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The In-Between

We often focus so much on reaching our destination that we forget to enjoy the journey itself. But the in-between moments on our travels can be just as memorable and rewarding as the final destination. Whether it’s a long layover, a train ride through the countryside, or a ferry trip along a scenic coast, these moments offer a chance to slow down, relax, and appreciate the beauty around us. By embracing the in-between, we can find unexpected joy and adventure, and create lasting memories that will stay with us long after the trip is over.

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Reflection in Transit 

The journey has its own magic that the destination can’t match. Road tripping through mountains, train rides through countryside, long bus rides passing small towns every so often. I’m all about those in-between moments. You know, where the thrill and anticipation collide?

One of my all-time favorites? A ferry ride from Salerno to Positano, Italy. The sun was beaming, and we just hopped off a scenic train from Rome. With Positano in our sights, my family was ready for the next leg.

Once we set sail, the Amalfi Coast unfolded. Majestic cliffs, crystal-clear waters. Pure awe. Every second brought more relaxation, as if the sea’s undulations massaged away stress you didn’t even know you had. It was like riding a gentle sea monster to a place of peace. The engine hum and passenger chatter faded as I got lost in the breathtaking beauty.

Two glorious hours of bliss and serenity.

The Journey to a Destination 

Traveling is an exciting and fulfilling experience that offers so much more than just arriving at a destination. The journey itself is often the most memorable and enjoyable part of traveling, at least for me. The process of getting from point A to point B is full of new experiences, adventures, and unexpected encounters.

As a frequent traveler, I have come to appreciate the in-between moments that occur during transit. This fascination with the journey to a destination has inspired me to reflect on why these moments are so meaningful. 

What It Means to Me 

The in-between is the time spent in transit from one destination to another. The time spent in airports (I’m including lounges here), train stations, bus terminals, and on the road. The time spent waiting for a connection, standing in line, or sitting in traffic.

The in-between can be both invigorating and vexing, and it is often a mix of both. 

A Feeling of Freedom 

One of the reasons I am fascinated by the in-between is the feeling of freedom that comes with being in motion. When I am on the road, I feel like I am in control of my destiny. I am not bound by my routine and I am free to explore new places, meet new people, and try new things. The feeling of being in motion is liberating, and it opens up a world of possibilities. 

A Chance to Slow Down 

The in-between is also a chance to slow down and take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life.  During transit, there is no need to rush, and there is no pressure to be anywhere at a specific time. It is an opportunity to take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy the journey. The in-between moments can be a chance to reflect, meditate, or simply enjoy the scenery.  

Unexpected Encounters

Some of the most fascinating people I have ever met and hidden gems I have ever discovered were during the in-between moments. 

Picture this: I’m at a Paris airport. Hours before our flight, waiting for check-in to open. It’s pretty early in the morning and I’m feeling restless. But then, out of the blue, I start chatting with these two fascinating ladies who grab my attention like nothing else. We started the conversation standing at a distance and talking to each other like strangers. And then at some point found ourselves sitting butterfly-style, knee-to-knee like we had known each other for years.

The first woman, a chill nomad, follows the music for a living. I mean literally she works at music festivals year-round. As soon as one ends, she’s on to the next one, wherever it is in the world. And her stories? Absolute madness – I love it.

The other: super warm and friendly, also a nomad and solo traveler. She tells me about all of the countries she’s visited in the last couple years. Then adds in her visa trouble in multiple countries and run-ins with the law due to it. She just had a way with words, and just so positive about life and her adventures. It sounded like a movie script honestly. So of course I’m glued, taking in every word, completely lost in the moment. And get this—security swoops in and escorts her away. Just like that. Crazy, but also sad. That memory though? Forever etched in my mind. (She mentioned her IG and I swear I tried searching for her for nearly a year before finally giving up. Ugh. I’d love to know how she’s doing these days.)

But yea – I shared a light-hearted example but I think you get it – the in-between moments create memories and stories that stay with you long after the trip is over.

They’re the kind of memories that you randomly think about while at the grocery store and catch yourself chuckling out loud, only to realize that people around you think you’re a bit loony.

They linger, in the best way possible. It’s the magic of the in-between. 

Making the Most of the In-Between Moments 

To make the most of the in-between moments during travel, you have to be open to new experiences and embrace the unexpected. The coolest adventures happen when you step outta that comfy bubble and try something new. It can be as simple as striking up a conversation with a stranger, trying a new type of food, or taking a detour to see that less popular local attraction. 

And don’t forget to rest and recharge. That’s an equally important in-between moment – just the other side of the same coin.

Traveling can be exhausting. And I know I personally have the tendency to want to do everything, everywhere. But it is important to take breaks and slow down. Even when you don’t think you need it. This could mean taking a nap on a train, diving into a good book at an airport, or simply enjoying the view from a bus window. 

Finding Stillness in Transit

The in-between is a magical space, a limbo where time and space seem to stand still, but not at all, all at once. It is the space of transit, of motion, and of the journey to a destination. It is the place where we let go of our routines, our worries, and our expectations. It is the space where we can connect with ourselves, with others, and with the world. It is a space of endless possibilities and unexpected encounters. 

Traveling is not just about reaching a destination. It is about the journey. It is about the moments of serendipity and spontaneity, and the moments of reflection and introspection. It is about the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that we encounter along the way, and the memories that we create. 

The in-between is where we find ourselves in the stillness, and in the motion. It is where we discover our passions, our fears, and our dreams. It is where we challenge ourselves, and where we find the courage to take risks and try new things. It is where we learn to appreciate the beauty of the world, and the diversity of its people. 

Being in motion, in transit, is not just a physical state, but a mental one as well. It is a state of mind that allows us to let go of our preconceptions, our biases, and our judgments. It is a state of openness, curiosity, and empathy. It is a state of being that allows us to see the world in a new light, and to appreciate its complexities and nuances. 

Sure, the journey to a destination is not always easy. But it is always rewarding. It is a journey that requires us to be patient, resilient, and adaptable. It is a journey that challenges us to step outside of our comfort zones, and to embrace the unknown. It is a journey that teaches us to be humble, and to appreciate the gifts that life has to offer. 

It’s the moment, before the moment. Before the perfect picture we take for our social media. Before the text you send to your loved ones that you’ve arrived. It enriches every travel experience. Actually, in the spaces between? That’s where travel finds its soul.

The ferry ride to Positano reminded me that the space in-between is more than just a waiting period. I will always embrace it, savor it, and let it transform me because the journey itself is just as meaningful as the destination. 

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