Wildflowers in Henbury, England

Travel Expectations vs. Reality

Travel: A journey, especially to a distant or unfamiliar place

Traditionally, travel is defined as some form of movement from one place to another. Realistically though, the word travel alone takes on many different definitions and a number of different meanings to everyone based on their own individual experiences.

To some it’s a way of life, a fiber of their being, something that they know they can’t live without. To others it’s a luxury, an opportunity afforded through wealth, something that can only be achieved through hard work, perseverance and the occasional day off.

But no matter how different these interpretations may be, there seems to be one thing that remains the same: in one way or another, we all expect every vacation, every adventure, every experience to be absolutely perfect and extraordinarily life changing.

It’s become apparent to me that an obvious pressure, or expectation, exists when people plan to do something. I believe it happens when we apply the same expectations to travel as we do to anything else that we invest time and money in to. And whether we consciously recognize it or not, we always want every trip to be the “trip of a lifetime.”

So what happens when it’s not?

Don’t Let False Expectations Ruin Your Vacation

Just like anything else in life, perfection is nonexistent. Not every trip you take is going to be amazing and the sooner you accept that, the better off you are. Instead, find ways to push through those less than perfect scenarios and still have a memorable experience.

False expectations only exists if we allow them to. When you manifest an idea in your mind and that idea doesn’t become a reality you can’t let that stop you from enjoying the experience that you were truly meant to have.

We can only control and plan for so much. I’ve talked before about travel anxiety, and how this can take control over my thought process when planning for a trip. I’ve also told you how to get through it. Because like all things, it is possible to overcome.

Going on a trip, much like waking up every day, will only be as great as you allow it to be. Although you may not be able to control every situation that occurs, you can control your reaction to it and that will determine your overall experience. It all starts and ends with your mindset.

Stop going places and doing things expecting a certain vibe, experience or outcome. You’re only going to end up disappointed and you’ll miss out on the thing that matters most: living in the present.

When you live in the now, you allow yourself to be  completely open to the world around you. When you live in the future, you create unnecessary anxieties and a false reality that you were never even meant to experience in the first place. And when you live in the past comparing this trip to others, you’re only going to set yourself up for disaster.

I spent the last year struggling with these falsities. I think it happens to anyone, whether you travel on a regular basis or not. But I’ve decided that this is no longer going to be how I live my life, and therefore it’s no longer going to be a part of the attitude that I have when I travel. I’m determined to make changes moving forward, and you should too.


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