Okay so this title may look familiar to you guys! That’s because two weeks ago I wrote to you all about having cancelled a trip to Canada with my family. I was able to keep a really positive outlook on it, in spite of my disappointment, and have taken to calling that trip postponed, instead of cancelled.
Highly recommend this, it feels much better than saying cancelled!
However, I got another wave of postponements this week and to be completely honest, they’re hitting me a lot harder.
I’ve promised you guys I will always maintain a positive outlook in these posts, and so I will get to the positive ways I’m coping with this change through using travel techniques. But first, I’m gonna lay out some really real impacts this is having on my emotional and mental state. Bear with me, because I think to truly understand the positive outlooks I’ve found, I think you have to know my genuine feelings and thoughts on it all.
And, possibly, you’re dealing with these emotions in response to having to postpone a trip of your own. And I want you to know you’re not alone and there are definitely ways to stay positive throughout the disappointments.
In August, (on my birthday) I was supposed to be in England at the wedding of two of my best friends. He’s from England and she’s from Australia and I met them while I was living in Perth. They live in Perth currently and were planning to fly to England for the wedding, along with all of our other friends – some of my other best friends I met while living there.
So for me, though I couldn’t wait to get to see these two amazing people whom I love get married, that week there was also going to be a reunion with some of my best friends in this world who live 13,000km’s away. Some of whom I haven’t seen since I moved back to the states in May of 2018.
So this one’s a little tough to swallow.
Along with that, I had plans to fly out to Europe the first week of July and was going to spend the month prior to the wedding visiting other friends around Austria and Croatia. And quite possibly visiting the Meteora Monasteries in Greece. Which, seriously you guys, I am dying to visit. I just learned about them through the future-travel-plan research I’ve been doing to keep busy, and they are absolutely number one on my list of places I want to see right now.
You can check more out about them on my blog post, The Top 5 Places I Can’t Wait to Visit.
However, even though I’ve been getting excited about this summers adventures, a part of me has been expecting news of the wedding getting postponed. But seriously, even as much as I expected to hear that, I truly wasn’t prepared for the emotional impact it was going to have on me.
It’s not even just the disappointment of missing my friends, or the falling apart of my plans for the summer. It’s also feeling sad for every other person I know who has been building their summer plans around this wedding as well.
My worry and disappointment extends to my 2 friends who have spent the last year putting everything in place to stay in the U.K. after the wedding was over and live in Ireland for the next year. For one of whom, this was supposed to be his homecoming after having been away for 5 years.
It’s my two best friends who have been planning this wedding for 2 years and now suddenly have to change everything. It’s the one who’s from England who I know was so excited to be going back and seeing his family again.
And most of all, this is the most trapped I’ve felt since all of this began. I can’t even think of another word for it. I just feel trapped.
And let me tell you, that’s one hell of a scary feeling for a traveler. It might be one of the most overwhelming feelings I’ve had since this all began.
So, I spent the last couple days partially ignoring those feelings and partially processing the realities of what these postponements mean.
And though it took a little longer this time than it did with Canada, I have found some positive points of view to take into consideration with all of this!
First, I actually got a sneaky trip to Perth back in January. I went to Singapore for a week through a program with my university, and once I found out that Perth was only a 5-hour flight away, I decided to head that direction instead of Vietnam for the extra week I had before school started again. And looking back now, boy am I glad I did!
I did go back and forth for a while. The traveler spirit in me was dying to see somewhere new, and Vietnam has been on my list for years, but I also felt a pull to go visit those friends because let me tell you, while it is amazing to have friends all over this world, it is also devastating to have ones that live so far away. Fun travel fact: Perth is the most geographically isolated city in the world…I know, that’s where I had to pick to find a second home in this world?? No I’m kidding, it’s a beautiful place and totally worth traveling the 13,000kms!
So one way I’m coping is by being grateful for the times I have gotten to spend with them. Remember, even though it may seem like it’s going to be a long time until you get to catch up with your family or friends who live far away, or maybe right now even those who live just down the street, I promise it feels so much better to focus on the times you have had together than worry about when the next time will be. It will come, we just have to be a little patient right now.
I’m also remembering to be grateful that I have friends a zillion miles away who I treasure enough to want to go see instead of somewhere new. So since I imagine we all feel like our family and friends are about a zillion miles away right now, take a minute and remember to be thankful that you have people in your life that you wish more than anything you could see and give a hug right now.
Having people in our lives that we care about and that care about us is invaluable in this world.
Another practice I’m using to see this positively is to remind myself that I’ve spent years apart from friends since I began traveling and it has never ever changed our friendship.
So if you’re feeling distanced from your family and friends, as I’m sure many of us are, remember, time and distance won’t change how much you mean to each other. And time apart absolutely won’t change your friendship.
I am also going look at this from the point of view of how incredibly exciting it’s going to be when I do actually get to see all of these people. You know the feeling. The one where it’s been so long since you’ve seen someone you care about that you want to recreate a scene out of every romance movie ever and just run and jump onto the person in a train station, you’re that excited. That’s going to be what this wedding/reunion will be like now. And though I wish that experience was going to be happening this summer, it’s only going to be that much more exciting when it does finally happen.
Finally, I’m making more active plans to Facetime with everyone who would have been at the wedding. We’re even talking about doing a big group chat on the day the wedding actually would have been.
Rather than focus on letting the disappointment bring me down, I’m going to use it as motivation. I always want to keep in better touch with my friends around the world, sending more messages and planning more Facetimes.
So, let’s use our postponed plans with friends as motivation to make new plans with them instead! I know, I know, a Facetime date from your living rooms is most definitely not a substitute for drinking Mai Tai’s on the beach in Hawaii like you’d been planning. But hey, at least you’ll still be catching up, and you can spend some of that time throwing out new ideas for your next trip instead!
It’s not always going to be easy dealing the curveballs this pandemic keeps throwing at us. And sometimes, it’s going to hit you harder than you ever expected. But, I encourage you all to remember that none of this is permanent, and, though sometimes a little harder to find, there are always positive ways of looking at even the most disappointing of situations.
Until Next Time Searchers.
P.S: Do you have any ways you’ve been coping with having to postpone travel plans? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!