Self-Nudge

As someone who finds a great deal of fulfillment in travel, I don’t enjoy being limited in that regard—in terms of legal limitations but also in terms of self-enforced, prudence-based constraints.

I’ve been keeping a close eye on things, and though I do think there are relatively safe ways to bumble about right now, in some contexts and for some people, I don’t particularly like the type of highly constrained travel that’s currently on the menu.

The number and magnitude of uncertainties at play are also incentivizing me to remain relatively homebound until we collectively achieve an overall safer, less-restricted state of itinerant play.

That said, travel for me is primarily about exploration and exposure to new perspectives. And I’ve learned over the years that I can glean many of the same benefits I typically derive from travel from intentional immersion in other sorts of activities and endeavors.

Learning new skills, engaging with stories and information and experiences that I’ve never taken the time to properly consider and/or understand, and exposing myself to new ideas and perspectives are all undertakings that can be attempted from anywhere, including familiar places and spaces.

Travel has a way of decoupling us from our habits and routines and anchors, and it can consequently nudge us into more exploratory tendencies and states of mind. But we can learn to nudge ourselves in that direction, too, with the proper motivation and a little practice.

Thus, while I hate what’s happening and cannot wait for this horrible situation to pass and some new state of normalcy to return to the world—ideally one in which casual travel is safe and available and advisable once more (and perhaps even more equitably than before)—I’m also okay in the sense that I have plenty to do and learn and experience and explore from wherever I happen to find myself in the meantime.

Being able to self-nudge into that exploratory state of mind while in a familiar, often less frictionful environment takes practice and it’s not a replacement for perambulatory exploration: ideally the growth you achieve from home is balanced with the sort of growth you experience while rambling around less-familiar physical contexts.

But honing the ability to intentionally flip between different inquisitive, motivated mindsets is an investment that tends to pay off, whatever the state of the world and wherever you might find yourself.

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