I’ve learned my share of things the hard way. I’ve also learned a thing or two from incredibly enjoyable first-hand experiences. One of my favorites of those lessons happens to be discovering how much I’ve grown. The greatest teacher of those lessons has to be travel.
One of my favorite sayings is “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Before I started paying attention to my experience of myself while traveling, I only brought home memories, photos, souvenirs and a tan. The more times I told a travel story, the more I started to see how I was changing as much as my scenery. I found that I was less anxious (not to be confused with anxiety-free) about not knowing what was going to come next in uncertain situations back home because I’d figured out what to do when my first solo trip out of the country got canceled the morning of. I realized that I can speak up simply when I’m displeased with something and not just when there’s a major problem because I was successfully upgraded after expressing my dissatisfaction in Costa Rica. I realized the power of my words when the creative collaborations and warm connections I expressly declared I wanted manifested in Colombia.
Now, I can’t say that any of these lessons are exclusive to travel. I can absolutely see how similar scenarios could happen at home. However, these are lessons I was able to see more clearly because they were framed with the excitement of travel! I constantly had a reason to think about the environment and situations they were created in. We relive and reminisce about travel frequently, but how often do you reflect on who you were before said trip? When was the last time you asked yourself who you were while abroad?
I’ve made it a practice to consistently check in with myself while traveling. I take an audit of the major discomforts and concerns I’m dealing with at the time and do my best to look at them from the perspective of making some good of it all. Something about “vacation mode” has me willing to see the brighter side of so many dim corners. I invite you to travel intentionally and take inventory of ALL the gifts you bring home.
For stories and resources on how you can travel more intentionally, visit travelnshitpodcast.com.