It feels more impossible than ever to get into tropical waters, to feel an exotic ocean breeze, to swim with wild creatures, but we have to keep our dream travel visions alive. It’s also more important than ever to figure out how to reconnect with nature.
Richard Louv coined the phrase ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ in his 2005 book the ‘Last Child in the Woods.’ Fifteen years ago Louv argued that everyone, especially the young, are feeling more alienated from nature as we spend more time indoors. He was still talking about it in 2015 and now in 2020 his words are more prescient than ever. As fewer of us are leaving our homes and work long hours where we dwell out of necessity during Covid 19 times, Louv writes that the alienation from nature makes us more vulnerable to negative moods and reduced attention spans.
At the same time research supports travel planning as one of the most enjoyable and beneficial parts of travel. I’ve been daydreaming for months about how to connect with nature in the tropics. It boosts my mood and colors my memories from earlier dive trips.
Over the past few months, nurseries have seen lines out their doors as many of us wait to get seeds and seedlings to plant in home gardens. Windowsills are filling with little cacti and flowers. I for one spent a few hours daily reworking part of my backyard into an outdoor room by moving rocks and gravel, pulling weeds and replanting on a modest budget. The satisfaction of sitting outdoors on a summer evening has been so nourishing.
But I’m a diver at heart and haven’t been in tropical waters for years.
The power of intention
The year began by visualizing dive trips and water escapes in a lighthearted Dream Board workshop with a few friends. Today the board sits on the top of a bookcase in my office. Instead of glancing at it and mourning the loss of travel, I breathe in the blues and shadows, knowing that the world is waiting.
Planning High and Low Escapes
Many of us don’t have the travel budgets or opportunities that were abundant in 2019. That needn’t deter our dream travel. Setting up plans in advance and prioritizing is great medicine as we navigate the changing currents in the world.
Call me a dreamer but I’m not the only one. John Lennon
Right now, as an American, there are few places I can safely or practically travel to. That won’t continue forever. I live near the Mexico border and close to one of two trans-national bridges in the world. Technically, Mexican air travel has been allowed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, along with train and sea travel; driving across the border, commuter rail, and ferry travel have been prohibited.
Mexico opened up for flights into Quintano Roo (the Cancun area) on June 21.st. My travel dream to walk across that bridge into the Tijuana airport and onto a non-stop flight to the Yucatan Peninsula. The flight will land in Cancun and I’ll immediately transfer over to either Isla de Mujeres or Cozumel. How to connect to nature will be put into practice from the moment I look into the clouds as the flight lifts off to my first glimpse of Mexico’s turquoise waters.
At a recent, masked family reunion I sat across from my partner’s cousin and as we got reacquainted, she talked about not having a dive buddy for a late fall trip to the Cancun. How to connect with nature in the tropics just might work itself out. With luck, my Vision Board travel dream will come true.
Aspirational Travel with Soneva Luxury
There’s a line in the song, Happy Talk, from South Pacific by Rodgers and Hammerstein:
“If you don’t have a dream, how you gonna make a dream come true.”
Thailand was high on my dive buddy’s list of places to visit in 2020 but plans have been put on hold. I’m holding fast though and recently discovered the luxury resort chain, Soneva and their unique community experiences, conscious experiences, and support of locals. The pictures for this post are from their site.
At the Soneva Kiri resort in Thailand I would have access to dive sites as well as paddle boarding adventures in Mangrove lined rivers while staying in a luxury villa. At the Soneva Jani resort in the Maldives, Turtle Restoration and Traditional Fishing are among the guest experiences. Sign me up!