Personal growth is fundamental to happiness and success.
If you want to achieve more, you need to become more. And if you want to be happy and fulfilled, you must continuously meet your need for growth.
If personal development isn’t on your list of priorities right now, it should be. And so should travelling.
I have to be honest. I was late to TRAVEL.
Well, wait – that’s not true. I have always travelled in my career – but I was late to the magic of travel. I was late to the insight that travel can totally transform your view of the world. I didn’t really understand this until my relocation to Shanghai. That’s when I started to experience travel in a new way. With a childlike innocence … wide-eyed and curious. I did not want to miss a single moment of the experience.
But can travelling really enhance your own personal development?
Well here are my thoughts on the subject.
Personal development starts with self-discovery. Not until you really understand who you are – what you like and don’t like, your strengths and weaknesses; the circumstances in which you feel brave, and those where you feel scared; where you thrive and where you feel challenged; or even how you respond in unexpected situations. Until you know all of these things, you won’t know what needs to be developed so you can change & grow.
You’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone
Whilst to some, these words may seem quite daunting, please trust me when I tell you – it is so worth any discomfort that you might experience initially. In fact, it’s totally liberating. Because you will realise that all your boundaries are completely self-imposed. And that being true, you can remove them anytime you choose. And when you remove the boundaries, you reconnect to YOU and then you get to really shine.
Stepping out of your comfort zone also has a positive impact on your CONFIDENCE. You get to see yourself do things you never considered before. You get to see more of what you are truly capable of. And in the process, you naturally become more confident.
Revival of the senses
When we’re living a life that isn’t fully aligned with our values, life can become boring. Dull. Predictable. Routine. And with that, we become numb. Disconnected. We forget what we love. What moves us. What makes us laugh. What makes us tick.
Travel, if you do it right, can revive the senses. That’s my experience for sure. It can make you feel alive again. Alive, inspired and vibrant. And I speak from personal experience. From the deep inner peace experienced as I waited for the sun to rise over Angkor Wat in Cambodia to the magic and awe of the great wall of China. When we experience these emotions, we begin to remember who we really are and what we love to do. These moments allow us to re-connect with our true desires. To know what we want to achieve and how to obtain it.
Travelling provides CLARITY
Travelling makes you appreciate what is right in your life and acknowledge what needs to change. The things you’ve been taking for granted. The things you have been putting up with for too long. The parts of your life that you have been denying. Where your negative behaviour may be impacting others. The ‘stories’ you have told yourself about who you are and what you want. And how all of that combined has created your current reality.
I had so many realisations about my life and my work whilst living in Shanghai and travelling throughout Asia (for work). It totally changed everything for me – shook me to my core and led me to question whether the version of success that I had defined until then (good job, great company, great salary, nice home, fast car) etc – were still the measures by which I wanted to live my life. The answer was NO and so I made a decision that others may have considered crazy or unwise at the time – yet I know was absolutely the right one for me. I quit my very successful corporate job after 25 years in order to invest a year in travel, in me and in the joy of life.
Letting go of control
When you are travelling, unpredictable situations arise. The beauty of this is it teaches you to let go of the need for control. You learn not to panic when something unexpected happens. You learn to adapt. You learn to laugh at things that once you may not have considered funny! You choose your food from a photo menu and you don’t always get what you expected! You get to exercise your problem-solving capabilities in new situations and become more creative in finding solutions. And even your leadership skills get a good work out. All in all, travelling is great for mastering your emotions and developing your communication skills and learning to go with the ‘flow’ by relinquishing control.
It inspires creativity and exploration
Travelling and meeting new people lights me up and inspires a level of creativity that I did not even know existed within me. I write when I travel, and I take my camera everywhere with me. As I view the world through the lens of my camera, I notice that I view it different – in a greater level of detail, and with a much greater curiosity. But travelling also creates the space to get creative about your own life. Generating exciting ideas, goals and dreams. Dreams for you. Your family. Your career. Your future. Your life.
Seeing people who have less than you, yet living happily, is so humbling. No mobile phones, no iPads and often – no TV. Just good old-fashioned fun. Kids racing around all over the place with no shoes. Happy.
If you really want to experience growth as a human being, gratitude is essential.
Now, of course, I understand how busy you are already so if you are not in a position to arrange a trip right now – how about you combine work and personal travel? When is your next business trip? Anything planned? If yes, is there an opportunity to take even 1-2 days holiday afterwards in order to explore the city?
I would love to hear more about your experiences of travel.
x Until next week, sending you love x
I would love to get to know you more, connect with me here.