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Full Disclosure, fellow wayfarers: I’m a jealous lady.
Hey, one of my favorite Shakespeare plays is Othello. The central character’s downfall and Iago’s maniacal schemes fascinated me when I was a senior in college. I had to read the tragedy for my midterm exam on the Jacobean plays and was (frighteningly) absorbed in the plot, because I could relate to the ways jealousy destroyed the main characters and resulted in a bloodbath.
Horrible, huh? No wonder I couldn’t keep a steady boyfriend.
Anyway, the whole “green-eyed monster” aspect of my personality isn’t a secret hidden from my family and friends. I own my flaws. Perfection irritates me. What irritates me even more are people who pretend to be perfect. Honestly, I think our personal blemishes are much easier to confront and defeat once their shadowy evilness is thrown out into the open. Don’t hide that stuff away. Own it. Fix it.
Regardless of my willingness to admit my flaws, I try my best not to angst endlessly about the people who I’m jealous of on this blog. Jealousy is a toxic emotion and shouldn’t be glorified online. It’s bad for my mental health, it’s bad for accomplishing my goals, and quite frankly, no one wants to read the rant after rant written by envious blond girl who lives in New Jersey. Am I right?
Blond Wayfarer is meant to offer a positive space for me. It’s a happy place to write about my travels and reach out to people – especially younger women – who may be hesitant about booking their first few trips. Whining about “Everyone Else Having Such An Easy Life” defeats this site’s mission.
My envy doesn’t completely disappear, though.
As for examples? Uhh. Let’s just say that I’ve had to deactivate my facebook during my graduate school years. Seeing all those “I got the perfect job AND got engaged to my best friend!” status updates literally made me 1. sick to my stomach and 2. wanna smash a hammer into my laptop.
Yeah, I lost a few facebook acquaintances. Whoops.
My jealousy extends to travels, too.
Fortunately I usually feel happy for family and friends if they book a trip, especially if they’re nervous about going overseas and decided to face their fears. I’m all about crushing fears, man. But still. Jealousy sneaks up on me. Whether I’m seething because another traveler blogger has ample time to explore New Zealand and Australia, or a close friend is taking an epic safari to Kenya and Tanzania, travel envy brings me down.
This post is seriously a case of “I should follow my own advice,” but I still felt it was important enough to write. Let’s face it: we’re always comparing ourselves to everyone else and therefore robbing ourselves of happiness.
Why do we do that? It needs to stop.
So I’m here to help by discussing five secrets for destroying travel envy.
1. Plan your next trip.
I am addicted to planning trips even if I don’t take them for another six months or two years. I’ll waste time on Pinterest, watch youtube videos with my dream destination in mind, read travel blogs, you name it!
My laptop has 500 half-written and finished itineraries for future trips! Who knows. I may book them soon.
Planning a trip keeps you focused on the prize: an adventure at the end of a long tunnel.
2. Work on a super creative project.
If you’re stuck at home, you probably have some spare time on your hands, despite your job and social obligations. Use that time for positive changes and creativity rather than leaving trollish jealous comments on instagram. You don’t wanna turn into a hater.
Are you a photographer? Create a website showcasing your best travel photos. Are you a writer? Try your hand at freelancing and submit to one of many travel sites to “wow!” browsers with your eloquent words. Are you a designer? Try to design a spectacular theme for wordpress.
This year I wanna focus on creating an e-book that helps anxious travelers, especially fearful fliers, achieve all their dreams. Stay tuned for updates on this project!
3. Take a damn break from social media.
Social media, in general, is great for pissing people off and sending them into a jealous rage. Like I already said, new job and engagement facebook posts get under my skin. Big time.
Honestly we shouldn’t give social media, whether it’s facebook or instagram or twitter, so much power over our personal happiness. We all know social media presents a skewed view of reality. People post about exciting events while hiding the bad ones so we fall into a trap and believe their lives are perfect one-hundred percent of the time. Why we constantly buy into this fakeness and beat ourselves up is beyond me.
If you’re feeling super jealous of a friend’s travels, then turn off the computer and iPhone, and go outside for a walk. Go shopping. Go to lunch at a swanky new cafe. But don’t constantly check your facebook feed. You’ll feel much better if you turn that crap off for a day. Trust me.
4. Go on a staycation.
New Jersey sucks in a lot of ways (sorry) but you can’t deny its location is awesome. I’m only twenty minutes away from Philadelphia, and two and a half hours away from New York City. And the Jersey Shore? Avalon and Stone Harbor awaits in the summer months! Beach, ice cream, cute boutiques, and burgers on the grill!
As you can see, if I’m jealous or upset, it’s incredibly easy for me to take day trips to some pretty happening places. All I have to do is jump in my car or purchase a train ticket. And bam! Fun times!
Unless you’re locked up in a super max prison or reside on an island in the middle of the Arctic Sea, you can find a cool park or town, and be a tourist for a day. You never know what adventures you’ll discover in your own backyard.
5. Remember your own amazing travels.
This tip is especially relevant for people who’ve taken plenty of incredible trips themselves. Come on! You are awesome! Why’re you comparing your trips to someone else’s? You’ve already seen and done so much, and you will do more if you’d just be a little patient.
In the meantime, think back to those amazing memories on the road. Flip through your travel journal. Gaze at your travel photos. Reconnect with former travel buddies on facebook. Just because a trip has ended doesn’t mean it’s not still a huge part of your life.
And don’t underestimate the lives you’ve already touched through your travels either. My former hostel friends and tour friends and couchsurfing friends literally saved my mental state. And I don’t take that for granted.
Are you a jealous person? What are your secrets for destroying travel envy? Or are you not a jealous person? In that case, tell me your secrets so I don’t have to feel toxic anymore, haha! As always, thanks for visiting Blond Wayfarer.