I want to get one thing straight: just because I’m a total homebody, doesn’t mean I don’t also love travel. A lot of people assume that just because I love snuggling in with a good book, spending evenings in a messy kitchen, and taking long baths, that means I don’t enjoy any activities outside of our sweet home. Travel? They’re convinced that’s the last thing I’d want to be doing. But here’s the truth, my desire to experience new places is real and I love spending time in other parts of the county and the world.
My husband and I recently got back from a two week trip where we got to experience Dublin and London. We spent 11 adventure filled days drinking it all in. But I’ll be honest with you, when it was all over, we were both so happy to return to our sweet Wisconsin home. Truthfully, although I was on a high from every new place we saw, food we tried, landscaped we walked, and drink we raised, for most of it, I was totally out of my comfort zone.
So all my fellow travel loving homebodies out there, listen up, because I realized something: just because travel might not feel 100% natural to you, doesn’t mean that you’re not qualified to do it, okay? And the fact that you feel out of your comfort zone, well, that’s kind of the point!
If you’re cozied up in your home somewhere with a mile long list of places you want to travel, here’s some tidbits I’ve picked up that might help you feel a little more at ease the next time you venture out.
1. Stay true to your style. When packing for a new adventure it’s easy to want to transform yourself into someone else, a chic and savvy international traveler for example. I’d do this all the time. I would buy new outfits with grand visions of strolling vast beaches and raising a champaign glass at dinner with a view. And I would stuff my suitcase full of these clothes that really weren’t me. Then I would spend the whole trip re-wearing the same three outfits because nothing else felt right. Does this sound familiar? When we went to Europe, we did an 11 day trip with a carry-on only (this included our dress-up clothes for the wedding we were going to). The only way I was able to do this was by being honest about what I loved to wear. And it helped that I’ve spent the past year curating my closet so that every piece makes me feel comfortable and true to my style.
2. Accept you’ll be uncomfortable. The purpose of travel is to expand our perspective and experience new things. And honestly, it’s not always comfortable. On our trip, we were navigating planes, trains, buses, and taxis, all with our suitcases in tow. We were trying new foods, sleeping in different beds, learning new cities. It’s easy to see a photo of someone posing by the Eiffel Tower and think that the whole business of travel is effortless for them. But, friend, remember you’re only seeing a snapshot.
3. Don’t worry about looking like a tourist. Have you ever not taken that photo or not pulled out the map when you were totally lost because you didn’t want to be spotted as a tourist? We’ve all been there. Trying to fit in and look like something you’re not is exhausting and really takes away from the fun of travel and experiencing something new. So stop spending energy worrying about what everyone else thinks and just embrace being a tourist. You’ll feel way more comfortable and probably have a lot more fun too!
4. Embrace the new experiences. They’re the whole reason you wanted to do this right? For me, some of my favorite things I experienced from our last trip were the amazing street style and street music of Dublin, trekking the countryside of Ireland, the Borough food market in London, a sheepdog demonstration outside of Cork. And that just scraps the surface. Other things I loved were finding new favorite drinks (Pimm’s anyone?), sharing a bucket of mussels while an Irish duo played Galway Girl in front of our dinner table, and watching Joe pour the perfect pint of Guinness in a small town pub. These are the things you can’t experience from the comfort of your own home. And why although I love my homebody lifestyle, I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to travel.
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