How time changes travel and travel changes time

On November 11th, 2015

time thumbThe past few weeks have seen a lot of talk of the past, the future and travel. Flux capacitor, Delorian and time travel have been posted in You Tube videos, bantered around Facebook and the stars of Back to the Future even turned up on late night television in celebration of the past actually catching up to the future. While I don’t own my own flux, futuristic car or have even the most vague idea of a jigawatt, I do have some experience with both travel changing time and time, most certainly, changing travel.

In my youth, my family rarely left the shores of the United States. New England car rides and Disney extravaganzas were the name of the game. As a teenager, we hit a few Caribbean islands by land and sea but great distance nor adventure travel were ever an interest. Backpacking in Europe had its benefits and perhaps, some drawbacks. The pros of a backpacker’s budget were the interesting people we met and carefree attitude taken. The cons (although I’m not so sure they actually belong in this category anymore), well, rarely did we have our own bathroom and we spent a lot of time on the floors of train stations waiting for the next to arrive. Slight adventure and distance began to extend across the pond.

I realize now that travel attitudes can change throughout life. Perhaps there is some direct relationship to the balance in our bank accounts, but I don’t believe that to be the case for us all. One’s travel attitudes in our twenties might drastically vary from those in the forties. It makes sense, how many of us are truly the same person we were twenty years earlier?

People change, needs change, and without question, both time and travel change people. At one time in my life, all – inclusive destinations provided enjoyment, relaxation and an inviting arena for me. With one set price, no need to carry any cash and with a level of comfort I wanted, it suited my needs at the time.

As I started to break out of my shell a bit, more and more adventure crept into my travel desires. It began to matter less and less if anyone wanted to join those journeys. Travel attitudes were changing; I was changing. Often, it wasn’t posh, high end or filled with luxury of any kind, but it was travel, it worked for me and I loved it. It’s funny to look back and see what was once ‘acceptable’ or ‘necessary’ in your travel landscape and how that has shifted as you’ve grown.

How do you time travel? -

In my circle of friends and colleagues, I was the girl who loved to travel. Any school holiday was booked as soon as I returned from the last one. Sick days were saved to act as travel days in the event of a flight issue or oversight. I never knew I wanted more until I met my (now) husband on a tour in New Zealand. With a four-year overseas courtship, we hit different destinations than I had ever before visited. We went sight seeing in Thailand, chasing castles in the United Kingdom and finding friends in Hong Kong. On a one-year honeymoon, my travel attitude changed and it is unlikely to return to its original state. The hunger grew. Time not only changes people, but travel as well.

Within a year, I found myself getting shots I never before would have, searching out an infectious disease doctor (by choice) for a prescription for anti-malarial meds that petrified me and adding sleep sheets and extra deet-related bug spray to my travel kit. A week on a lounge chair in Club Med, this was not, but both seemed perfect for the wanderlust of the day.

Needs change. After coming face to face with lions in Zambia, nearly jumping to my death in Victoria Falls and being chased by a hippo in the Okavanga Delta, I found myself continuing to yearn for the authentic and less focused on the lounge chair luxuries of earlier days. Interacting with locals, learning through doing, expanding my palate and searching for adventure were terms floated regularly. Often the ‘beach holiday’ found its way worked in as part of the overall adventure in lieu of its before central presence. I longed for longer travel. What on earth was happening?

As we grow, so do our travel attitudes. Perhaps yours shifts from backpacker to five star fanatic or the other way around, or perhaps you grow to really love the way you travel and know that it works for you and that’s what matters. Perhaps you choose one type for one journey, another for the next and a mixture for the third. The travel experiences you’ve had provide insight to ones you crave. Where you are in life, may also offer vision for your next adventure. Delorian or otherwise, travel and time are intertwined.

Today I find myself sourcing out what works. Never has it mattered if my interests were on a top ten, or emerging place to be list above the central fold of a prominent newspaper. A week in the Maldives holds my interest equally alongside road tripping in a Ute around Australia. A French Polynesian overwater bungalow experience is right up there with wandering Brazilian favelas or spending time in an Indian village. After being covered in East African red dirt for a safari filled week it was still nice to be in a London hotel room with easy access to public transport and around the bustle of city life. It’s the experience that matters. It’s the interaction with people who continue to show up in your retold stories. It’s finding the value in that ever-expanding perspective and the willingness to blow open that comfort zone. If you let them, travel and time will continue to have a symbiotic relationship.

Our comfort zone is a built in flux capacitor. Like Doc Brown, it took me awhile to figure out the application of this invention. In the early years, it flickered a bit and got a few shocks with optional excursions of sorts, but wasn’t fulfilling its potential. Merge it with a desire to experience the unknown, determination to plow ahead through the uncomfortable and the willingness to ask for help when feeling a bit wobbly…and you just might find yourself trying to build up speed to reach the pinnacle of jiggawatts in your own life. Full speed ahead…you might even build your own roads. Happy travels.

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 Keep up with Stacey’s adventures on her blog.

Photo credit: denniz