I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
There are all kinds of travels, and all of them have different goals. You can go on a weekend trip with a bunch of friends. You can go on a honeymoon with your spouse. You can go backpacking to explore unknown territory. And every one of these leaves a mark on your personality. A mark of different depth, but a mark nevertheless.
However, if you decide to travel with a specific purpose to discover who you are or, perhaps, to change who you are, the mark will cut as deep as to your very soul.
Breaking the shackles of the “linear life”
When you set out on a globetrotting journey of self-discovery, you are essentially stepping out of what’s considered a “normal” life path – graduating, getting married, getting a job, having kids and planning your retirement. The thing is that many people set out on this established path unsure whether they’re doing all that because they want to or because they should. Traveling the world allows you to step out of the comfort zone and give yourself time to find out what it is that you truly desire.
Testing your limits
You don’t know how far you can go until you try. You don’t know what you can do unless you actually do it.
Exploring the unknown makes you learn things about yourself, but also helps you build confidence in your abilities. You will be on many roads where you can see unspeakable things that can make you feel small, big, happy or sad.
Some exceptional people have climbed Mount Everest, and on that path, they were excited, exhausted, happy, and proud. But there’s no rule saying all epic adventures have to involve climbing mountains or that they await exclusively on another continent. Maybe you’re more into trying paddle boarding and sharing a priceless moment with a pod of Orcas, which is a rare and marvelous sight that puts a lot of things into perspective.
Discovering new passions
Encountering different cultures and customs can awake passions you never knew you had. Many who traveled to Italy developed an interest in the culinary arts and wine. Others who have tried their fortune in Cuba found the rhythm in their hips and fell in love with the country’s dance culture. Some found the desire to devote to charity work after visiting a third-world country. All of these newly-found passions can be taken with you back home and cultivated for life.
It’s the people who change us the most
Each person you meet on your adventures is a piece of a puzzle waiting to be put together in one harmonic image that makes you who you are. By sharing their stories with you, they’re making you a better and more caring person. You can learn a lot by talking to a stranger, and a stranger can become a dear friend. Also, by listening, smiling, or offering your help in the simplest of tasks, you can make someone’s day brighter, which is a reward on its own.
Expanding the acceptance for others
Stereotypes and prejudice happen when we are closed in our little bubble without any chance of actually confronting different people and cultures. Traveling opens up a portal to other worlds and opens up our minds to a new way of thinking. It helps you understand that not everything in the world is black and white. You learn on a more profound level that different upbringings and the circumstances of life are not foundations for being a bad person or having an opposing mindset.
A newly-found appreciation for life
When you pack up your entire life in a bag, and you carry it across the world where you will experience the unknown, you suddenly realize how little you need to feel joy and fulfillment. This is something that stays with you even when you go back to the comfort of your home. You can finally see how irrelevant are the things that used to make you anxious or sad. You can realize that you do not need all the stuff you used to see as necessary.
The things you learn about the world and yourself while traveling the world are priceless. They can shape you as a person or simply bring up to the surface the person you were always meant to be. So, don’t skip on the chance to step out of your comfort zone and step into your traveling shoes.