Coping with an Unrequited Love {of Travel}

by Adrienne Garrison / Dec 03, 2014 / 0 comments

The summer before last, my husband and I were smiled upon by the travel gods with an uninterrupted 5 weeks of coinciding vacation time. (Cue angelic choir.) We knew over a year in advance that we would have the entire month of July free for travel and began saving in October, booked our flights in February, and spent hundreds of hours planning in order to make the most of our three weeks in Europe.


Torc Waterfall, Ireland. From Coping with an Unrequited Love {of Travel}

Torc waterfall, Ireland


I learned so much about travel, managing my expectations, and the depth of my husband's patience and love for me on that trip. When we returned, I printed our pictures from Instagram and created a photo collage in our dining area that we gaze at with starry eyes and reminisce. Isn't hindsight the ultimate pink-tinged perspective?


Paris! From Coping with an Unrequited Love {of Travel}

Picnicking on Champ de Mars, Paris


Very quickly I realized that I hadn't quenched a thirst for travel so much as ignited a burning passion. But traveling abroad is not in the cards for us at the moment, so I've learned some coping mechanisms to quell the desire (at least for a moment).


Vernazza, Italy. From Coping with an Unrequited Love {of Travel}

View of Vernazza, Italy


1.    Travel vicariously through podcasts

I began listening to Rick Steve's while planning our trip to Europe. I had been given Europe Through the Back Door and decided to tune in to his weekly chat with local travel guides across the world. What isn't to love about hearing native experts speak to the countless amazing treasures to be uncovered across the globe? And I've always been a sucker for accents.

More recently, I've begun tuning into Extra Pack of Peanuts, which seems to gather more travel wisdom and money saving ideas than detailing specific locations. In a recent podcast, they discuss finding the "sweet spot" in travel between time, money, and comfort.


2.    Connect with other travel junkies online

My ultimate blogger crush, Gal Meets Glam (a fashion blogger), was recently on a month long tour of Europe. Sometimes visiting travel blogs when you can't travel is a little like walking into a bakery when you're cutting carbs. Cruel and unusual. But, years ago when I was stuck in a dorm room, I spent countless hours flipping through Domino magazines and home design books; I credit this time to developing my taste in home decor. By feasting my eyes on amazing travel photos, I am narrowing down my travel wish list so that when I do get to globe trot, I'll know right where I want to land.

I'm still looking for more travel blogs and haven't fastened on to very many, but do sometimes enjoy: and others (rec's appreciated!).


Coping with an Unrequited Love {of Travel}


3.    Take microadventures

Something within driving distance of your back door, something exciting, new, unexpected, and waiting to be discovered. I will admit that we are located in the perfect area to fulfill these requirements with the Sierras and the Pacific just a few hours away, but even growing up in rural Indiana, there were extraordinary gems to find. Read more about my West Coast microadventures here.


4.    Surround yourself with others who love to travel

Few things make me light up more than swapping travel stories (or even better, tips!). Make a point of leaning in to those pauses in conversation to ask if they've been anywhere interesting in the last few years. You'll be surprised at the adventures that the people you encounter in everyday life have had and can share with you if you only ask.


5. Finally, analyze your barriers to travel and work to break them down.

Is it money? Simply google the phrase "how to save for travel" and you will find a multitude of inspiring posts by people who worked minimum wage jobs and made small daily sacrifices that amounted to a few months abroad. It has a lot to do with getting creative and prioritizing travel above all other expenditures. (Maybe you need to ask yourself, do you really want to travel, or are you all talk?)

Is it time? I don't know what to say, friend, aside from the fact that we only get so much. I understand that some of us are locked into schooling or jobs that we love, but take advantage of the seams between one project and the next and extend them. If you're truly an asset, they are investing in you by allowing you to feed the other dimensions of yourself.

Is it love? This happens to be my exact predicament. As an educator, I am gifted with several weeks off a year, but my husband is currently in a four-year medical residency and cannot arrange time off for traveling abroad. I'm slowly but surely opening my mind to the possibility of solo travel. It hasn't so much been the fear of traveling alone (I'm quite independent, thank-you-very-much) as the guilt of consuming our resources and having an amazing experience without him.

So there you have it, my time-tested methods for coping with travel envy.


How do you deal when your love for travel is a long-distance relationship?


London! From Coping with an Unrequited Love {of Travel}

London from St. Paul's




Adrienne Garrison, the West Coast Editor for Wandering Educators, is an avid reader, hiker and foodie living in Central California at the base of the Sierras. She jumps at any opportunity to explore the West Coast and the wide world beyond. Adrienne is also a primary years educator in an international baccalaureate program and enjoys sparking children's curiosity and reading books aloud in a variety of voices. For vicarious travel opportunities in living color, visit her blog at



All photos courtesy and copyright Adrienne Garrison