Asking someone to reach something on the top shelf at the grocery store didn’t involve moving your bodies around in a fashion similar to making a U-turn in a space you knew couldn’t make but decided to try anyways? Yeah…I do too.
That’s essentially how most of my morning at the grocery store was. Though, if you’re looking for somewhere to shop right now, I recommend Winco because for the first hour I was there they were only letting so many people inside at once and it made social distancing much easier. (Bet you never thought you’d be getting grocery store recommendations on a travel blog, hey?)
So after I got home I started thinking about what I miss about the way grocery shopping used to be. No, it wasn’t a favorite past time by any means, but if you’ve been out to the shops lately, you know what I’m talking about.
That casual stroll through the store and ‘see what catches my eye, loop back around for something I forgot, I’ll just go and make dinner out of whatever inspires me when I see it’, shopping experience is temporarily a thing of the past.
But, this blog post isn’t going to be an entire beleaguering write about my grocery shopping experience. Though I could honestly write one…but lucky for you guys I write about travel and not food!
So, thinking about how simple those things I missed this morning were, I had to ask myself, what else do you miss? And then I started a conversation with my sister about it. And without warning she asked, so, what do you miss most right now?
And I swear to you I have never had so many thoughts come screaming past each other all at once all raising their hands going it’s me, no it’s me, no c’mon guys it’s definitely me!
So I said, ‘What do I miss most right now? Umm, how much time do you have?’
…don’t worry, the accidental joke wasn’t lost on us either.
But when my thoughts eventually all stopped fighting with each other and I was able to start piecing together my answer, I said if I absolutely had to choose, it would be interacting with other human beings face-to-face, in close proximity, not even being phased by being squished on a couch between virtual strangers playing a game of King’s Cup at a hostel.
That’s what I miss most.
And that’s when I realized almost all of those thoughts racing through my mind could be related back to travel.
Funny, isn’t it? Every day I’m still surprised by how so very different life is right now, and yet the little traveler in me is refusing to be quieted or ignored. I should remind myself to thank her more often for that.
Obviously it’s not just interactions with strangers that I miss, of course. I miss study dates with my friends at school. I miss randomly showing up at my best friend’s house and spending the next three hours cooking dinner and drinking wine. I miss sitting in the stadium watching my university’s basketball team kill it against our rivals.
But easily matched by what I miss here at home, is interacting with other travelers at hostels. In hostels you are literally right on top of each other almost all of the time. And it is wonderful.
I know it doesn’t sound it, but at least for me, a social extrovert who thrives on being around other people’s energy? Finding hostels was basically like finding my Disneyland. So when it occurred to me that it could be a really long time until I get to experience one again, it hit me pretty hard.
Picture the look a little kid has on her face when her lollipop gets taken away…pretty much me after I had that revelation.
Travel and living in hostels, even if they’re ones that have a lot more free space, truly is an amazing experience. I won’t say it’s for everyone, it’s definitely not. But they are something unique, and especially as a solo traveler who wants to meet people, they’re a jackpot.
So just a little something to keep in mind for your next adventure. (You are still thinking about that, right? Hopefully my other blog post has stuck with you and motivated you to keep brain storming. It’s good for keeping the traveler spirit satisfied at the moment!)
So when I got back to thinking about what else I missed, something that didn’t come as a surprise was my off-the-shoulder-long-sleeve-comfy-blue sweater. It’s one of my favorite go to’s and though I tend to forget this, I have a very specific reason for loving it so much.
It’s literally traveled the world with me.
It’s comfy, though it’s not the most comfortable thing I own. It’s pretty loose fitting, given the adventures it’s withstood. It’s seen better days and as is shown by the holes on the cuff. But I honestly could care less about those things. Because whether or not I consciously think about it, every time I go to put it on, it reminds me of the travels I’ve had and the comfort that can come from something that’s always with you, especially when you’re on the road.
See, when you travel, you learn to truly treasure the items you have with you. Because at that moment in time, they are everything you own to your name. Your backpack is your home and inside it resides everything you’ve decided you’re going to want or need for however long you’re going to be away from home. And because of that, everything inside that backpack becomes just a little more precious.
And, therefore, more meaningful when it returns home with you.
It’s not the first time you’ve heard me say and it’s definitely not going to be the last. But travel stays with you. It becomes a part of who you are. It weaves it’s way into the fabric of your life story and it can never, ever be taken away.
In fact, it’s so ingrained that somehow, in a time when travelling is literally the last available option to do on the planet, it’s still constantly playing a role in your life. A major one. Missing these things that I miss because of travel only reminds me of why I’m so grateful to have it in my life. To call it my passion and to get to share it with others. (Even if it’s only through a computer screen and not in hostel lounge…for now).
It was a pretty crazy response that my mind came up with when my sister first posed that question. And I’ll be honest with you, new things pop up every time I think about it again! But nonetheless, I’m glad she asked. It was valuable to think about if I absolutely had to choose. So, I’m going to ask you the same question. What do you miss most right now?
If you think of something you’d like to share, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Until next time searchers.