I am still dreaming of travel every night.
As we enter the fourth month of lock-downs, quarantine, social distancing, self-isolation, and now re-opening I am finding an absolute peace and a bit of solace in knowing and believing what my grandmother often said: “This too shall pass.”
Considering the significant losses experienced by so many, it is difficult to publicly share my disappointment regarding my canceled travel plans and those of the Black women planning to travel with my experiential travel company, Pack Light Global. Although travel is typically viewed as a luxury and non-essential activity, for many women of color, a window seat provides a peaceful escape and welcome distraction that is essential to our survival. We are the caretakers of our children, spouses/partners, and extended families, all of which create stress that leads to diminished physical and mental health. Getting away, forgetting these struggles along with the burden of intensely over-scheduled lives, is essential to our self-care.
Additionally, the global protests claiming “Black Lives Matter” and the current racial divide in this country, reminds us, fearless travelers, that living in the United States invokes more fear and anxiety than traveling to any unfamiliar shore. Whenever anyone asks me about going to a new country, “Is it safe there?” My answer remains “safer than the US for people of color.”
Despite all of this, I remain hopeful and optimistic about the future for black women setting out to see and serve the world. We will be back out there soon, discovering new foods, wines, meeting our global brothers and sisters who look like us, and those who are worlds apart. When we return to the world, it will look and feel different because we will be different. We can leverage our current anxieties for future solutions that make the planet happier, safer, and more sustainable for travelers to come.
In the meantime...
When we return to the world, it will look and feel different because we will be different.
Each country is reopening at a different pace with a unique set of guidelines to resume tourism.
Do your research, know about the country’s approach to health and safety.
Secure travel arrangements with flexible cancellation and rescheduling policies.
Purchase a “Cancel for Any Reason” travel insurance policy
Avoid making plans that are contingent upon others, solo/spouse or partner travel is ideal.
If you’re not ready to make concrete plans, stash some travel funds in a savings account so that your money is right when the time comes.
Although exercise and a healthy lifestyle will not necessarily prevent you from sickness while traveling, getting any pre-existing conditions under control, and establishing an exercise routine certainly won’t hurt.
Adopt a daily practice of stillness and mindfulness through yoga, meditation, breathing exercises.
Get moving in an online Zumba class, a daily walk in the neighborhood, or dancing to one of the D-Nice Club Quarantine Sets.
Check your diet and eliminate foods that do not support your health and wellness goals.
Water, water, water
Establish a self-care regimen that includes tending to your mental health and well being. If you are feeling sad, or just a little anxious, reach out to a tele-therapist to help you get back on track.
Visualize yourself in the spaces that you have always dreamed of visiting
Create a travel vision board
Up your Pinterest game with the aspiration site's new planning features
Revisit your travel journal and photos let the happy feelings inspire you
Repeat daily affirmations – for example, “I find peace in travel, I will travel again soon.”
Now is the perfect time to pull out the travel magazines you have not had the time to read and scope out your next adventure.
Fear is a mental and or emotional reaction that arrives from a real or perceived threat of harm.
Although fear can keep us safe, and motivates us to cope with danger, we should surrender to the things we cannot control and focus on what we know for sure. Shifting our focus can help us find peace within the chaos.
When the time comes, remember to again…Travel Fearless and Pack Light!
Peace and Blessings