I traveled to India 10 years ago and made a point to visit the places that intrigued me the most. Today, my life is completely different.
Travel is hard.
It’s hard because you’re constantly fighting the temptation to jump into a new adventure to see what new adventure awaits. But it’s even harder because when we travel it’s not just the new adventure that’s exciting—it’s the new opportunity to change the way that we live and think about ourselves.
The truth is, I’ve only been traveling a little bit since my trip to India. But the fact that I’ve been traveling for at least 5 years tells me it’s been a very good life. And I’m not just some guy who’s just getting himself out of the rut of living in the city. I’m not even just a guy who’s just going to visit a new place and see what it’s like.
The fact is that, by the time I leave, I have a very different worldview than I did when I came. I now see that my place in the world is not the same as it was when I left. And I also learn to see more clearly why I have made these choices. I learn that although I may never want to visit a new place, I do actually enjoy being a tourist. I enjoy the fact that I can experience other cultures, and see what they have to offer.
Travel, like any other habit, is hard to break. It can be hard to stay in your comfort zone, so if you are a frequent traveler you may be reluctant to admit that you need a change. However, once you learn to stop and think about all that you have been through, it’s not hard to find yourself with a new “it’s all relative” mindset.
I have traveled a lot throughout my life, and even in my twenties, but never quite as much as I have recently. I have been on a trip to Italy twice. I have been to the UK at least a dozen times. I have also been to New York once. I have been to Spain twice. I did a Caribbean cruise once. I have been to the Andes, and have been there. I have been to a few countries (India, Brazil, China, and Hawaii).
I can tell you that traveling makes me a great deal more aware of what I am doing. I know what I need to do before I leave. I know what I want to see, and I know I really want to see it.
And that awareness is important, because traveling makes us aware of how we are doing. We don’t just think about what we are doing, we notice it. We notice our habits and routines and patterns. We notice our physical sensations, emotions, etc. We notice our behavior. We notice the different types of food we eat and the different types of music we like. We notice our moods, if we are happy, if we are sad.
So it’s no surprise that a trip can help us change and improve. But what’s interesting is that it can also make us realize we have a lot more to learn. It can make us think about the things that are missing in our lives. It can make us think about the things that we don’t know that we know. We can think about the things that we have to learn as we travel.