This post is all about travel anticipation, wanderlust and me looking forward to my coming thru-hike on the Continental Divide Trail in the USA.

Chances are, I have to cancel my plans for my CDT hiking adventure. I feel bummed about it — and guilty for mourning an eventual plan change while the Covid-19 pandemic causes others to lose much more. I am pretty sure, that many hiking or travel addicts experience similar feelings and a strong wanderlust.

To maintain my excitement for some long hike or even thruhike I dive a little deeper into the phenomena av anticipation.

Anticipation is the greatest joy

The travel anticipation is an emotion that is characterized by the expectation of a future trip. And it ends when this journey occurs. This excitement expresses the joy of both semantically and temporally.

The importance of travel anticipation

With no trips to anticipate or trips, we are not sure if we can start them, we have less beautiful things to think. But our wanderlust stays strong. The travel anticipation serves as a distraction, brings daydreams or gives a little motivational boost. It adds everyday life a shine that makes everything better and more beautiful.

The positive effect of pre-travel expectations

That it is one of the most beautiful joy is also proven by many psychological studies. The prospect of beautiful travel events fills us with more joy and stronger positive emotions. So it is good to plan some wonderful experiences for the future. It as well acts as a kind of buffer against stress and helps you deal better with stress.

When we are anticipating, there is always a feeling of hope that it will be beautiful in the future. Many studies have shown that hope is one of the most valuable feelings we humans can have.

For more anticipation, we should plan experiences instead of purchases

If we wait for experiences, for example, a movie night or a concert, we are happier and more excited than when we wait to get our new smartphone or the new car. If we wait for something material, we feel less anticipation and excitement, but rather an impatience.

The same thing is also reflected in the waiting behaviour. People who stand in line to buy something behave worse than people who stand in line to get tickets for an event. That probably also explains why there are regular fights on Black Friday and at rooting tables.

But now we are living with Covid-19

If I dream of my next planned hiking adventure in anticipatory joy, do I not risk being disappointed? What if I can not leave for my planned CDT thru-hike next summer and satisfy my travel bug? Do not all that built-up travel anticipation make things worse?

Here you find an interesting article about Travelling an Covid-19!

If something expected does not take place

If an event we are anticipating doesn´t take place or must be changed, we are disappointed. We suffer feelings of shame or guilt, also feelings of sadness. Because we have lost something that is a part of our life and it has given direction and content.

Is the disappointment bigger when I allow myself to look forward to this great adventure? Not really! Not letting anticipation arise does not prevent disappointment.

How can I reduce or control my travel anticipation?

I know that I do not get rid of wanderlust completely, but I can ignore or at least lighten them. If I give up on that CDT anticipation, I could enjoy the thought of a long trail hike wherever suitable, depending on all Covid-19 restrictions.

But how do I surrender that excitement about the Continental Divide Trail?

I did not know and took a moment to try to find it out. I had to think about it myself to find a way to look forward to next summer. I had previously avoided thinking much about the coming summer. But then I decided to open up for other hiking options since my wanderlust still teased me.

The first alternative is the Via Alpina

in combination with the High Route Pyrenees. A thru-hike from Northern Italy to the border of France and Spain on the Atlantic. The Via Alpina follows the bow of the Alps from Trieste to Monaco. And the High Route Pyrenees tracks through the Pyrenees from Banyuls-sur-Mer to San Sebastian.

The second choice is the “Norge på längs”

in combination with the Green Ribbon in Sweden. A thru-hike of Norway, from the most southern point Lindesnes to the North Cape. Followed by the long trail of the Green Ribbon in Sweden. From the Trerisksröset (Three country border) to Grövelsjön.

Read more about my options on my page coming adventures

The returned peace in my hiking mind

Since my decision about the above mentioned three options, I feel great peace and gratitude. No matter what, there will be a way for me to hike next summer. Depending on the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic I will have a choice. And every single of these options has even advantages compared to the CDT. I changed my mindset successfully.

Could living in the here and now be the meaning of life?

With the help of the process and my decision for hiking alternatives I came a big step closer to my life goal.

Travel anticipation is a great joy. But live in this actual moment. It is the only way to find peace for ourselves. Of course, that by no means excludes wanderlust and looking forward to something. And to dream. I say: go on trips in both directions.

A trip back in time can be helpful

For example, when I remember something and learn from it. Looking forward to something gives me energy, lets me shine and be happy. Just take this with you when you come back, look around gently and keep smiling.

Living in the here and now means neither forgetting what was nor closing oneself off from what may come. And yet it is the moment that counts. The moment is everything. At the same time, I open myself and look. In all directions and with joy. More about living in the here and now I will write in a later blog post. Stay tuned!

Further planning of my thru-hikes and throwbacks

Right now, I am waiting with further detail planning of my coming hiking summer until I can judge the pandemic situation better. Lately cruise news about the USA, which eventually reopens for European travellers. This information makes me happy. But I no longer depend on the decision of the US government. I feel free.

During my waiting status – which I enjoy in my tiny house on wheels, I will indulge myself in old photographs of my daily life in the arctic, my former hikes and countless outdoor experiences. For example in my latest hiking adventure in the Sarek National Park or my thru-hike on the Pacific Crest Trail.

If you are interested in my adventure throwbacks, check out my blog or follow me on my Instagram