Travel is my personal licensing for slowing down, reflecting, gaining an alternative perspective, escaping, and adapting a new sense of inspiration. Max and I did quite a bit a traveling last year but we were new as a couple. Still finding our footing in being fully seen (intimacy) while remaining guarded and tough at the same time. Now it feels as if we’ve been together forever and accept all the angles of each other. Needless to say, it was hard to be completely present on those travels. The brain chemistry alternate universe of falling in love combined with a quiet buzz of self-consciousness can certainly take everyone out of the moment.
I’ve been reflecting on last year’s travels these past two weeks, and witnessing a small fear coming up. Was it because we are both so invested in our work that we found it hard to fully relish in our Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Italy experiences? Worried about the subtle disconnect I had, when we were there, vs. how it was "supposed" to feel. Therefore, two weeks ago this tiny fear reappeared fearing our upcoming trip could repeat the same numbness. NUMBNESS in those cities?!!!
Then the clarity set in. I took inventory of where we were emotionally and the stage in our relationship, and it became very apparent that we are in a completely different place this year: professionally, individually, as well as intimately. I forgave myself for being such an ultra-sensitive person and the guilt that being privileged to even have such experiences can lend to. I shifted into gratitude for the beauty of time, constant development, and vulnerability that propels these deeper discoveries and shifts. A LOT changes and a lot has changed. So, I write this memo to myself more than anything. A reminder, if you will. Reminding myself of my personal practices – pre relationship - that allow me to escape, slow down, reflect, get inspired, rebel, and gain a sense of inspiration away from home. Here’s how I like to mindfully travel.
i. Journal. I still have my journal from my first six-week trip to Europe at nineteen. Complete with drawings, scribbles, meeting potential lovers, quarrels with my friend and traveling partner. Our totally transformative conversations and new depths of love in our relationship, as friends, for experiencing a slice of life in a place that was first for both of us and could never be replicated again by another - ever. A losing our Europe virginity together (feels suiting) and all the heightened senses experiences that come with that. A portal forever sacred and held in romanticism.
ii. Thrift. Some of my greatest treasures are from flea markets and thrift stores abroad. From leather purses, clothes, weaves, linens to objects. They hold a story, an experience, and continue that romantic vibration in my heart/home long after.
iii. Art. Not for the pretentiousness of it, and especially not because I’m supposed to – which can be sort of a societal travel pressure. The main reason I love to visit all types of art abroad is to satisfy the designer in me. I’m looking at colors, shapes, fonts, and statements that I can bleed into my life, work, home, and personal expression. Art around the world certainly satisfies that archetype in me.
iv. Culture. I LOVE picking up cultural nuances. I love what the women (and men) of each culture have taught me about expression, style, love, design, and energy. I have notes and notes in my past travel journals. I always take inventory on the flight back to LA. After France: ride bikes, and walk more. Give up bras, embrace natural hair, wear a bold lip, enjoy liver, arrange wild flowers, and drink aperitifs, less is more… You get the point.
v. Health. What anchors me into any city is finding the health mart. It introduces me to new neighborhoods, helps me find my internal compass, and discovering new versions of my staples grounds and connects me.