Passport in purse.
Bills and coins from different countries tucked in one drawer, just in case.
Adapters and converters to suit any socket – pre-packed.
A fluid calendar and easy-to-reach bright pink mini suitcase, with a larger matching option depending on the trip.
This was how life looked for me, not so long ago. Just before I started this blog, actually. Writing can therapeutic; don’t let anybody tell you different.
Travel has always been a part of my life – well, ’til now.
What about you?
Since most of us are staying home right now, countless planes are parked out and global hotel occupancy is on the balding side, the word ‘travel’ has…changed its flavour and glamour recently, to say the least.
If just a few blinks ago, you considered yourself a globe trotter and got used to sharing colourful stories to amazed faces with awe-struck eyes, the script has officially flipped and you might be getting more nervous side glances than warm embraces right about now.
Through music and a relative’s then longterm airline career, traveling by plane became a norm for this former hot footer.
To date, I’ve visited 30 destinations (update as of March 2022, now 38) ; some more than a few times. (Fun fact: I’ve only ever bought 1 plane ticket ever, and won a free trip from that.)
From growing up traveling as a ‘stand-by’ passenger to flying coach, first class and even sitting between pilots, plane rides were as casual a thing as a car drive. In between that and music opportunities throughout the years, traveling by plane became a normal thing.
So, when I went from walking around with passport-in-purse on an average day ‘just in case‘ a booking for an overseas gig came in, or when I ‘needed a break‘ to then working mostly from home in Barbados…it was a big challenge that I didn’t greet with much grace.
I learned that I wasn’t as patient I’d thought…or as committed to enduring the seasons of life in one place well.
Travel was an adventure, yes – but it was also a form of escape, so I could get what felt like a ‘breather’ and return home refreshed, with some cool photos to post on Facebook too. But that technique only ‘works’ for so long.
At a certain point, I had to call it like it was – I was a hot footer. Always on the move. Someone who couldn’t – who wasn’t committed to taking care of the tedious but who more leaned to the adventurous.
Even when home in ‘Bim,’ running a 24hr vocal studio, I’d somehow carve out time for 5:30am snorkeling or beach walk and 3-4 hrs of dance classes 3-4 times a week, with studio or coaching sessions and the occasional gig plus rehearsals in the mix. Phew!
Somehow it felt like if I kept on my toes that I’d dance through life light, with no baggage or attachments to ‘weigh me down.’ Sounds so romantic and free-spirit-like. Come to think of it, “free spirit” was something I was referred to countless times.
As poetic as it sounds, I knew deep down inside that travel was both a part of my joy and job, but it was also a running technique sometimes. To regular travelers reading this – can you relate? Any of this ring a bell?
Let’s face it, seeing different places, eating food with signature flavours, hearing different musical riddims, shopping for items that are way too pricey at home, meeting fresh faces, speaking foreign languages, taking pics of streets and new views is soooo much fun!
But, try doing that constantly, whether for work or enjoyment and you can eventually:
- wake up one morning not quite sure which country or city you’re in and not so enthusiastic about whatever the answer is
- return home exhausted and in need of a vacation after your vacation or work trip
- struggle with a sense of belonging from time to time
- get caught up in price and people comparison
On the other hand, we can sometimes over-romanticize about living this or that place or having access to this service or that currency with the sweet exchange-rate. Speaking of cost of living, here’s a post about that.
Maybe you, like many, were just about to take a trip somewhere, before this global crisis and curfew situation started. Maybe you’re a ‘Travel Influencer,’ touring musician or Travel Blogger and now not quite sure what to do or where to grow from here.
Just a few pages ago, it was all about was ‘livin’ ma best life‘ and now we’re all reminded that we are ultimately not in control of this world and life is not a party; it never was.
You’ll learn a lot about yourself, your tendencies, the way you connect with others and what matters most, in this global stay-at-home season.
If you’re anything like me, you might discover that you actually enjoy some of those things that seemed so tedious, intimidating or time-consuming before – like cooking, cleaning, gardening, or enjoying a purposeful day of rest for refreshment.
One thing I remember clear as day, is how the concept of ‘rest‘ seemed like such an eye-rolling almost-repulsive word, when I was a hot footer.
I get it – constant travel can look and even be glamorous to us and others, but please don’t compromise your health and wellness to try to impress others or yourself.
A life of travel would have seemed so glamourous just a few weeks ago, then – just like that, it became more dangerous than anything else – so much so, that airports are empty, many planes are parked, hotels are scantily booked and cruise ships are still lined up and randomly bobbing around Barbados, within eye-sight as I type this.
You are more than the things you get to do.
After traveling (for music work) every weekend for 2 years at one point, I was craving quiet (for fresh perspective) and moved to the countryside on the south east of the island, on a farm, and started hiking, fishing, growing food…and blogging.
And that challenge and journey rekindled my love for writing, but most of all, it showed tendencies (towards restlessness) that needed addressing and reminded me to always remember the quality – not speed of life.
I also have more appreciation for the experience of having been able to travel, and still look forward to visiting relatives and friends who live all over the map, and singing onstage without rushing from airport to hotel, mall, market, stage and back.
I hope for more well-paced trips that aren’t only about business…but whatever my God-given portion in this life, I want to be grateful.
Still learning, but am very thankful for the lessons that came with pressing pause on a life of travel to appreciate the discipline and adventure that comes with taking care of the home you’re in, and waiting well instead of always being quick to vanish when things get tough or repetitive.
Had I not gone through that tempo change when I did, I’m pretty sure I would have bitten my nails down to the bone right about now.
Do I sometimes miss traveling, eating delicious food from different cultures, free fancy hotels, big stages and speaking a lot of Spanish and a l’il French in everyday situations – yep. But we don’t have to complain about the things we miss, especially not now, because none of those things is a practical or appealing option at the moment anyways.
So while we are where we are, let’s be thankful – we might pout sometimes, but there’s still a lot to discover when it seems like you’re in one place…
How about walking to the balcony to get some fresh air, re-decorating the least-used room in the house/apt. to resemble a place you love visiting, strolling or swimming at the beach during the 6-9am ‘Government-approved’ window (here in Bim) or going in the garden to water those seeds you just planted so you can…
enjoy travel in a new way today.
And when the curfew eases up wherever you are, make a note to enjoy beautiful places that might have been missed or taken for granted before this.
If you liked this post, share the link with with someone you love, and remember to subscribe for firsthand updates on fresh posts and podcast episodes.
Thank for reading and have a sweet rest of the day!
Feel free to send a message if or when you’re coming to Barbados. My family has a bed & breakfast within walking distance of the sea on the south coast, and you’re very welcome. P.S: please leff ya shoes at de door