As I write, the world is only just beginning to emerge from the various restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It’s been more than 100 days but at last, families are being reunited, shops and restaurants are permitted to re-open and just this week – flights are being re-instated from the UK – woohooo!
Yesterday I was speaking to a friend in London and she was telling me just how much she has missed travelling. She has barely left her apartment in months and the inability to travel has really affected her sense of wellbeing. Hopefully we can put that right and will be enjoying a trip together in the next few months.
With that in mind, and with a degree of optimism that we don’t return to lockdown, I decided that the topic for discussion this week should be Travel.
During my career, I travelled extensively – 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 first experienced travel in a new way. With a childlike innocence … wide eyed and curious. I did not want to miss a single moment.
But can short-term travel create opportunity for personal development?
I say YES – absolutely! And let me explain why…
Travelling provides CLARITY
Travelling makes you appreciate what is going well in your life and acknowledge what needs to change. The things you have been taking for granted. What you have been putting up with for too long. The parts of your life that you have been denying.
It helps you to see where your negative behaviours 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.
Relocating to Asia in 2008 changed everything for me – and led me to question whether the version of success that I had pursued so relentlessly (good job, great company, great salary, nice home, fast car) etc. – were still the measures of success by which I wanted to live my life. The answer was NO and so I decided to make some changes that others may have considered crazy or unwise at the time – Yet I knew were absolutely right for me.
I wonder, will your next experience of travel lead you to any great insights? Perhaps in the isolation of lockdown, you have already starting to ask questions about the life choices you have made.
Travelling inspires creativity and exploration
I take my camera everywhere with me when I travel and as I view the world through this alternate lens, I notice that I see things differently – in a greater level of detail, and with a much greater curiosity. I take time to notice the beauty in architecture and in the smaller details.
How about you? Do you notice that you are more creative when you travel? Perhaps you enjoy photography like me? Or maybe you like to draw? Or write? Perhaps this is when you come up with all your best ideas… to produce something the world needs and make your fortune?
You see, travelling also creates the space to dream more freely. Generating exciting ideas, goals and dreams. For you, your family, your career, your future and your life.
Travelling forces you to let go of control
When you travel, 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.
Travel expands your natural 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
Travel, if you do it right, can revive the senses.
It will leave you feeling more alive, vibrant and inspired.
And again, 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 what we wish to let go of in our lives.
When we’re living a life that isn’t fully aligned with our values, it can become boring. Dull. Predictable. Routine. And with that, we become numb. Disconnected from our souls.
We forget what we love.
What moves us.
What makes us laugh.
What makes us tick.
Travel promotes self-discovery
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. Travel provides immense opportunity for self-discovery.
Travel inspires gratitude
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.
And Personal Growth is fundamental to both success and happiness.
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.
So make the most of your freedom and get planning your next trip.
Whether its next week or next year and whether an overseas trip or exploring your home country – both will open you up to the benefits detailed above.
Of course, don’t take risks. Be sure to take all of the necessary precautions in order to protect against the virus.
x Until next time, sending you love x
I would love to get to know you more, connect with me here.