Okay, I mean…physically obviously you can. As is shown by how very, very, very grounded we are all right now. Both in the ‘actually stuck on the ground’ and also the ‘feeling like a teenager who got grounded and can’t leave the house to hang out with her friends’ sense of the word.
But figuratively, can you keep a traveler down? Not. A. Chance.
How can I be so sure? Because if there’s one thing the traveler spirit is, it’s resilient AF. (Too crude? Sorry…)
But let me tell you, the traveler spirit is strong. As a traveler I’ve been tested, I’ve been challenged, I’ve been knocked down more times than I can count. But I always, always get back up. And I have no doubt when I say that that is true for every single traveler everywhere.
And a big part of the reason we get back up, maybe a little worse for the wear but never ready to just give up, is because we know that tests and curveballs and struggles come with the life. And I know they come along with everyone’s life, no matter your calling, and there’s no comparison here to whose struggles are more real, because if the current world has taught us anything, it’s that we are all human and we all have our own struggles to overcome every day.
But, when you get hit by a curveball 10,000 miles away from your home, in a country where you don’t speak the language, and no one is there to help you solve it but you, well….you learn pretty quickly what it means to be tough, and brave, and clever, and creative, and well, resilient.
In fact when people ask me what I’ve learned on my travels, I always tell them, you’ll never learn more about yourself, and how incredibly capable you are as a person, until you’re alone, in a foreign country, facing adversity, with no one to turn to but yourself.
Okay, that’s coming across as a little bleaker than when I say it out loud…but I promise it’s not meant to! It’s actually an incredible feeling. It’s a realization that makes you proud of yourself. It gives you confidence in yourself. And most of all, it lets you know that you can take on anything that comes your way. Which, is a pretty damn useful skill to have as a traveler.
And a skill I’m going to be channeling into a lot I’m guessing over the next few months.
Along with remembering that, as surprising as it even has been to me, I’m more grateful to be a traveler than I ever have been before. Which, I’ll tell you guys, I never thought being stuck inside, unable to travel, unable to fly, unsure when my next trip will even be, would make me grateful to be a traveler.
But there’s another big reason as travelers we get up, dust ourselves off and move forward. Because we know there’s still adventure to be had. There’s more ruins to explore and mountains to hike and people to meet. And we also know that we sure as heck won’t get to experience those things from down here!
So when it comes to what the world is facing right now. Surprisingly, yeah, I’m more grateful than ever to be a traveler.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s also heartbreaking. I don’t know what the travel industry will look like when this is all over. I have no idea if the freedoms we once had to travel the world will be same. I can’t even plan to be at my friends wedding in August, because there might not be a wedding.
But I’ve chosen not to let myself dwell on those things. I choose to find the positive side of being a traveler right now. I even realized how missing my friends from abroad has actually taught me some really valuable lessons during this time. You can read more about that here!
And even though I don’t know when the wedding will happen and I can’t answer the question of ‘what are you going to do after you graduate?’ with, ‘I’m gonna go spend 6 months in Southeast Asia,’ anymore, the traveler in me knows that just because we’re down right now, there’s still more adventure to be had.
And I implore you to remember that too. Remember that there is adventure on the other side of all of this. Maybe for you it’s travel, maybe for you it’s catching up with friends, maybe it’s that long awaited family trip to Disneyland, or maybe it’s a week all by yourself in a cabin in the woods to finally have some peace and quiet. But whatever it is, I can promise you from experience it will be there, and it’s absolutely worth getting back up for.
Until next time searchers.
P.S: Have an adventure you’re looking forward to when this is all over? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!