While I am one of those people who genuinely thinks that travelers should avoid distractions during a trip to be able to be fully immerse themselves in the experience and make the most out of it, I have to admit that there are times when you need something to pass the time. It’s almost inevitable that at least once during a trip, you’ll experience something like a long drive or flight, a layover, a train or bus trip in-between destinations, an impossibly rainy day or just get sick and stuck in bed for a day or two.
During those times, although you can sometimes find people to chat with, it is not always the case. Having a project with you will help you distract yourself during those times, and possibly provide some sort of comfort. While we’re at it, why bring would “comfort” be needed on a trip? Well, although travelling is meant to be a very special experience, it can also be stressful at times.
Missing a flight connection or train? Loosing your passport or luggage? Getting sick or hurt, and having to go to the hospital in a place you don’t speak the language? Hotel can’t find your reservation? The list goes on. Some seasoned travelers will see those mishaps as learning opportunities (and believe me, you should too!), but for most – especially for those of us suffering from anxiety, those experiences can be very stressful. During those times, I’ve always felt like bringing a knit with me helps me relax and calm down, deal with the situation better, pass time while I have to wait for the problem to be resolved and feel more grounded in an unfamiliar environment.
Also, bringing a project with you can sometimes encourage locals to come to you and chat, because they might get interested in what you’re doing. It’s happened to me more than once, so I can vouch for that!