Expand Your Horizons
Summer is upon us and with it comes travel season. Are you itching to go somewhere new? Are you dreaming of exotic locations and new adventures? You’re not alone: This is the time of year that we give ourselves permission to step out of our day-to-day and embrace the freedom of the unknown.
These days, travel is more than just taking a trip. Where you go, who you go with, and what you do when you’re in complete control of your time says a lot about you. Your personality, your interests, and even your identity becomes intertwined with what you do during your leisure time.
More importantly, traveling with intention can lead to personal growth. Having new experiences, getting a fresh perspective, and putting yourself in challenging situations can help you expand: Becoming wiser, more worldly, and more resilient. Traveling well can also provide you with benefits that linger long after you get back home.
Because traveling well is such an important aspect of personal growth, I’ve invited travel writer Aditi Shrikant of Vox to discuss the psychological impact of travel on people, and things to consider as you’re planning your summer adventure. She shares her insight into making travel meaningful, and as well as some tips to get the most personal impact from your vacation.
Travel Tips To Enhance Your Personal Growth
One: Seek a Fresh Perspective
Getting outside of the bubble you live in most of the time and making contact with new people, new places, different cultures, and different ways of looking at the world can shake you out of a mental rut. It’s very easy for all of us to fall into ways of thinking that can be self-limiting. Challenging yourself by putting yourself in different environments with different perspectives can stir the pot; ideally, leading to a fresh perspective on your own life when you get back home.
Two: Give Yourself Permission to Travel in a Way That is Meaningful to You
We also identify who we are through our travel. The types of adventures or experiences you seek out are a manifestation of who you are, and what is most important to you. For some, the epitome of a good vacation is laying on a beach with a fruity cocktail in your hand for days (getting up only to graze the all-you-can-eat buffet). Others consider a good vacation to be roughing it off the grid for a week, bathing only in an ice-cold glacier stream.
As you are planning your travel for the summer, you might consider doing some reflecting about what is truly, genuinely, pleasurable, interesting, relaxing and rejuvenating to YOU. (And resisting the instinct you might have to compare your ideal vacation to that of others).
Three: Use Travel to Discover Yourself
Another you might consider as you’re planning your travel for the summer, is how you can intentionally cultivate personal experiences that help you develop. Would it benefit you to be challenged to cultivate new parts of yourself that you don’t often have the opportunity to express when in your usual environment? Or is the greatest opportunity mindful travel affords you is having the time and space to connect with your own feelings, thoughts, preferences and even creativity when outside of your usual environments? Is “Solo Travel” a way for you to get away meaningfully, and reconnect with yourself? [Check out Aditi’s article about why solo travel is increasingly popular with women]
Any travel is an opportunity to disrupt your usual patterns. You get knocked out of your usual environment, beliefs, self concept, and experiences and in doing so, open new doors into yourself.
Four: Nourish Your Relationship Through Travel
We often think of traveling with our partner as simply a great opportunity to have time together, and to be apart from the day-to-day stressors that can keep couples from connecting. This is certainly true, but another way that relationships are significantly enhanced by travel is the opportunity to engage in — believe it or not — stressful and even anxiety-provoking, novel experiences together.
Research shows that one of the fastest ways to enhance energy and sizzle and a relationship is to engage in new, even anxiety provoking experiences together. When you and your partner plunge into exciting new experiences together, facing the unknown, and going through new things as a team, it will strengthen your emotional bond.
How Travel Helps You Grow
Travel, when done with mindfulness and intention is so much more than about taking a trip. It’s an opportunity to break free from old patterns, challenge yourself, expose yourself to new ideas, and discover new aspects of yourself that you don’t ordinarily get to use. Mindful, intentional travel can nourish your relationship, and help you both grow as partners, and individuals.
If you want to use travel as another tool to help you on your journey of growth, be sure to check out this episode of The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast!
Your partner in adventure!
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby
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How Travel Helps You Grow
Music Credits: Allah Las, “No Werewolf”
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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.