It’s 2019 and everyone is looking to do something fun and unique.
Fellow introverts that happen to dwell outside more often than not crave the excitement of new experiences like water in a desert.
You make a strategic plan on what to do and how to do it when you get there.
But when you arrive you get the feeling it not what you thought it was going to be. The excitement shrivels and your hopes are dashed.
And now your trip is ruined because you are sulking from the lackluster result.
That, my friend, is what I call travel novelty.
A feeling of excitement that created from the expectations during the inspiration and planning process of a trip. One usually feels downcast from the lack of tangible possibilities your imagination created.
This is what I call that feeling I got when I was heading to Sierra Leone for the first time.
All I could think about was the pretty beaches, the rich culture, and having fun at my sister’s wedding.
But life doesn’t work that way for us awkward folks.
Travel Novelty is a Heck of a Drug
The mistake I often see and have experienced myself is planning way too early or too much.
What I mean by this is summed up with a nice anecdote from my life. One of my dream trips is to go to Japan in the future. So I thought that I might as well make a list of things I wanted to do/see.
Well. A few hours into it I made use of an old composition notebook and made it my travel planner. Needless to say, I did not go on this trip.
But I made another attempt to plan it a few years later when I found an awesome website called travefy that made planning group trips a breeze.
Yes. You read that right. I got my friends involved with my planning madness.
This site made organizing, finding new places, and splitting payments easy.
Update: Travefy no longer has these amazing features I mentioned for regular travelers to use. ┗( T﹏T )┛
*They have since removed those wonderful features. 😭 But it’s still a great itinerary builder.
That version of the trip was in 2014. The first attempt happened in 2012.
Again, we did not go.
Eventually, my sister asked me to be her maid of honor at her wedding in SL. I was so pumped. This was a real chance of actually traveling abroad for the first time.
So I did what I did best. And I planned.
I planned my outfits, my workouts, what shots to film, how many videos to make, things I wanted to see, etc.
But life makes things flow down a different path.
I had a horrible time on the 20+ hour flight (which was also my first time in a plane ever), my luggage was lost, had to wait 3 hours for the local ferry and almost fell off the boat, realized what it meant to be in a third world country, found out we may have been in danger due to the rising tensions of the election, my lovely grandma kinda refused to let us explore (even with a guide), and other “wonderful” mishaps.
If I had to rate the trip, it would be a 6/10. I lost all of my excitement as soon as I reached land. I feel like I was probably was expecting some kind of epiphany to happen so I could understand my place in the world.
Nope. I just realized I shouldn’t travel with most of my family.
So if you decide to plan a trip expecting all of your dreams (planned or imagined) to happen, dial it back like 20 notches.
Travel Novelty Can Lead to More Problems
This post from More To That explains why it is not a good thing.
For those who don’t want to click, the author makes the point of how most people use/think of travel as a gateway to a better life/state of mind/version of themselves and move their entire lives for that purpose.
When in actuality, you are just transferring your monotonous routine to a different part of the globe.
For those who do short term travel, your expectations may even be higher since time is of the essence for you.
But changing your scenery or rushing to do everything all at once won’t help you. It will add to your troubles.
So what should you do?
Find the uniqueness in your everyday. There’s always something to find.
More To That advises you should try practicing gratitude.
Finding a reason of why you matter to not only yourself but to those in your life can help you ease that feeling of having to go somewhere to deal with whatever you feel is lacking.
This, in turn, reduces the effect of travel novelty by making not less excited, but more realistic in your expectations since you are less likely to use it as a way to fill a void.
On A Trip And Still Suffering from The Novelty?
The sheer volume of new experiential information encountered each day utterly dwarfs that of a typical day in a familiar place…Jordan Bates of Refine The Mind
And he’s right. I went nuts on a school-sponsored trip to Philadelphia. 8 hours to wander around the city by myself and experience things I couldn’t at home.
I had been to New York but never felt that I could just wander safely. (Need to level up my street smarts)
I remember that day as if it was yesterday.
I knew the moment I got off that coach bus, I was losing time.
So I did two things to prevent overload from all of the new things.
- I made a list of three things I had to see on the bus while we were driving there. If you are flying somewhere, do this the night before.
- I had to go on the subway. I don’t know why, but I love riding them in new places.
- I wanted to see the water from a nice viewpoint. Makes for nice pictures
- And I wanted to find places to practice my photography.
- Then I made a mental list of what I would love to see but wasn’t mandatory. Basically, it was things I could make my mind up when I got there to decide if I wanted to do it.
Most of my number two things didn’t happen since it was Boy Scout Day, so a lot of attractions were filled.
Eh. 🤷🏾♀️ More time for taking photos.
All in all, I ended up having way more time than I needed. I did all of my must-haves and even got into some hi-jinks (I got lost on the subway, was chased by a flock of birds, and stranded on a shaking bridge overlooking a highway).
Got a ton of steps in, explored a new place, and gained confidence in possibly doing solo travel in the future.
So I think I got more out of that then I would have planned the excursion to death. And I think this would help you too. 🙂