Anticipating Travel

Much has been written in the last several years about how anticipation of taking a trip is often even more satisfying than the trip itself. Studies have shown that looking forward to a trip makes our work go easier and reduces some of the negative aspects of our everyday lives. Of course, as with most studies, this validates simple common sense. My 80 year-old grandmother used to tell me that she always had to have a trip planned so she could look forward to it. True to her word, she even had a trip planned during her final days, even as she was confined to a nursing home with little chance of recovery.

And so it is now as Tanya and I anxiously anticipate our trip to South America and the Amazon, set to begin next month. Every day we tell ourselves, “Only 32,31,30 days until our trip.” It’s interesting how our minds go through each detail of our upcoming journey. We imagine what we’ll be doing at breakfast time, what we’ll be doing during the day, the new people we will meet and so on. We can feel the humidity, the smell of the tropical air, the sound of the jungle. It really doesn’t matter whether the ultimate reality of the trip matches our imaginings. It’s as if we will be taking two vacations: the one visualized and the real one. Both are satisfying. Now I’ve got to get to work planning our next trip so we have another one to look forward to.

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