Home Podcast Struggling With Not Being Able to Travel Right Now?: Managing a Travel Identity Crisis

Struggling With Not Being Able to Travel Right Now?: Managing a Travel Identity Crisis

written by Sam and Veren September 3, 2020
Struggling With Not Being Able to Travel Right Now?: Managing a Travel Identity Crisis

With the global pandemic, travel as we know it has been disrupted in countless ways, and no one knows when it will be back again. As a result, we’re seeing fellow frequent travelers really suffering without being able to travel. We thought it was high time to look at these existential blues, ponder why it’s happening, and share what we’ve done to avoid a travel-related identity crisis right now, even though travel is essential to our lifestyle and business.

This episode is for everyone who is struggling with not being able to ravel right now.

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In This Episode, We’ll Share:

  • What sparked our desire to have this discussion now
  • Common themes, questions, and concerns on social media and within our online and offline communities
  • Why we believe that we aren’t experiencing a travel existential crisis, despite being embedded in the travel industry as our business
  • Why it’s okay to be bummed out about the loss of travel (for a time) and the importance of the grieving process
  • When to move on from the grief stage and how
  • The importance of acceptance and gratitude
  • Some guiding (and perhaps challenging) questions to help you examine your thought processes and mindset
  • The problem with travel as consumption
  • Why it all comes down to mindset – and how to change yours
  • Actionable tips you can do right now to help if you’re struggling due to lack of travel right now
  • so much more – this was a deep dive!

Links and Resources to Help if You’re Struggling due to the Loss of Travel:

Transcript

Sam: Hi everyone and welcome back to the podcast. I hope you’re doing well. Welcome back Veren. 

Veren: Thanks for welcoming me back to our show next time you should say, welcome back everyone and then you can welcome me back. I don’t mind this routine okay, all right. 

Sam: I know you love your routines. Anyway, thank you to everyone who took our listener survey so we’ve closed that off now again, we always welcome feedback. But we didn’t want to just have that going on forever we are gonna be looking at that and we’ll be doing an episode on kind of the overall things that we learned and the results and where we’re going forward based on your feedback, so stay tuned for that. 

So with that some feedback that I got outside of the survey but we like sharing your feedback, so I’m going to share. 

Brandy’s feedback from Instagram she’s commenting on our latest episode living in alignment with your values the one right before this one, so she says, great episode. I like being reminded that a hundred percent is impossible the importance of letting go of guilt and constantly refining as a fellow perfectionist. I feel like I need to print these things out and put them on the fridge. 

Maybe you actually should brandy. I think it’s a great idea. I know I always need to remind myself with sustainability, especially that it’s a process and so that’s what we’re always trying to share. 

So talking about it being a process and having all these kinds of more philosophical discussions, today we wanted to have an episode on something that I’ve been seeing a lot on social media and one that our friends and followers have been asking us about. Which is: what you do or how do you feel when you’re someone whose identity is wrapped up in travel and then now no one can travel at least not in the ways we traveled in pre-covid times. 

So Veren, what have you been observing at least like amongst our friends talking to us as full-time travelers about travel? Now that. You know, “normal” travel has kind of stopped. 

Veren: Well the interesting thing is that what my friends and family are concerned about is actually not as big of a deal for me or for us.  as they think it might be, you know, when you talk about something about what you do being you know, wrapped up in your identity, we’re pretty embedded in the whole travel world we’re we we’re full-time travelers we have a business based in the travel industry, we talk about travel we think about travel quite a bit. 

And naturally I’d imagine most people think it’s a you know logical conclusion to assume that if suddenly we can’t travel we’re having existential crises one after another and the irony behind all this is that’s the least of our worries we’re not concerned about not being able to travel what we think is more important as being safe if someone had told me. 

If someone had told me hey we can get through this pandemic and instead of it being two years, it can be only six months and that means you can’t travel for six months. I’d be like, sign me up no problem. I have a lot of patience and I have a good sense of perspective when it comes to committing to things for the long haul. It wouldn’t really bother me that we couldn’t travel. Of course, I’d miss certain aspects of the lifestyle. But I’d be fine and there’s a lot of reasons for that which is what we’re gonna kind of go into. 

Sam: Yeah this comes out of conversations we’ve had with friends saying the same things. My personal community and circle are asking me if I’m okay and how I’m feeling and whatever and that’s really nice to be concerned. It was obviously an upheaval initially. It was stressful with our house sits being canceled and everything with our website and business plummeting, basically. 

But in terms of the actual not being able to travel, in that travel mode, that just wasn’t something that we were really like losing sleep about at all. Of course, we felt bummed out, obviously we had plans that got cancelled that we were bummed out about. 

Veren: Yeah, back in January of 2020, we were set to go for half the year. That’s how far ahead our plans were made. So there were definitely things to be bummed out about and upset about for sure. 

Sam: yeah so we’re not saying that we’re above being bummed out at all. But this conversation just kept coming up and Veren and I kept ruminating on it or talking about it like “hmm, we’re not having an existential crisis, why is that?”

So we thought we would explore that today on this podcast episode and share some things that we think might help if you are suffering from an existential crisis. 

Veren: We bring this up not just because people ask us but because we’re seeing it everywhere on the interwebs where people are professing this dire situation of feeling really lost or they’re there. 

There’s like an identity crisis because they can’t travel and travel is a part of who they are or it’s inseparable etcetera. Everyone has different ways of defying it, articulating it, expressing it, but if you kind of boil it down, everyone’s lamenting about not being able to travel and the effect that’s having on their sense of identity and personal self. 

Sam: Yeah, that was kind of I guess what I was trying to articulate so thank you for articulating that so much better, Veren. Yeah, just the whole identity crisis of not being able to travel and like not knowing who you are anymore without being able to travel is something that I’ve been seeing a lot like a lot in Facebook groups, Instagram, I’m not on TikTok, but I’m sure it’s up there too, but anywhere anywhere social media. 

I guess I surprised myself with not feeling that way because travel has always been such a huge part of my identity. I think bigger than yours, probably Veren. 

Veren: Yeah, absolutely. I would call myself a reluctant traveler and we’ll get into more what that means. It doesn’t mean I don’t like to travel. It means I’m hesitant to travel like most people see travel but we’ll get into that more. I just want to. 

You know, I do agree with Sam on something. Yeah. 

Sam: Oh, thank you. Thanks for agreeing with me. 

Veren: Anytime you need me to agree with you. I can do that. 

Sam: Wow, okay. Yeah. I’m speechless at that comment. 

But anyway yes. Veren doesn’t like social media and he has been very helpful in reminding me when to step back because I can get riled up about things. But I also do like to be there to connect with people but also just to keep my finger on the pulse of the sentiment of what’s going on amongst the traveling community: avid travelers, full-time travelers, house sitters, like us, all that kind of stuff. I like observing in that way and seeing what’s going on. 

So I just kept seeing this so much that I knew we needed to talk about it and reflect on maybe why this is happening, why people are feeling this way and yeah, obviously we always want to just encourage people to always be growing in whatever way. So why do you think people are feeling this way? 

Veren: It’s a very good question and a reason, I’m even thinking about it despite being on social media is that if there’s anything of note to mention you mention it and a lot of ways I talk about not being on social media, but Sam is my intermediary between this world and that world and the fact that she’s brought it up so much and she doesn’t spend that much time on social media is it just coincidence that every time she’s on there, it’s another comment related to this topic. 

I don’t think so, so it left an impression on me. It made me start to think, wait a second, why am I not immediately relating to these sentiments, what am I doing differently, how is my perspective different? 

So we start to think about this more and we realize we probably have some helpful things to say about it, in terms of taking a negative situation and turn it into something positive. The truth is that as time has gone on we’ve had to more and more accept that we are more or less becoming and growing to become authorities on a certain type of travel and a way of travel.

And I mean, we have our own business and we are embedded in the travel industry. I mentioned this just earlier in the podcast, but I want to stress it even more. Now we’re so invested and all of this yet we’re not having an existential crisis and why is that, you know imagine you have your own business and that has to end you know ours didn’t have to end we’re still keeping it afloat and it’s recovering why is that did we suddenly get a secret special grant from the president no that’s not what happened. 

Sam: Yeah, I think it’s interesting because travelers love love love  telling a bad story about something that went wrong on the road. Travelers relish in when shit goes wrong on the road because they’ll know it’ll be a story to tell later. There’s entire podcasts around shit hitting the fan when traveling. I can think of multiple ones. Travelers just love talking about shit that goes wrong in the road with each other with anyone. I feel like it’s a badge of honor for a lot of frequent travelers so I just think it’s very ironic that when the ultimate shit goes wrong – which is a pandemic and we can’t travel – aka right now and everyone’s freaking out.

So adaptability and thriving under negative and unexpected circumstances is kind of a hallmark of frequent travelers. It’s a skill that you can definitely learn how to get better at adapting. But this is the ultimate test of being able to adapt. And again, I feel like I always wanted to give this disclaimer that you know, your ability to adapt varies greatly based on your circumstances. 

I just always want to say we don’t want to minimize or downplay when people are really experiencing. Like really negative effects of this pandemic. I mean knowing people that have been sick being an essential worker being on the front lines all that kind of stuff is obviously that’s incredibly hard. But we’re talking more to the folks who, you know, that’s not their main issue. Their main issue is just: I can’t travel. And everything’s terrible because life is so empty without travel. 

Veren: Yeah, if you are one of the few out there who the worst thing they’ve experienced in this pandemic is not being able to travel, consider yourself amongst the lucky. I’ll just come out and say that. I have no problem saying that. I know that stepping on toes a bit but we’re really lucky if that’s the worst of our problems. 

Sam: I think that’s very valid. Everyone needs to remember that. I certainly need to remember that. Things have been hard for us in certain ways and in other ways, we have been incredibly lucky and incredibly grateful for our current circumstances and. 

Just where we’re at right now, but I think even though comparative suffering, comparing what you’re going through to someone else, that’s not always necessarily helpful like just not letting yourself feel something because. Someone else has it worse is not necessarily the most helpful, you know, it’s like. 

The whole “oh you can’t ever feel bad because there are starving children in the world” kind of thing. Yes, that’s a horrible thing no doubt about it. But we’re human people should be allowed to feel bad about things. I think what we’re talking about and maybe what still strikes me is that we are, you know, five six months into the pandemic more depending on where you’re living. It’s been going on in Asia for longer. We’re still seeing this sentiment. I know everyone thought it was gonna be over by now and it’s not. So maybe that’s where this is coming from.

But you’ve got to go through that grief stage where you mourn the loss of what you expected was gonna happen. But then at some point, you gotta leave that stage. You’ve gotta move from grief to acceptance. And I feel like that’s kind of where we are. We’ve accepted this months ago. 

That’s kind of what we want to encourage everyone listening to be moving towards because keeping yourself in this grief stage is just hurting yourself more that’s not helping at all. It’s not helping anyone. It’s not helping yourself most of all. 

Veren: Yeah, when you say that, it kind of makes me realize that what you just asked me before I didn’t completely answer which is why is this “phenomenon” happening. I think it’s now that you say all this, I think that’s because we’ve kind of already grieved and already lamented the change and that’s a natural course of things.

You can use this whole kind of analogy. There’s a grieving phase that’s kind of lamenting a change. That applies to losing loved ones. I’ve lost loved ones. I know what that’s about, whether it’s a person or something that happens in my life. That period can last a long time and something like a relationship can last even longer. And the grieving can go on and never quite finish. 

However there’s a point in which the grieving isn’t what you need to do anymore. What happens is it actually starts to deny your own agency in dealing with something. So again, this is a hard thing to kind of see for yourself. This is a hard thing to decide. I personally believe let’s say we’re just talking about grief and losing loved ones. People expect you to get over that stuff in weeks or months and that’s not fair nor do I think is that helpful. That’s just not how it works for most people. 

Sam: Yeah, it’s legitimate to be upset about this and to be sad. But at some point do you want to spend your life lamenting and wallowing in that or do you want to do something about it? 

Veren: And there are very actionable things, which we will go into, that you can do. But I think we also want to look at what is the root of this problem? How come we didn’t experience this on the level that many other people seem to be experiencing this? This loss of travel so to speak. 

Sam: Yeah, we were just before this talking about some of the reasons why we think that’s the case. 

I think a lot of it comes down to just treating travel as consumption. This whole pandemic has illuminated a lot of things. A lot of things. One of the things in the travel sphere is how we just treat travel as another thing to consume. Just the whole I need to be always going to a new place otherwise. I’m not happy otherwise. I’m not traveling. Etc etc. That’s just in a way trading purchasing things for purchasing the idea or experience of a place. Don’t get me wrong –  we obviously love traveling. 

I love going to new places, of course. But we also are always advocating for slow travel, slow reflective, mindful travel and that’s really not about just consuming more places. No matter what, not even just during a pandemic, but normally. So that’s something that we think a lot about and I think yeah, the pandemic has just illuminated how without the ability to travel. 

There’s people who feel that there’s a void in their life. I think that right there is the root of the issue. If you’re so unhappy because you can’t travel. Maybe that’s something to look at, maybe there’s something that you’re not happy with with your current life. 

I know that sounds really harsh and dramatic. But I think there’s something to that. It’s obviously not always easy to change your circumstances of where you work or where you live or whatever. But I would wager a guess that if someone is so upset about not being able to travel, then there are probably things that they’re not happy with in their current lifestyle that they need to escape from via travel. 

Veren: Yeah, I bet money that a good chunk, maybe even a majority, even if it’s a slim majority, of these folks are probably people who count the countries they go to. I really really don’t like that, and it’s something we’ll get to in another episode, which is that colonial mindset to travel that we a lot of us unknowingly bring into our perspective on how we treat travel and how we treat people in other places. 

That being said, I think that this is a good time to really ask yourself, why do I need to travel in the first place? Was it something that enhanced my life? Or was all my fulfillment hinging on travel? 

Again, we’re coming from a place where we traveled full time and when we weren’t traveling full time in the last few years any of those times where we weren’t traveling full time we traveled often. Why is it that we’re not affected in the same way that a lot of people seem to be? Is it because we’re just like snobbish holding our nose up against you know, any kind of feelings of lament or loss that we’re just high in above this stuff? Or is it that maybe we have some real practical systems in place and approaches to life that allow us to roll with the punches? 

Out of the handful of universal truths out there, one of them is that change is inevitable. 

If you are going to embark on something but know that it’s going to end, would you still do it? I mean, that’s the case with everything we get into life. So if your life fulfillment hinges on being able to travel, what’s really going on there? That’s what I want to ask. 

Sam: Yeah. I wish I could remember where I heard this. It was a podcast that I was listening to. I really don’t remember where but they were talking about casual topics like the meaning of life finding fulfillment, that kind of stuff (laughs). One person said that if you feel like your life has no meaning or no fulfillment, go volunteer. Go get involved in your community. Give back. It’s going to be really hard to feel unfulfilled or melancholy or that sense of malaise when you’re helping and connecting with others. 

So that’s maybe something you could do if you’re feeling this way. If I think maybe it comes down to not having inner happiness and fulfillment. There’s countless books on the topic, that inner fulfillment and happiness has to come from within. Which sounds so cheesy but I do think that’s what all of this comes down to.  

If you’re always searching for external things or experiences to give you that sense of inner meaning, you’re just never going to be truly fulfilled or happy because the second those things go away is going to be really difficult. 

This is not just for travel by having travel as all of your identity. This is the case for so many lifestyles. Take an Olympic athlete or a high performing athlete for whom athletics is their entire life and then they get injured and they can’t do their sport. That leads to identity crises all the time. That’s a very well known issue within that community, and it’s true for anything where you devote all of yourself and your identity to one thing. 

Veren: Yeah, I mean the athlete is a great example in that like imagine what it’s like to be that person who’s whole life is dedicated to that, you know versus a hobby that you’re passionate about. Yes that seems way more severe if you were an athlete but what about other things that you like to do in your life? Isn’t that a legitimate thing to be upset about, if you lose it? I would say absolutely. 

A good friend of mine threw out her back and suddenly wasn’t able to be active on the level that she was used to in her lifestyle. They’re always doing things, always being active, they live out west and by default leisure time is rock climbing and mountain biking, all those kinds of things. Things that are not just low-impact. These activities are pretty athletic on a regular basis. She had a big identity crisis and I totally could relate. I’ve had injuries that put me out of the running for a bit and I couldn’t practice and do the activities that I really like to do. 

But at some point, you gotta pick yourself back up and once you’ve gone through the process of grieving whenever you know, because that’s a relative length, we’re not prescribing any particular time for anybody. But then it’s time to start growing again and start recovering. 

I’ve had major changes in my life where they were things that I were doing that were becoming a huge part of my identity. And eventually, the whole group that I was a part of had to disband and it was one of the most formative periods in my life and I had to just accept that now it’s gonna take on a different form. Am I gonna take all that I learned, all that knowledge and ability and keep it in place, keep it sharp, keep using it? Or am I gonna just lament the change and just forget everything that happened.  I’m not saying one way is right. But what mattered in the end was what I felt and how it made me feel. 

I think going forward with this experience that a lot of people are having. It’s important to recognize your own agency in solving the issue and sometimes it means doing something different and not trying to keep doing what you were doing before. 

Sam: Diversifying your interests might sound simple, but I think one of the reasons why we didn’t experience this identity crisis when travel collapsed is because we have so many things that are part of what we like to do part of our identity obviously travel is big part, but being vegan is a big part, t being sustainable and responsible, ethical that’s another big part. 

Those are just things that we talk about here on the podcast. We each have our own things that we enjoy doing on our own. We love to read, we like to do our own hobbies, we have a lot of things that we like to do. We’re very curious and like to learn new things. There are things that we’re excited about doing that we wouldn’t be able to do before. 

So yeah, I would say try to dig into that a little more. Explore different interests. A big reason why a lot of people like to travel is to find yourself, whatever that means. I don’t really like that phrase because to me, it makes it seem like you have this self out there that you’re just waiting to uncover under a rock or something like that. I think it’s more about developing yourself. 

A lot of people think you need to travel to find yourself, but you don’t need to go to Bali and eat pray love to do that. Developing yourself and personal development comes from just spending time with yourself. You don’t need to go somewhere else to do that. Sure, it puts you out of your comfort zone. Different experiences and situations with different people make you recognize certain things. I’m not discounting the value that travel can have. But in terms of personal development, you can do that, you can be doing that right now. I think you’ll find that you ‘ll be happier for it. 

Veren: Yeah, it’s a tricky line because you can travel and definitely get some new experiences but then you could also travel and bring your comfort zone with you. I see that all the time. it’s the way a lot of people travel. They want to go to a place that can cater to all their needs and whims. Travel for them is just a vacation, which is fine, that’s what a lot of people are doing. 

I don’t think that’s the people that we’re addressing though in this episode. I think it’s the people who are frequent travelers and travel isn’t just about a vacation, it’s about experiences. Often a lot of people are motivated by having a nice backdrop wherever you are. Like, oh if I’m gonna be working somewhere,  it might as well be a tropical beach. 

That’s a big thing that bothers me about a lot of popular images of digital nomads out there. And sure, you can definitely experience other things, but then I just can’t help but think about a lot of the people who go into another country and don’t really engage with the culture and different things that you can do there. It’s just another thing to do and it all goes back to this consumerist mindset towards travel that I think is at the root of the problem with a lot of people.

Sam: Yeah exactly. So we’ve kind of already been touching on this a bit, about what can you do if you find yourself in this feeling, in this mindset, or if you’re struggling with all these kinds of things we’re talking about. What actionable things can you do to move forward from this? 

So we already talked about feeling that grief and sadness for the loss of future travel and the loss of frequent travel. Let yourself feel that and don’t beat yourself up about that. 

Veren: Yeah, we don’t want you to feel bad about that, but if you’re feeling stuck and you’re feeling like you need to do something actionable to move on. It’s like I said earlier, working on the continuum of feeling that grief and sadness and then moving more towards acceptance. 

Sam: I think you’re very good at accepting circumstances out of your control, Veren. I sometimes get frustrated at things, wishing they were different. I like to dream about where I’d like to go and you’re more like, “I’m not gonna think about that if I can’t do it right now.” So what do you think about these things? 

Veren: I think it comes down to a mindset. A lot of times mindset can sound really abstract but it’s actually something that you can gain from practice and it kind of comes down to discipline. 

I’ve just accepted that there are so many things out of control in my life that I can’t control. But at the same time, there are tons of things I can control. So I should focus on the things that I can change. I think it comes down to accepting the things you cannot change and focusing your energy on the things you can change and it’s something that you’ve got to practice and it takes discipline. 

When I say discipline, it’s not just willing yourself and motivating yourself to do it, it’s setting a time and place and showing up. I mean that in a physical sense but also in a mental and emotional sense. So for me, if I feel the need to kind of get out of the house, I’m not gonna lament that I can’t hop on a plane. Instead, I’m gonna say, “hmm what would be better, a walk or bike ride?” Because that’s exactly what I’m gonna do later after this podcast. I’m gonna go for a bike ride because I’m just itching to be somewhere.

Sam: Yeah, just being active in general, no matter what you like to do. I never feel worse after I’ve been physically active. I always feel better, no matter if I do a quick yoga session 20 minutes or working out like we do every morning Monday through Friday, or yeah biking together, taking a walk, any of those easily accessible, free things to do. 

Veren: I always say you’ll never regret working out or you’ll never regret doing that thing that you know you need to do. You only regret it when you skip it. So a lot of times , it’s not so much of just oh I got to will myself I need the discipline or I like the discipline no just just do it just do it and once you get started it’s kind of hard to back out, you know, and you just go through with it. So on one level, just doing a physical activity when I’m feeling really stuck, mentally and emotionally, physical activity really works well for me. I have yet to find anyone who tries that approach and doesn’t get anything out of it. 

Sam: yeah. I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say, “oh I did yoga for 30 minutes and I felt even worse afterwards.” It’s laughable. So whatever it is that you like to do with moving your body, we don’t move our bodies enough in this day and age, especially now that everyone’s working from home and commuting less. Most people are moving less than they normally are and movement has a huge effect on mental health. 

So all these things kind of interlace and build up on each other. We talk about healthy habits a lot, but they really are the backbone of a fulfilled and happy grounded life. And yeah, just building healthy habits in general will never hurt with whatever you’re struggling with. 

Meditation, that’s obviously great. I guess I’m a semi-right regular, sit down kind of meditator. I use insight timer which is a free meditation app and there’s tons of guided meditations or you could just use the timer with rain sounds or stuff like that. So whenever I might be feeling super frustrated just listening to someone’s calming voice or just like breathing doing a breathing exercise or just getting outside. 

Reading, taking your mind off things, there’s so many things that we could go into here but just to kind of give you some ideas of how to move from feeling stuck and how to move on from feeling sad and frustrated, being in that time loop where you’re always feeling really sad and frustrated that you can’t travel. 

Veren: Another thing – and this is related to mindfulness – that you can do is literally practicing gratitude and I’m saying this because I’m someone who always scoffed at this stuff. I thought it sounded so silly a little too woo-woo whatever you want to call it. I like practicing gratitude, of course. I’m grateful for stuff. But it actually really really works, especially if you want to practice gratitude for people in your life. It’s easy to feel grateful for the ice cream that you’re having. I’m always really grateful for cheese. 

I love cheese. Of course it’s vegan. I’m really grateful that it exists and I can have stuff that scratches that itch but when it comes to other people in your life and especially yourself it can really really help to just verbalize or even just have the thought about what you’re grateful about. 

That action alone kind of redirects your attention. You know, there’s like real physiological things that are going on. It’s not. Just think happy thoughts because I also hate that shit too. But if you sit there and start to think about all the things that you have and the one thing you don’t have is a luxury or a privilege you used to experience. 

It’s not so bad. Again, not playing down people’s struggles and what they’re dealing with. It doesn’t help to say other people have more problems, but in the practice of gratitude sessions that you can engage in this can absolutely make you feel better. That’s another tool that I really like and I’m a convert on that end. 

Veren: Yeah you definitely are and I’ve noticed a difference since you started practicing gratitude on the daily. 

Veren: Yeah, I’m just so grateful. I just look so grateful all the time. I kind of have this cool low of gratefulness all the time. 

Sam: Well, I like when you practice gratitude about me. 

Veren: Yeah, that’s who I was hinting at. When you practice gratitude for someone in your life, suddenly they feel so great and then you’re just grateful for their greatness. 

Sam: I love when you think about how great I am. 

Veren: If you want me to agree with you, or say how great you are not a problem just ask. 

But for reals though, I’ve been doing this too. I like keeping track of things.  Classic Virgo I guess with the organization. I have an app that’s free. It’s called presently and it literally is so simple, it just sends you a reminder every day to write down what you’re grateful for in journal form in the app and. 

It’s funny that you mentioned ice cream because yesterday I literally did write down that. I’m grateful for so delicious salted caramel ice cream. I’m not even joking. We ate it last night. That is my favorite. I think it’s my favorite ice cream. It’s ridiculous. If you can find it, go get it. 

It’s on the sale. It’s on sale at the co-op that we’re living by now so we like stocked up. It’s so fucking good. 

Veren: Yeah, it’s partly because our freezer is the perfect temperature. It comes out ready to go. We don’t have to let it sit and thaw. I just want to clarify it’s our favorite store-bought ice cream because it’s very easy for Sam to get obsessed with a lot of ice creams but this is something that you can experience.  You don’t have to fly somewhere to get it. It’s a delicious ice cream. This is not a paid advertisement. We just love this stuff. We split a pint yesterday. Of course, my half was a little bigger than Sam’s but we still split a pint and had several more to go. 

Sam: Yeah, that’s true. I mean Van Leeuwen’s is probably my favorite ice cream ever. And you can buy that in stores. It’s not cheap, but anyway not to turn this into an ice cream episode. But I’m grateful to be able to get amazing vegan ice cream on the regular in the summer. 

I mean, what is there not to be happy about when you’re eating ice cream? 

Veren: yeah so just to recap the actionable things that we talked about because you know, those are things you can do while all the other stuff we mentioned we want you to mow over are. 

Obviously gratitude we just mentioned but um yeah diversifying your interest and identities and exploring that yeah and that means you know, maybe picking up new hobbies but we don’t mean feel guilty because you don’t come out of this pandemic with like a new language. I don’t don’t get me on that shit but that’s not what we mean, we’re just saying, you know try out some new stuff get into different things yeah now I hate that like, oh if you didn’t write a novel during quarantine, you suck as a human being like that’s terrible yeah, let’s just move on we’ll save that for. 

Another episode yeah, but I mean, if you want to write a novel go for it right now, if you want to learn a new language go for it right now if you want to get out of your comfort zone. Right now go for it. 

Veren: I really really encourage people who are feeling stuck and frustrated to take a deep dive. Find a little quiet place where you can have a bit of an escape from the pressure of other people or other, you know minds I guess you could say and really sit down and think about why is it that you’re having this existential crisis and what can you do to prepare yourself for the future when inevitably there’s gonna be another time you can’t travel it’s it’s gonna happen again and, For who knows why but I can I can almost guarantee you it might you might not be able to maybe not on this kind of level but we’ll see and maybe try to shift. 

If you want to focus on anything think challenge the way that you travel and why is it that hopping on a plane and going across the country and going to a place that’s quote-unquote exotic it’s more what you are gravitating towards as opposed to maybe a local day trip in your area, what is it is it is it the newness or you just relying completely on novelty? 

Is it really travel that you need or is it novelty? So I encourage that of course try the actionable steps, but then also maybe if you have a thing that you use to count countries, throw it out, you don’t need that it’s making you focus on the wrong things. 

Yeah, I think it comes down to focus now that you mention it if you are always focusing on what’s missing instead of what is there, of course you’re gonna feel sad and upset and frustrated so instead try to focus on the positives. Of your current circumstances, that’s not always easy but. 

It’s a muscle that you can exercise like anything else so that we my last words of wisdom there be to focus on the positives. Of not being able to travel as you know, difficult as that may sound. I would wager a guess that you will surprise yourself if you spend some time thinking about these things and trying to shift your mindset a bit. 

Good luck. I guess good luck with that and we we just. Wish everyone. All the best with this. We recorded this episode because we wanted to provide some guidance and some help for people who are feeling really down about these kinds of things. So just to leave it on an up note. 

Yeah, we just want to support our community right now and as always we would love to hear from you. On anything at all, so you can connect with us. On social media at alternative travelers. Email us leave a link in the show notes. 

Veren: Yeah, you know, we used to be full-time travelers and we plan on doing it again someday. We haven’t given up the ghost yet we’ll be back on that travel train in no time. Just you know, no time might mean a long time. 

Sam: Wow way to leave it on a positive note, Veren.

Veren: Hey I’m a realistic optimist, there’s nothing negative about being practical. 

Sam: Don’t get me started on this, you’re gonna just launch it to a whole other discussion. 

Veren: yeah so at this point I think I’m gonna say bye! 

Sam: Until next time.

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