I’ve just returned from our family’s annual trip to Guatemala, a trip we made initially to honor my daughter’s heritage and that we now make to catch up with friends and revisit favorite places. It was a good trip – not because everything went smoothly (in fact, lots of things didn’t) - but because we were able to take time away from the busy-ness of our lives and reconnect with each other and the lives of those around us. As we were traveling home, I reflected on what makes travel so important to me and I came up with my own personal 3 R’s: Relax, Reset, and Renew.
Relaxation can take many forms, both passive and active. Reading a book while lying in a hammock can be relaxing, as can taking a hike or catching a live show. For me, relaxation is about taking it easy and not having too many time commitments, or trying to cram too much into one day. I don’t get enough time to be spontaneous; when I travel, I like to be open to the serendipity of what happens, even when it’s not exactly what I would like!
Resetting for me is about resetting my perspective. I am the center of my universe, and travel pulls me out of that orbit for a time (probably not long enough for those I’m closest to!). I am reminded of how people live and work so differently from me – seeing lives tied to the water or to the earth provides a balance to my way of life, which is tied to technology much of the time. I am also reminded to be grateful for what I have. I have access to many more resources and opportunities than do many others in the world, and travel helps me not take that for granted.
Renewal is what I ultimately seek- feeling refreshed and able to come back to this work that I love so much with new creativity, ideas and energy.
I hope this summer has offered you the opportunity for meaningful and enjoyable travel. If you haven’t had a chance to get away, try using the 3 R’s as a way to relax, reset and renew wherever you are. By taking a few minutes to shift your perspective, a new way to solve problems or overcome obstacles can present itself and lead to new inspiration for the work ahead.
I look forward to connecting with many of you on Wednesday September 3, as we travel to Ottawa, CA for the 60th Annual International Downtown Association’s annual conference. Come find us at Booth #202 and play our PLACE game, where we will challenge you to identify places from all over the world. You’ll be able to virtually travel and take advantage of the 3 R’s for at least a few minutes during an exciting and valuable conference. Of course, there will be prizes and chocolate involved!