Why We Travel | Wild World
On my vision board for 2017 – one of my biggest invocations – was more travel, to continue pushing my horizons beyond that of my known regions. When an opportunity to travel to Brazil presented itself, my knee-jerk response was “I can’t afford to be away right now.” To be honest, that’s my knee-jerk response to a lot of circumstances. Turning that automatic response of LACK into one of accepting abundance is part of my daily practice. I’m working on it! I’m working on it! What message would I be sending the universe after having just asked for more travel a few weeks prior if I immediately said ‘NO’ to the opportunity that came knocking on my door?
The earth can feel like a big and scary place, especially right now, with so many voices shouting “fear those who don’t look like you, nor talk like you, nor worship like you.” That is, until you step foot outside of the space you inhabit (that’s not to say there aren’t scary places in the world right now). Beyond trying new foods, and introducing one’s self to new cultures and languages, travel is important for a host of other reasons. You realize quickly that as people, no matter where we live in the world, we have more in common than not – we all want to be seen; we all want to be loved; we all need to eat; we all need shelter and clean air and water. I don’t mean to over simplify a diverse and complicated world, merely to shed light on our common threads in the hopes that we can find ways to come together. In our modern world of fast traveling news and connectivity via social media, our once seemingly isolated experiences can visibly touch those who live on the other side of the planet. It’s important to reach out in our modern world and to try to understand those who appear “different” than we are so that we can come together as a human race.
These travels don’t have to be to far flung corners of the earth nor expensive to be perspective shifting. It can be as simple as heading to a national park in a new state, pitching a tent, sleeping in the elements and cooking a meal over a campfire, or it can be as grandiose as traveling across borders, acquiring a new passport stamp and immersing yourself in an entirely new culture. In whatever way you are able to, say YES to traveling!
1. GETS YOU OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE: It’s easy to fall into the groove of the known – the foods you’re comfortable eating, the sites you’re used to seeing, the way you’re used to driving to work. If you’re open to it, traveling can shake up all of those comforts of your everyday life and expose you to a new way of living. What’s the worst thing that could happen if you try a new type of food and you don’t really love it? You don’t have to order it again. But hey, at least you’ve tried it. Don’t be afraid to try new foods, to wake up early to hike a volcano to watch the sunrise, to jump in a new ocean. Get a little uncomfortable! That’s where the best kind of growth awaits you!
2. EXPANDS YOUR HORIZONS: Believe it or not, the world is not flat. When you look out at the horizon from the shoreline, the ocean doesn’t drop off into an abyss, it’s connected to another shore across the sea. Pushing your known horizons encourages personal growth and empathy and a deeper understanding of the connectivity of this place we call earth.
3. ELIMINATES DIVISONS: We all sleep under the same moon. When you look into the eyes of strangers, you realize that we have more in common than not. The things you’ve been told to fear tend to melt away. We all have insecurities. We all have loved ones we want to shelter. We all worry about making enough money to put food on the table, about making our parents proud. A smile is something that can be shared between strangers, that translates no matter the language you speak. It has been shown people who tout the most fear-based ideology against people of other sexual preferences, skin color, religions, etc. are generally the ones that have never left the safety of their own towns.
4. TEACHES THE PRACTICE OF PATIENCE & SURRENDER: When you’re home, surrounded by all of your comforts and a language you know, it becomes easy to feel like you’re in control of everything. When you’re traveling in a place where the language and the surroundings are different, that illusion falls quickly away. It forces you to get present with the moment, get creative with your communication, practice the art of patience and surrender to the forces that exist outside of ourselves.
5. ALLOWS FOR REINVENTION: When you travel to a new place, where no one knows who you are, you are no longer obligated to be the person people think you are. You can shake off the parts of yourself that aren’t really you and find the freedom to be the person that you truly are. If you’re a traditionally shy, introverted person, experiencing the electricity of new surroundings could give you the permission to say hello to a stranger or have a drink by yourself with a book at a bar.