Hi SOTGC Community!
Travel shakes us out of the spectator mentality, calls us off the sidelines of complacency, and urges us to not just survive, but to thrive.
It’s time to get uncomfortable. Complacency and comfortability are proverbial cousins. Travel is the antidote. Even if you get lost, miss a plane, or lose your luggage, it is nearly impossible to walk away from any distance of travel or duration of a trip without feeling empowered and energized to take an action step.
Comfortability is arguably the worst place to be when it comes to personal growth. If you can do your job with your eyes closed and know the answer to every question before you are asked then it may be time to reevaluate. In no way is this knocking seasoned professionals and field certified gurus. More accurately, this is a call to question the comfortable and embrace the unknown. Travel can be just what the doctor ordered to shake you out of the ‘hamster wheel’ mentality that can accompany creeping comfortability.
Travel doesn’t just take us out of our physical element, but it puts us in a new state of mind. Making friends with strangers, tasting a new food, or taking in a new view of the world gives us a new perspective. Travel is essential for growth. It reveals people and places we might not have thought about if it weren’t for taking a trip and seeing them in person. Our energy and curiosity are heightened when we are in a new environment or attempting a new challenge. Venturing into the unknown shape us in a way that only experience can. For the following reasons, travel is the antidote for complacency:
Ignites innovation. Travel opens our mind and broadens our belief of what is possible. Adventure helps break the mold of what we have become accustomed to. A new landscape and lens of the world can help lead to a solution that we might not have thought of without stepping outside of our regular routine. Sometimes we can become so focused on a goal or destination that we have blinders on to the amazing opportunities in our peripheral. Experience through travel helps us create solutions, anticipate the unexpected, and adapt when situations call for us to go ‘off script’.
Calls us to be the most the most authentic version of ourselves. Visiting a foreign land, learning about a different culture, and exploring a new place can help develop our understanding of not only the lives of others, but ourselves. It challenges us to step outside of our perceived selves and creates space to be our most authentic selves. It helps create self-awareness, self-confidence, and to embrace our individuality. When we are our most authentic selves, it allows others to be authentic as well. This can help open communication and generate a stronger sense of community and purpose.
Invites us to accept the unknown. Travel, and all of the unknown factors that come along with it, poses a challenge. Embracing the unknown is essential. It requires flexibility and sharpens our decision making skills. Travel grants us the space to ask questions and be okay with not having all of the answers immediately. Not needing to have all of the answers pushes us to ask others for help, take risks, embrace opportunities, and creates space for creativity. It pushes us to rely on our instincts and to trust our gut. Instead of viewing the unknown as scary and difficult, it travel reminds us that the unknown is just an adventure waiting to happen. Travel turns the fear of uncertainty into excitement.
Inspires appreciation. Travel reminds us how amazing the World is. A little bit of wonder does wonders. Taking time to marvel at a sunset, a busy market, a provides a space to pause and soak in the joy. This gives us new energy and an elevated sense of care for both our work and personal lives. We live in an time where immediate gratification is expected. This can cause us to rush through both the challenges and successful moments of our lives alike. Travel compels us to savor and appreciate each moment and helps remind us that is not the destination, but the journey.
Restores our Health. According to a U.S. News World Report article, we are prone to creating negative cyclical habits of stress and restlessness. Travel acts as a sort of ‘catch-breath’ from the the stresses of our daily lives. “What neuroscience is showing is that we require down time in order for our bodies to go through the process of restoration. It is only when we are safe from external stresses that our bodies can relax enough to activate restoration.” In this sense, travel is our one-stop shop where allowing for restoration and relaxation which will allow us to perform and enjoy our lives more fully.
Small Changes, Big Results
The benefits of travel are not limited to distant lands or long trips. There is evidence that, “Most people have better life perspective and are more motivated to achieve their goals after a vacation, even if it is a 24-hour time-out.”
Dip your toe in the travel pool by testing out a new running route, visiting an old friend, or taking a road trip to the beach for the funnel cake you’ve been craving. Or, if you are feeling extra adventurous, dive right in. See a flamenco show from the Albayzin caves in Granada, give peace a chance by visiting the John Lennon wall in Prague, or ride a camel in Tangiers, Morocco.
What will your travel adventure be, SOTGC community? Where will you go? Or, better yet, how will you get there?And, what will you be inspired to do when you get back?
Please join the conversation and share your travel stories. Let us know what you think by tweeting @SEMeehan and @SOTGC!