The Happiness Connection  

Post-lockdown travel plans

How many times have you had to listen to the COVID-19 protocol questions? Asking them is standard at places like the hospital, assisted living residences, and other high-risk businesses.

There’s one question that always makes me snicker. I don’t remember what the exact wording is, but it inquires whether you’ve travelled outside of the country recently.

I wish. That chance would be a fine thing.

I realize that some people are continuing to travel for business, but most of us answering those questions have been stuck here for the past 16-plus months.

I love travelling. I’ve been to numerous countries – some exotic and amazing, others tamer, but equally interesting.

I recently found a photo of an Israeli soldier helping me over a wire fence when I was in Jerusalem. I can’t remember exactly what led up to that adventure, but I remember how much fun it was.

I’ve walked on recently erupted lava in Hawaii, been inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, trekked on the Great Wall of China, and so much more.

Even when we travelled back to England to visit, we managed to add places like Scotland, Portugal, or a Christmas market in Prague, to the agenda.

There’s something so special about leaving your normal life behind and immersing yourself in a new culture. Travel does indeed broaden the mind.

It’s a great way to learn about yourself, and to gain a greater level of appreciation and gratitude for your regular life.

A 2020 report by the Hilton global hospitality company discovered that almost 90 per cent of the travelers they studied, felt the memories they held from their holidays were amongst the happiest recollections of their entire lives.

A holiday isn’t just the time you’re away, its memories can last forever.

Why am I bringing up the idea of going on a vacation?

Although the end of the tunnel seems to fluctuate in how far away it is, it’s within view. While you’re waiting to emerge into the light, creating a vision board or research folder for your first post-pandemic holiday to foreign shores may help you pass the time, now.

You don’t have to be ready to board a flight to start thinking about where you want to go.

The Institute for Applied Positive Research found that 97% of the people they surveyed said just knowing where they were going on their next trip made them feel happier.

I have friends who used to get home from their holiday and immediately book their next one. They loved knowing when and where they were off to on their next vacation.

I recognize that planning isn’t the same as experiencing, but it could be a viable alternative for this strange time in history.

Anticipation and hope both increase your sense of wellbeing. This type of delayed gratification can keep you motivated while you’re waiting for your dream of travelling to become reality.

  • Choose a destination.
  • Brainstorm possible routes and itineraries.
  • Choose the perfect one, or list them in preference. Change your mind as often as you like.
  • Investigate accommodation options.
  • Research the area to find activities and sightseeing excursions you’d like to include.
  • Create a budget. You might even want to make several, depending on how much money you can save between now and then.
  • Start a holiday fund so you can spoil yourself. Skip your usual latte and put that money towards your travels.
  • Visit blogs and message boards for advice and recommendations.
  • Surround yourself with pictures of your chosen holiday spot.

Planning your first post-lockdown vacation may be the perfect exercise to keep your spirits high and your mental health intact.

One word of caution. Don’t create an expectation of exactly what your experience will be like. Leave room for the unexpected or unplanned to surface.

After all, a holiday needs some unpredictability to make it an adventure. In my opinion, that’s the best place to make those memories that last a lifetime.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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