsibilities and jobs to attend to when we’re not traveling, but it’s important to not get so bogged down in the day-to-day that we lose that travel mindset. There are plenty of ways to inject some fun and try new things in your everyday life, such as checking out a restaurant you’ve never been to, taking a different route home, or attending a community event. Keeping that travel mindset in your “real life” is easier than you may think.

For example, I recently googled “events in Chicago this weekend” and I found a play that really interested me. Thankfully, I had a friend who was willing to tag along to a new-to-us part of the city to see the random play I’d heard about on the internet. We attended the performance and found the play to be really enjoyable and surprisingly funny. It felt good to check out an unfamiliar neighborhood and support local artists.

You don’t need Google to find something fun happening around you. As I’m exploring a new city, I always find myself thinking, “I wish I had this or that back home” but most things—like museums, nature preserves and interesting little shops—can be found at home. I realize these local gems have simply become the background of my everyday life and I haven’t paused to appreciate it all. Take a walk around your neighborhood with fresh eyes, there is probably a new place that is worth checking out!


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    Excellent post. I’m facing many of these issues as well..