You know what I mean, right? That dreaded phrase.
To be honest, hearing it gives me the heebie geebies. It puts my stomach in knots.
I remember when I was in the dating scene, this phrase was tossed around like it was nothing, and yet nobody wanted to date someone with “emotional baggage.” It was like warding off an evil creature.
Funny thing is, we ALL have it.
We all have experiences from our past that can still have a negative impact on us even now.
That’s what emotional baggage is. It’s the backpack or suitcase full of negative, unprocessed emotions we’ve picked up and dragged around with us over the years. These emotions come from people, places, behaviors and experiences from our past.
So what then is “Emotional Travel Baggage?”
I’m glad you asked 😉
My definition of emotional travel baggage is similar.
It’s the luggage full of negative, unprocessed travel experiences we’ve had throughout our lives. These can come from places we’ve visited, people we’ve traveled with or left behind, a negative way we felt during travel or about traveling in general, even if you’re not a traveler.
Your baggage could look like a small backpack, but the heaviness of it is still dragging you down.
Maybe it’s carry-on size, weighing more so you had to roll it around with you.
Or just maybe, you’ve got so many residual travel emotions floating around, that you had to cram them all inside a large, checked bag.
We’ve all had these experiences, right?
I know I can’t be the only one who’s ever missed a flight, gotten lost in another city, lost cell signal at an inconvenient time, or spent a trip arguing with a loved one.
Travel can be hard. It can test your patience and resolve. And even though we all made it through these various experiences, they can get trapped in our subconscious, whether we are aware of it or not.
Here’s a story that can help explain what we can do when we realize we are dealing with emotional travel baggage.
I was planning a road trip for my boyfriend and I the other day and during my planning process, I started thinking about some other road trips we’d been on together, and the negative parts of them. This didn’t feel good and I was starting to feel anxious about how this trip would go, my mind starting to spin off.
Luckily, it was like something snapped and I came to. I became aware of my thought process and where these thoughts were headed. Sure enough, they were up to no good!
So I made a conscious choice to shift my thinking. I realized carrying around this emotional travel baggage from road trips past wasn’t good for me OR our relationship. I had to let that shit go. I had to be open to having a new experience. Otherwise I’d just keep letting my past drag me down. And that’s just not how I roll.
So I did what I do best. I started planning how I would prepare for this 5 hour drive and I thought about what I could do differently this time to create a new experience.
I starting putting together Spotify playlists in my head, made of list of podcasts I’ve been wanting to listen to and downloaded a book. I thought about the variety of snacks we require to keep us from getting grumpy and decided when we would take turns driving. Suddenly I was feeling positive!
Unpacking our emotional travel baggage isn’t always that easy, but there ARE things you can do.
You can journal, talk to a friend, mentor or therapist. You can create a crystal grid around the theme of letting go. You can even sit in meditation and imagine yourself taking off the backpack or unpacking the suitcase. As you close it back up, fill it with pink light instead.
We can create travel vision boards to focus on how we DO want to feel on our next trip as well.
We can move our bodies. Put on a song and the negative or positive emotions have a voice by how they want to move through your body.
We can look back on our past, say thank you to those old experiences, and realize that even those “negative” experiences have shaped who we are as a traveler.
Everything we’ve gone through, brought us to this place we are. And here, right now, is exactly where you are supposed to be.
I now invite you to make 3 lists.
The first list will be all of the negative experiences and feelings you’ve had around travel throughout your life.
The second list will be all the ways YOU WANT TO FEEL during or about travel.
And the third is a list of all of the travel experiences you’ve had that you’re grateful for.
After you’ve made your lists, I’d love to hear from you, if you feel called to share how making these lists felt for you. Leave a comment below!
“We care. We do not carry.”