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The spoonful of sugar…

Nov 1, 2022 | Travel | 0 comments

Government Camp, OR

An impromptu hike with Dustin will certainly give your basic city trip a true taste of adventure…
June 2022 – Government Camp, OR, USA

What is “enough travel” ? The question is still burning…

Since my last post, trying to figure out what “enough” means to me, I keep coming back to the question of travel. In less than a week, I will be boarding a plane to Amman, to meet up with my friend Dustin and a group of photographers and explore Jordan through the lens of my camera. And my taste buds… because, you know, food is important to understand a culture. Right ?

Anyho… I’ll certainly have plenty of opportunities to tell you more about all the sweet stuff I will be absorbing over the upcoming couple of weeks but it’s a different type of sugar I wanted to share with you today. See, as I was trying to explain things to my Mastermind group yesterday, I had an epiphany.

Traveling on sugar high

Here’s my theory : traveling is like sugar.

There’s the good kind of sugar and the “not so good” kind. White sugar (a refined form of sucrose) gives you a boost and a crash, meanwhile, slow-release (or low GI) carbs foods provide a slower and more sustained release of energy. When you eat white sugar, it gives you a jolt of energy and happiness but make you feel depleted and craving more in less time than you need to say “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. So you get back on candy bandwagon, eat more processed sugar, crash harder, crave more… and on, and on, and on.

I believe some of the trips we take are just like this white sugar : they fill a void, they give you a sense of “vacation” and “exotic” and you start craving more of them before you even finish unpacking.

On another hand, some trips you will ride on for months (years sometime) to come. They fill your soul. They change your perspective on the world. They don’t just bring you joy, they teach you something.

Those are the trips that are worth taking. Those are the trips that are worth a bit of carbon footprint.

So yes, I’m a basketcase full of cognitive dissonance. Well, maybe. Because, in the end, how can I know if the trip was worth taking before I take it ? Right ? There’s always a good reason to take that trip : discover a new culture, meet new people, meet up with old friends, opportunities for creative output, airline miles about to expire… Believe me, I can find all the excuses in the univers to seat my butt in a plane and fly half-way across the world.

I know I’ll like it, in the moment. But I also know I will regret it later on. Just like I always end up regretting dipping my hand in the jelly beans jar.

Building my own set of rules

As I was mentioning in my previous post, I want to use the upcoming year and its fresh load of travel opportunities to experiment with intentional traveling. I want to find the low GI of traveling. Or, at least, figure out what it means to me.

The first basic questions that I can think of would be :

  • Is the country on my list of dream destination?
  • Will this trip fill my relationship bucket?
  • Is there a goal to the trip : an artistic endeavor? a volunteering opportunity? a learning experience?
  • Do I want, deep in my gut, to take that trip or do I feel like I “have to” because it’s too good of an opportunity to pass on?
  • How far vs how long?

These are just the first few building blocks on my scale. I know there’s more to explore before I find the system that will work for me. But hey, as always, I’m looking for progress, not perfection.

I will certainly continue pondering over it, and I will try to figure out what really creates a memorable and fulfilling experience in my upcoming trip to Jordan. I’ll report here later ; and, in the meantime, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the subject. What constitutes intentional (and acceptable) traveling in this day and age ? Let me know in the comments!

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