WE MISS TRAVEL! Reflections from our team
June 26, 2020   //   By:   //   Articles   //   Comments are off

The excitement and anticipation before an adventure begins, getting lost along a cobblestone road, new and delicious foods to experience, learning about different cultures, shopping!… Like many of you, we miss traveling and can’t wait to explore our world again. For a team of adventurers, the last few months have reminded us why we chose this career in the first place and allowed us to look more closely at what more we can learn about our own communities. 

Some of my best memories have been made while traveling. Shortly after joining ETA I was assigned to trips with students to London, Paris, Berlin and The Netherlands! I’ve always been a natural explorer and had traveled through much of the United States so these opportunities were such a gift! I remember the rush of adrenaline I would get every time I touched down in a new city full of curiosity and excitement about what I was going to learn, who I might meet and what beautiful culture I would get to experience. 

As someone who is stuck in a New York City apartment, I’ve been spending my time on my roof-top staring at the city skyline marveling at its beauty, sunhat on my head, imagining myself on an island with the waves in my ear. From that same rooftop, I’ve also found a renewed appreciation for the resilience and strength of my city every evening at 7pm when the city erupts in applause for our medical professionals and essential workers. 

Many of us at ETA are missing travel experiences. I reached out to our team and here are some of the things we miss the most! 

What we are missing… here are our favorite things about traveling 

  • Living out of a suitcase
  • Sending postcards home to family and friends
  • Seeing new things
  • Breaking out of our routines
  • Shopping! 
  • The anticipation before a trip begins
  • Planning and mapping out the experience ahead of time 
  • Having a plan, and then breaking it 
  • Meeting new people
  • And from a tour guide – running into friends along the way!

Making the best of it and looking forward

While travel to distant places may be more challenging this summer, our team is engaging with the communities where we live and finding there are things to learn right in our own hometown. Many of us are volunteering, supporting hometown businesses and taking advantage of our local parks, trails and beaches. Hot commodities are slip and slides, kiddie pools and trampolines. Some still can’t shake the travel bug and are renting RVs and hitting the open road! 

From our team member Justine in Philadelphia: 

One of my favorite parts of traveling is the anticipation of the unknown and what’s to come as I start planning and packing for my trips. I get really excited about what I will learn and experience in a new place, but I’m trying to get to know and appreciate my city and what it has to offer right now. It’s a great opportunity to find ways to stay connected to my own community whether it be just going on walks or finding new local business to support during this time. 

Emily from New Jersey: 

One of my favorite parts of traveling is having a general plan, a wishlist if you will, but allowing a lot of room for spontaneity which allows me to be fully present. I feel I meet such interesting people and have the best experiences when I welcome and embrace whatever comes up.

I have been spending a lot of time with my family, going on walks, bike rides, and am feeling even more appreciative that I live two blocks from the beach. 

Michael from New Jersey: 

My favorite part of traveling is the unplanned stops along the way. Even though we’re still planning on some local road trips with an RV, we’re feeling a little constricted knowing that we may not be able to make those unplanned stops to stroll in a town, explore a city or enjoy a meal in a restaurant. We’re happy we can still get on the road and experience travel in a different way but we’re looking forward to the return of “good old days” when we can explore care-free.  For now we’ll take the safe route and make a more careful plan and stick to it!

And another one of our team members living in New York City shared her thoughts with me. Here’s what Deborah had to say: 

I miss the thrill of discovering a new destination: trying local food and wine, exploring museums, roaming the streets and popping into local shops.  I love the fun of wandering the aisles of foreign grocery stores and bringing home interesting foods: my kitchen is full of French mustard and pate, English tea, Hungarian paprika, Canadian maple syrup, Italian pignoli nuts, Belgian speculoos cookies and a seasoning mix called Vegeta from Poland, among other things.

Until we can travel again, I’m planning future trips and cooking with all the interesting edibles I’ve brought home from my travels. When I want to feel like I’m back in France, I open a jar of pate, add a baguette and brie from the grocery store and pour a glass of chilled rose.  If I close my eyes, I can almost pretend I’m having a picnic in Paris instead of spending yet another day in my apartment.

Whenever travel resumes we know we will be filled with gratitude for the ability to explore and for the people and communities that helped us through this time. We hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy. What kind of trips are you dreaming of these days? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! 

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