Creative Travel Ideas for the Senses (Episode 243)
Choosing Travel in your Mind
Ah, the road can be long with kids, so why not choose to enjoy the journey? Yes, it can be full of ups and downs, yet there are creative hacks and ideas to travel in a multitude of ways, from within your own mind to all across the world.
As we share some ideas around the 3 big requirements for any kind of travel, I hope it spurs some creativity in your own mind about what journey you want to embark on with your family. Life is an adventure, and it's much better when it's enjoyed along the way!
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This isn't a "Staycation"
Have you used the cop-out of a "staycation" to essentially get sucked into checking off to-do's in your home? I've completely been guilty of a staycation simply meaning we don't organize any fun and just stay at home and get work done. That's not a true vacation!
So what, really, constitutes a vacation? If it's not about where you are, is it about what you do? Nope, not really. A vacation for one person will be relaxing at a beach doing nothing all day, while that would be utter boredom for my high-energy husband, who would get antsy in the first hour!
What does it really take? It takes looking at your mindset, your ability to go with the flow and be flexible, and...some out-of-the-box creativity.
Out of the box Ideas for Travel
So how can you get creative beyond what we traditionally think of as travel? Maybe it's booking a trip to Disney or overseas, maybe it's visiting family or doing that one traditional trip. However, maybe it needs to look vastly different this year, due to health, finances, conflict or more. What can you do? What adventures can you go on, even if it's in your own home?
What we love about travel is how it opens our eyes to other perspectives. The more you become a steward of another's story - not by telling it for them or taking over, but being curious about their version of it - the more we gain new perspective and empathy for how another experiences life.
Check your Resentment
Life is messy. It won't ever be "completed" so you can just enjoy. Curveballs will come. As soon as you clear your inbox...you're most likely going to get another email. If life is constantly decaying, breaking down, shifting and more, is it really worth that being your focus and struggle, or...can you open yourself up to the mindset you want to live in vs. being a victim where you're stuck?
It's not just what you're choosing to focus on, but what you're willing to let go of. What truly needs to be accomplished this week vs. trying to wrap up my whole month? If you're feeling resentment for the joy and rest you see another doing, check yourself first and ensure you aren't mad simply because you haven't made space for yourself to enjoy anything.
Are you clearly communicating any boundaries around your work so you can recharge? In the podcast that goes along with this blog post, Nathan shares about how shifting his communication with his real estate clients negated a lot of "emergencies". As he says, "sometimes what we think of as a forest fire is really just a couple camping in the woods. It's all about our perspective."
Be careful about trapping yourself into completion, where you never get a chance to recover because you're wrapping up just one more thing. I know I am guilty of it, so when resentment starts rearing her head in my heart, I first and foremost look at if I'm creating rest and recovery in my own life. Sometimes stopping to play is the best medicine for a messy house, as you come back recharged and ready to tackle it as a family vs. mumbling under your breath while they are all playing outside and you clean.
Engage the senses -
Let's address the senses - it's such an easy button to use as a checklist for ease and creativity! When we're stressed, we engage the senses to bring us back to center. When our house is over-cluttered, we engage the senses to bring back calm. When we're in survival mode, engaging the senses can get us out of it.
What can you listen to that takes you on a musical journey to another place, another time, or bring back a memory you want to sit in?
What can you look at in a different way? I love going to our local nature preserve after a rain and seeing all the resurrection fern in the trees come alive - it can be a whole different experience going there when it's dry vs. right after a rain with the burst of vibrant green epiphytes in the trees!
What can you touch that may be different - have you engaged in crazy sensory play with your kids? When Grammy came to visit, she brought a raw canvas and paints. We went on a walk in the woods and gathered leaves and brush for us to use, and we got back and used nature as our paintbrushes to create a pretty fabulous piece.
Let's hit on taste for a minute. We have had many incredible "food journeys". What is a food journey, you ask? An adventure of discovery with food - and it can have a multitude of goals:
- Exploring different flavor combinations - like dried figs with a spot of goat cheese, a walnut and balsamic reduction - so fancy and delicious! Can you create a different type of treat that is new and/or complex as a family?
- Using flavor tricks - have you ever tried the miracle berry? It's a crazy cool fruit that will make your tastebuds believe anything is sweet for an hour after you taste it. We love going and getting crazy fruits, like tamarind, starfruit and key lime, and trying them before and after tasting a berry - it's really fun to experiment with all the tastes!
- Take an international tour - We love Universal Yums for it's super educational content and fun. Not only do you get to try odd and yummy snacks from around the world, you learn all kinds of cool information about the country, can access music and more cultural insights, and you learn stories around the top foods in the country. We've really enjoyed learning about a new country every month.
- Try a mindful meal - Have you ever tried to eat salad with chopsticks? A meal with simply raw and unflavored items where you taste the full flavor with no other influence?
- Be a foodie in your own hometown - Seriously, there is a restaurant everywhere you turn in many areas. If you are in an area with some cool places to eat, have you checked them all out? We're new to the Venice area of Florida, and Nathan and I are making it a point to try a different restaurant every time we eat out. It's allowed us to get a better feel for where all to take guests, to recommend for others, and to get to know more people in our area.
And on that last note - remember it doesn't have to be a huge expense for going out. We oftentimes add carryout as an added bonus to what we make at home, like making our own california rolls at home and ordering just a few primo sushi rolls. Or, try ordering family-style at a restaurant. There are often such big portions, one dish may feed 2-3 people. You can also experiment with feeding kids ahead of time and letting them do dessert, everyone going out for appetizers or dessert or sides vs. getting full meals out, or paying attention to when there are special deals going on at certain restaurants around a dish or a day.
Play with the LACK of Senses
Yes, on top of focusing in on one sense or another, you can try zoning in on just one...or specifically eliminating another. What if you had a silent day with no talking? Or you have to rely on smell to find your way through the house - do the rooms smell different? Can you eliminate a sense to make your other senses better, or experiment with hyperfocusing on one to gain a different perspective on something you'd been experiencing, like closing your eyes and just hearing the forest vs. walking and looking through it?
Take in the culture
The more we see other people as other human beings - the more we can have a personal connection to them, the better grace and connection we all have.
What cultures can you learn about? How can you do that?
Maybe it's exploring all the foods from many cultures, like above. Maybe, however, it's digging deep into one, and perfecting a few signature dishes instead.
Maybe, instead of food, you're exploring the music across cultures, or decades.
Maybe it's exploring the holidays or traditions, the fashion and clothing, or plants and animals of another country or culture.
Our daughter Ellie has loved reading the same Amish series I read when I was a girl, and she's learned so much about the Amish through reading. There are so many books and documentaries to explore different cultures and countries as well.
Are you really stopping and appreciating all the senses, seeing out of the box opportunities to travel in your mind and soul with your family?
Stop and engage your senses. Do a check-up of every sense and get creative with how you can enjoy and be grateful for what is right here in this present moment.
You are more than just the numb-out feeling of "getting through it all". You are a vibrant, beautiful creature with a desire to appreciate joy and happiness...and you deserve it.
Soak it in for a minute. Stop and reset to silence. Get present with right now, and what your deepest desires are this week - what feeling would add to your life? How are you moving toward it? How are you allowing your mind and soul to take you on a journey that brings greater appreciation to what you have? Travel isn't waiting in the queue to pummel through your house - it's waiting for you to pursue it.
Take a creative journey with your family. Get outside of your home, or outside of those thoughts in your head you've been sitting in for a while. When we can step outside of our own story and truly listen and see another, it opens up to a new perspective, and a new opportunity for compassion. Look at how you choose to connect this week, and celebrate how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.
- Mindset with Let's Travel Family (Episode 106)
- Travel Lessons Learned (Episode 103)
- How to live without saying a word: A Lesson In Awareness (Episode 21)
- 5 Senses To Break The Cycle of A Negative Mindset (Episode 125)
- Your home is a multitude of senses – what have you engaged?
- Can your soul breathe? Engage the senses (Episode 20)
- Engaging all the senses
- Get Out of Survival Mode with these Three Steps (Episode 234)
- How to keep your sanity on Travel Days (Episode 54)
- Travel Gift Ideas
- Get "10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Hitting the Road"
- Check out Ashley's "90 Day Family Road Trip" Course
- 3 Essential Secrets To Make Your "One Day" A Reality (Episode 49)
- Focus, Awe, and not waiting for "One Day" - What Is Your Word?
- Costa Rica – The How, The Why, The What (Episode 132)
- Florida State Parks Volunteer Spotlight on the Logsdon Family
- Our Experience as Camp Hosts - Ashley Interview on the Workamper Show
- Working with Families as Camp Hosts on the Park Leader Show (Logsdon Family Interview)
- Adventure is a Mindset (Episode 52)
- When Adventures Go Awry (Episode 51)
- Family Dreams – Seek Adventure Together! (Episode 48)
- Thankful for The Life I Don’t Want To Escape From (Episode 226)