As our lives become ever more hectic and busy, it really is important that we all make that quality ‘me time’ that often comes (albeit not exclusively) with travel.
It doesn’t matter where you choose to go, how you do it or even if you stay close to home – travel, gives us the opportunity to break a mould, rut and pattern that sometimes makes us less happy than we deserve to be.
This is why I feel it’s important that each and everyone of us cherish that quality time to see more of what’s around us – opening our minds to different perspectives and places that can only ever better ourselves.
All of these tips I’ve learned can actually be implemented in day to day life too, it just so happens that I came across them whilst travelling. This all made me want to share the very best ways I’ve found to better myself and truly learn from travel experiences.
1.) Travel allows us to be accepting of difference
One of the most important things travel does for each of us is to open our mind to the people and world. Travel makes us less insular, much less fearful of difference and, in truth, (with the help of a famous book title) it helps us to appreciate all the beautiful ways in which others eat, pray and love…
2.) To consider new possibilities
One thing I love most about travel is its ability to make us think ‘outside the box’ that we often put ourselves within.
It opens us up to new ways to tackle problems and even find solutions in ways and places that may not have been possible otherwise. For me, this was moving to Singapore for almost half a year… I’d never really considered living away from London before but this opportunity made me think of my life and its direction in a whole new perspective.
Travelling to new places enables learning opportunities and through this learning we are rewarded by an enlightenment that allows us to consider more possibilities we think the world affords us.
3.) To learn more about ourselves
Travel can often be a real learning curve, or it has been for me at least! In so many ways it allows us to understand the barriers we can place upon ourselves and opportunities presented to us. By being open to new learning opportunities (whether that’s going 5,000 miles away or 10 minutes down the road), we can better understand our strengths (and weaknesses) that encourage (or inhibit) us to be a better version of ourselves.
Travel can have the unnerving ability to shake us up, rattle our cage and push the boundaries of our fear. Fear is such a deeply personal and relative thing – it can be anything from snakes and spiders to the the deep emotional fear of losing a loved one. None of us are immune to fear but what we are all able to control is how we manage it.
In so many ways, travel forces us to confront fears and learn new techniques of managing them in often unfamiliar and different contexts – which might seem hard in the short term but will benefit you in the longer term.
5.) To empower ourselves
Every decision we make is the product of our thoughts, actions and behaviours – this is especially true when it comes to travel and the experiences it offers us. One of the biggest things that I learned from travelling is that it has made me more self confident – sometimes willingly, other times by force! Travel makes us confront a variety of decision making tasks that strengthens our resolve – which ultimately allows us to make the best decisions for ourselves and others, giving us the ability to follow your heart and listen to our head!
6.) To appreciate togetherness
At the very essence of travel is exploration – finding new cultures and places to discover. One vital thing that travel has taught me is the importance of thinking beyond ourselves, inclusivity is always better than exclusivity. I believe its vital that we foster and nourish each other’s differences, not to merely tolerate each other but to actually cultivate how each and every one of us, across different countries, really plays an important part in shaping inclusivity.
It’s a tough task but I truly believe that being open to other people, cultures and societies can only ever be a good thing for us and the people we love.
7.) To appreciate time
Time is precious, we all know that, it’s a luxury that none of us can afford to lose… that’s why it’s so vital the we make the most of our time whilst on holiday. Whether that’s pushing your limits to climb a Norwegian Fjord, staying awake all night to to experience the Northern Lights or chilling out at a beautiful beach and swimming with new friends (aka; clown fish and sharks) in the Maldives, time is a precious commodity that we must all appreciate and grasp with both hands!
8.) To break down elitism
One thing that’s important for us to remember is that travel, at its very essence, should never put up walls – which is sadly sometimes the case. One thing that I’ve learned from travel is that there is no right or wrong way to experience the world, you don’t need to be spend thousands on luxury amenities to have a great time, you don’t need to back pack your way through favelas to get a genuine feel of the place and you certainly don’t need to feel obliged to travel a certain way that you’re not comfortable with. Travel should be your story.
Elitism in travel can be a vulgar thing and it’s something I’ve learned to always shun and reject – after all, a world where we limit one another can never be a good world!