Just to make it clear, I’m not talking about the comfortable type of traveling here. I’m not talking about the all-inclusive, laying at the-pool-all-day kind of travel. Yes of course, that’s also amazing and maybe to relax is just what you need, but it’s not going to change your perspective.
I’m talking about the long-term, bare bones, backpacking type here. Where you have nearly no privacy, just little comfort and no consistency at all. At first it simply sounds thrilling and fun, like a great adventure. And it is, definitely.
But there’s also a different side to it. The hard, uncomfortable part. That’s the part where you grow.
There are many factors that make life on the road challenging:
- Having to life on a budget
- No comfort
- No consistency
- No security
- Being unfamiliar with everything around you
- Lack of privacy
- Lack of regularity
- Having to adapt to new things all the time
But in my opinion this is exactly why traveling is definitely worth it!
It will get you out of your comfort zone, there’s no way around it. While you travel, many of your usual defense mechanisms fall away. You can’t just retreat back to your private space and hide under the blanket. Your favorite comfort food might not be available. Comforting routines and activities (working out, watching movies, cuddling with your boyfriend..) that normally protect you from yourself are not available.
As a consequence, you are confronted with everything that you would rather hide from. Negative mind patterns, habits and behavior come to the surface. It’s not a comfortable feeling but it’s really cleansing. Furthermore it’s a wonderful opportunity to release all of this negative baggage that is holding you back. You don’t need it anymore, you can just throw it away.
If you then take some time (which you will have to take as it can get really uncomfortable) to consciously work through it (try realeasing your negative emotions and mind patterns) and not retreat to alcohol or exzessiv partying you will feel way lighter and grow immensely.
So as a matter of fact, traveling forces you to evolve, which can be quite nice, especially if you are already feeling relatively settled but feel that there’s something else that you can’t yet grasp. Traveling is a sure way kick all this rotten garbage out. You just got to make sure you do it with awareness and compassion for yourself. Then you can count on some pretty nice aha-moments.
So to illustrate all this theory let me tell you about what happened for me. One month into traveling I got sick. So eventually all my familiar habits that I used to cover up my insecurities and confusion fell away. I could not eat comfort food because it was simply not available. Drinking alcohol and smoking hurt me so much, that I didn’t even bother trying. There were no parents or boyfriends to comfort me and tell me that everything would be alright. I could not excercise or watch funny movies. Nothing saved me from myself. My shield completely fell away and I was forced to meet negative mind patterns and emotions that had been stuck in myself for a long time. I felt really bad for some days, I was confused and sad. But I never lost hope. I knew this was why I wanted to travel and that I’m only going to grow because of it. And I was right. I used the methods to release negative emotions described in this post and found out incredible things about me.
I had many destructive mind patterns going on that held me back and made me struggle, but I didn’t realize them to this point. Once I noticed them, I could release them and felt way more confident, happy and balanced. So hooray to traveling and I’m looking forward to al the things that I’m going to learn through the next challenges!
Have you already experienced similar things? What did you learn through traveling ?