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Why Travel?

May 7th, 2012

Blog Format

This week I would like to talk about the incredible richness of traveling, the wonderful experiences that it brings and the lessons that it teaches us. There is nothing like discovering new cultures, new landscapes, new languages and people with a totally different way of thinking. It is a wonderful opportunity to grow and to learn.

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I am not talking about touring all Europe in a bus in 10 days, nor am I talking about going to a Club Med on the other side of the world, or spending a week in a Cruise ship, although these experiences might be restful and exciting in their own right.

I am talking about extended travel. The idea of this travel is to immerse oneself in a different culture, mingle with the locals, learn their language (or try to), learn about their traditions, partake in their celebrations, eat their food, etc.

I believe that people who undertake extended travel in order to discover the world, almost always end up discovering themselves in the process, and that is invaluable. I personally have learned important lessons while traveling that have changed my life for ever. Here below I wanted to mention just a few:

Finding freedom from material stuff
When you have to "carry" all your belongings around the world, you have to pick THE most important things and after a while you realize that you need very little to live. 99% of the material stuff that we surround ourselves with is not necessary and getting rid of it gives us a wonderful feeling of liberation.

Being flexible and embracing the present moment
The beauty of extended travel is not having a plan and adapting to what the day will bring, making the plan as you go; staying longer in a place you like, changing itineraries to match those of a fellow traveler, etc. This teaches us to live in the present, to be open to what each moment has to offer, to be spontaneous, and to embrace change with ease.

Understanding the greater picture of humanity as a whole
Traveling teaches you that every culture is different in the way they do things, yet, all human beings are the same, no matter where they come from and what they look like. By understanding better this concept, you can relinquish your necessity to prove yourself right, to impose your way of doing things and you can learn to respect every human being no matter what their culture, color, religion, social class, and tastes are.

Making strong connections and trusting people
It is easy to make friends when you travel, you can find amazing stories of solidarity and love that happen amongst people that come together in far away lands, this is because when you travel, you have an open heart, an open mind, and connections become easier and more natural.

Rediscovering your natural body rhythm
When you are traveling, you have a rare opportunity to reconnect with your body's natural rhythm. Away from the constraints of work routines, you realize you have the freedom to live according to what your body needs. You can rest when you are tired (even if that means taking a nap at 3:00 PM), eat when you are hungry, or be in the move when you have energy. This allows you to become more aware of your body and respect it.

Taking risks with more confidence
Travel causes you to be uncomfortable, to step out of the familiar and into the unknown. It compels you to see with new eyes and to consider things you had never been aware of. It challenges you to solve problems, to be creative and to feel thrilled by discovering new things, just like you did when you were a little kid.

"Some people think that travel is not for everybody, but the essence of travel is experiential expansion. Instead of repeating the same life experience every year for ten, twenty, or fifty years, travel can give us fifty life-changing encounters in one year." -BootsandAll Blog

Some things to remember:

  • You don't need to go very far - you just need an open mind
  • You don't need a lot of money - you just need to be resourceful
  • You don't need to wait for the perfect situation to leave - all you need is to make it a priority
  • All it takes to start a dream is to start it!

Travel teaches you important life lessons that might be different for everyone, but that can't be learned in school. Ultimately, the breathtaking views, the funny encounters, the amazing insights, the strong connections, etc. will stay with you forever, nobody can take them away from you.

So if you are one of those people that think: "I wish I could do it," think again. If you think you can't do it because you have kids, think again...
If you want to be inspired, take a look at some books and web sites below (note that there are many more resources out there):

Web sites:
Meet, Plan, Go
A good place to find resources and inspiration to make it happen
Around the World Travel Guide
A comprehensive travel-around-the-world guide
OttsWorld
Travel and life experience of an American corporate runaway
Delicious Baby
A great blog about traveling with kids
Soul Travelers
Follow a middle-age couple and their 5-year-old daughter in their adventure living around the world
Family on Bikes
Follow a family of 4 that biked from Alaska to Argentina
Tres Americas, una huella
The story of a modern family of 6 living on the road!

Books:
Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman
A wonderful book about a woman's journey around the world
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
A wonderful memoir about traveling and finding yourself in the process

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing” HELEN KELLER

Have a great week!

Announcements:

* The Tapping Summit 2012 starts TODAY! I highly recommend this event, it will change the way you live your life and will give you a powerful tool that can improve many aspects of your life! It is FREE

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