Try to remember the last trip you went on.
At what point did it start? Was it when you checked into your hotel? Or was it before that, when you boarded the plane? Or was it still at home as you packed?
I think, in general, travel actually begins the moment you book your flights or hotels – the moment you commit.
After booking travel, you start to use your departure date as a reference point. You might find yourself thinking, “Only three weeks before I leave” or “This is my last Monday before I go!”
Oh, and it definitely gives you bragging rights when people ask you what you are up to these days.
Knowing you will be leaving town also often provides inspiration to do things you might not normally do.
Before a trip, maybe you put in a few extra hours at work, finding an untapped reservoir of motivation. Or maybe you have taken on a project at home just so when you get back it will finally be done. And I know I’ve definitely hit the gym more often when I know a trip is on my horizon.
And then there’s the daydreaming that future travels promote.
“Just think, in two weeks I’ll be laying on the beach (or skiing down a mountain, hiking to Machu Pichu or eating a Parisian croissant.)”
Personally, I am in this anticipation and daydreaming mode right now. I know I’m going to spend some time in Europe this summer. And I keep thinking about wandering through the streets of Rome, stumbling upon hidden gem restaurants, and reconnecting with old friends.
And even though my trip to Europe isn’t for another two months, somehow, I’m already there in my mind.
The benefits of travel are not just felt while away and upon reflection once we return, they are present even before we leave.