It’s been said that travel is not about the destination but the journey. We believe that travel is about the destination, it is about the journey, but it is also about the planning. Your next vacation is not just an escape to refresh your life and build lasting memories; the pure anticipation of the trip is as important as the trip itself. Our next trip gives us something to look forward to, no matter how distant in the future that trip may be, knowing it is booked and on our calendar brings us a strong feeling of excitement.
2020 required the majority of us to change our travel plans, to rethink where we could visit rather than where we wanted to visit. We postponed trips, canceled long-anticipated vacations, and tried to find alternative ways to experience the same travel thrills while at home.
As the world turned and we experienced what a life without travel looks like, we found solace in the memories of our past trips. We took refuge in remembering the times that we chased the sunset on a flight or found an authentic restaurant serving the best pasta we ever tasted. We woke up smiling at the memories of the breathtaking views of Santorini or the sunrise over Angkor Wat. And as we remembered the thrills of our most memorable trips, we had time to think more about the trips we’ve always wanted to take rather than the next trip we could take.
It’s been proven over and again that travel is not just a great stress reliever but necessary for our mental health. Work, family life, and more demand and distract us from our surroundings. We fall into easy routines that may not reflect our adventurous selves. But during our vacation, we reveal who we truly wish to be, a person who can relax on the beach or dive with sharks, trek lions on a walking safari or cook a masterful meal under the guidance of a Michelin-starred chef. A vacation pulls us into relaxation, lets our minds recharge, and rejuvenates our bodies.
A 2013 study showed that travel promotes happiness, with up to 80 percent of Americans surveyed seeing significant drops in stress after just a day or two of travel. We find ways to reinvent ourselves, to see our lives as we want them to be, as explorers in a foreign country, expanding our minds and what we perceive as possible. We take away invaluable lessons of culture, making new friends, learning new languages, and confronting different values that may challenge--or even change--our own perceptions. Most of all, we find similarities with others even in our differences.
A trip of a lifetime is not in its grandeur and is instead in its individuality. Where have you always wanted to visit? What have you always wanted to experience? Perhaps you have always wanted to horseback ride across the Argentine pampas or camp beneath the stars in Morocco’s Erg Chebbi sand dunes. You could have taken a cooking class in Thailand or witnessed the multitude of colors during Japan’s cherry blossom season. As we stayed home, we traveled in different ways and better understood our connection to the greater world, our cravings for introductions to other cultures, our thirst for adventures, our ineffable hunger for the perfect trip not yet taken.
When we book our future trips, we share that excitement with others as we tell them about our future plans. We look at pictures of our upcoming destination, read books about a new city, research the tours we want to take. We become immersed in the tropical jungles or the historic cities, envision spotting endangered black rhinos or picture northern lights dancing above a tundra blanketed with snow. A study published in 2010 by Dutch researchers found that travelers are happiest during the planning stages of their trip than when looking back on the experience. While our memories remind us of the great time we had, the commitment to the future made the trip real before it even happened.
The world is ready to open. We are ready to travel. But where do you plan on going? Don’t just think about the destination but remember why you want to visit that specific place. What is it about Spain or Egypt, Australia or Cambodia that captures your imagination? Why does Tanzania call you back again? How does Croatia make you feel? When planning your trip, the possibilities remain endless. You can find ways to make your perfect trip come true. You are living through history, a time you will never forget, so when you look forward to your coming vacation, you can start the research process on how to make your best-laid plans a reality.
Just as planning a trip gives us something to look forward to, we must also find ways to reinvent the trip once we return home. Instead of simply keeping our vacation in our memories, we can relive some of our favorite moments. Did you have a favorite meal? How can you recreate it? Did you find a new favorite artist? How can you view their work from home? By recalling the moments we enjoyed the most during our trip, we can learn what made them different from our daily lives back home and then recreate them until it is time to book our next vacation.
For 2020, it was easy and even appropriate to stay in favor of a “wait and see” approach to travel. But as we rounded the corner into a new year, we cannot only see a light returning to the trips we wish to take but find hope in the anticipation of those very same trips. Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” When you consider traveling once more, where will your adventure take you?
You can start planning and anticipating your next Zicasso trip by filling out a Trip Request Form or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.