Maybe you think you’re in the wrong job, or don’t have one, or having trouble in your love life; perhaps you’re struggling with figuring out your goals. If you’ve hit a wall in life and you’re just not sure what needs to change, perhaps you need to travel!
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Read on to find out seven reasons why traveling might help you figure out what’s not right in your life and where you should be headed instead.
One of the most freeing parts of traveling is that it’s a clear time out from everyday life. You’re not at home, you’re not going to your job every day, you’re not seeing the same people you always see. In particular, the time you spend kind of “trapped” while you’re traveling, like when you’re on a plane or a train and you have lots of time to just sit and think without too many other options, can be really valuable time.
Freeing yourself from the drudgery of everyday life (no more household chores for a while!) also helps give you time to think through what’s really important to you. For me, a long train journey (think Trans-Siberian, my personal favourite!) is the perfect way to give yourself the time to reconsider where you are headed in life.
By allowing you to contrast your own life with those of others in different countries, travel gives you a totally fresh perspective on your own life. If you think you really need a big perspective shift, travel to a country where the culture is completely different from your own. I find that even a place with what I’d expect to be a similar culture is always different enough that I can learn something about my own life. Obviously, visiting a third world country when you’re struggling with several good career paths to go down will put your first world problems very much into perspective, but it doesn’t have to be that extreme.
Feeling lost in life can be a sign that you need to find some new interests, something new to be passionate about, whether that’s a career, a person or simply a rewarding hobby.
Travel can help you find your passion in life by introducing you to new ideas and concepts that you’ve never heard of before. It might happen in a museum; it may be a new a language that gives you the spark; or you might even discover (as I did) that travel itself is your passion!
… and New Ideas
It might not necessarily be that you’re in need of a new passion: it might be as simple as needing a good new idea. While you’re traveling you might come across a new area of work that you hadn’t considered or even known about, but is a good fit for your skills. Or you could learn about some new technology, see a different kind of marketing campaign or find a different way to use space in a house or apartment and these kinds of ideas might help you solve some of the problems you have back home. It’s not always a big change that needs to be made to set your life back in order, and you just might find the solution in a new idea you observe on your travels.
If you want to meet a large number of varied, interesting new people in a short time, travel is one of the best ways to go about it. Rather than mulling over your problems with the same friends and colleagues again and again, you might find that by talking to new people – especially those with very different life experiences from yours – that you figure out some important things about your life.
I’ve also found with many of the people I’ve met while traveling that you can get down to talking about serious, in-depth topics a lot faster than with a regular friend at home – the normal inhibitions seem to disappear when everyone realises the face-to-face part of your friendship is temporary.
Beyond Your Comfort Zone
It’s not that easy to push yourself beyond your comfort zone when you’re living in the same place, going to the same job and seeing the same people all the time. However, when you find yourself in a completely different country with a completely different daily routine (or no routine at all), it’s a lot easier to imagine yourself doing things that you’d never imagined.
This freedom to recreate yourself and your boundaries is not just a great feeling, it’s applicable to every aspect of your life. I’m sure the reason I feel confident enough to run my own business now is because my experiences while traveling helped me realise I’m capable of things I probably hadn’t expected of myself.
A Whole New Life
And then there’s another possibility of what could happen to you if you take time out of your life and go traveling: you might not come home again! It is not unheard of for people to take off on a trip and decide that the place they end up has more going for it than the one they left, or they fall in love with a local, or find a great job opportunity. The list goes on.
With the whole notion of location independent work gaining momentum thanks to the ease of working over the internet (for many kinds of jobs, though of course not all) it’s much easier to set up life in a new place. Who knows, that might happen to you.
So what are you waiting for – go and take the plunge! I know my life changed in multiple ways when I started to do a lot of traveling (and it wasn’t even that broken to start with) – so much good can come of it, so take the risk and have a go. Happy travels!