Travel and Unplug

This weekend Sebastian and I left our comfortable apartment, and adventured off to the Lone Star State and visited with my cousin who was getting married in one of the loveliest ceremonies I’ve seen. While we were there, I noticed I had stopped thinking about work, commitments, responsibilities, stresses, and just let go and had some fun in a new city.

Travel has an amazing ability to rip you completely from a place of comfort, drag you into a new world, and if you succumb to the process ultimately, there’s so much to learn and new people to meet. Travel can be an extremely pricey thing (like when I saved up every penny for a year and took myself to Thailand), or you can make it work on a budget (a train ride up to Santa Barbara for a weekend). Short getaways are prime for a three-day weekend refresher, but it’s important to still give one’s self over to the city and experience all that it offers.

Look, itinerary ladies, planner guys, and anxious people, I hear you. I understand you; I know your pain. I created a laminated itinerary for our trip to Nashville. I swore by the one we had planned for us in Thailand, and I bought a tour guidebook for Costa Rica. This piece is not me telling you to rip those up and burn your laminator, just to remind you that days off are okay. Explore your surroundings, get lost, UNPLUG AND BE PRESENT.

I have very few pictures from our Austin trip, and the ones I do have I treasure because I know I was present with the people around me and enjoying every minute of the city moving around me and meeting locals and transplants from other states which were all ready to gush about their town. I watched a woman ask a guy out in a bar and awkwardly shuffle off when his girlfriend came back, a child chase ducks near the river, a family get as lost as we felt, and none of that would have been something I noticed if my head was buried in a phone being present in another moment with a person not there. 

For my trip to Thailand, I left my phone in the United States, and I was so happy I made that choice.  I was able to get to know 20 of the coolest people, some of whom I still keep in contact with, and witnessed some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen. Research is a fantastic tool to help develop plans, but being able to go with the flow and go off a suggestion from the lady in the bathroom washing her hands next to you can make the trip.  

Social media and an obsession with it can keep you from truly being able to recharge your battery, focusing on what’s happening in everyone else’s “perfect life;” maybe getting caught in a comparison game or competition, this prevents you from truly being present to a situation and maybe even missing your own perfect moment. Never forget, when you’re scrolling through someone else’s feed, it’s just their highlight reel.Their social media, not the moment to moment action and emotions of their lives, just the ones they have hand selected to display. We never know what battles our neighbors are fighting, so let’s unplug, skip comparing, and love ourselves, our accomplishments, and get lost and learn something new. Don’t forget to take a picture or two along the way, but remember, it’s okay to have some stray hairs, and take a path on the advice of a guy who’s lived in the area for 20 years and swears on the BBQ place up the street.