So, this person whose acquaintance I have recently made is about to take off for a grand three week biking adventure through France and Spain. Because obviously he’s awesome like that and better than the average human. The question arises, when your friends are seeing and doing things you wish you could be seeing and doing but just can’t see or do right at this exact moment with them, how do you travel vicariously?
Step 1: Envy is OK.
First off, it’s envy, not jealousy–let’s be precise with our wording. Second, it’s OK to want what they have. That’s just a little extra motivation for you to save your pennies or not take that mental health day now so you can have the money and time to have your own travel fun very soon.
Step 2: But being a whiny bitch about it isn’t.
You know why they’re doing this thing now and you’re not? Because we all have priorities, and theirs is three weeks on a bike or a month in Southeast Asia or a long weekend in Miami. And yours is something else, like maybe great restaurant meals or a swanky car or paying off student loans. Everybody made their choices. Don’t fuss about it.
Step 3: Play along at home.
If they’ll have the ability and desire to access the Internet while they’re away, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to see some pictures from the road or hear from them in a quick email or status update. Check out the awesome view from their hotel. Find out what the buskers in Montreal are up to this season. Seriously, we’re all connected almost all the time now, and vacation (for better or worse) usually isn’t any different.
Step 3a: Play along at home, with a slight time delay.
Even if they’re logging off from the electronic world, see if they’d be nice enough to send you a postcard. I always send postcards from trips, usually just to the old people in my life because I think they appreciate them the most. But if I knew somebody else was actually interested in such things, I’d be psyched to send another one. Postcards are like slow-motion, long-distance bragging, and are therefore socially acceptable. They’re the best.
Step 4: Act like a polite person when they get home.
That is, ask how their trip was. Get them to tell you stories and show you pictures (or at least click through their album on FB and salivate and comment and “like” and etc.). If you’re lucky, they’ll share some insider tips that you can use the next time you’re on the road.