Travel Might Change You Forever - If You Let It
Travel is proving to be a perfect opportunity to make some major changes, being that it is a major life change in of itself!
I haven't suddenly developed a love for exercise, stopped shaving or started calling myself Love-Heart Fairy-Tree (although I did shave off one side of my head)... but I believe that I am not the same person who left England 4 months ago.
I feel more confident, sociable, less judgemental, more relaxed and generally, a less anxious version of myself.
I think not working full-time has a lot to do with that last part admittedly. Running a business in England whilst liberating and often a dream come true, it still came with its own stresses and responsibilities that often had me losing sleep. I was working hard, saving money for this trip, and generally feeling a tad down, not able to keep a positive mood going.
Even though I knew I had Australia to look forward to, and should of been super excited, I was still very fixed in my present circumstances. If I was low on money or feeling pressure to work and save, I felt really crap because of it. If I was doing planning for travelling, I was letting anxiety about it wind me up.
I was pretty much doing what many of us do; feeling unable to look past the limitations I was experiencing in that moment. Failing to be content with what was going well in my life.
Admittedly I did have a health scare last year, which is the kind unpredictable and scary thing that no amount of positive thinking can alter.
It affects you emotionally but also gives you much more pause to actually look at your life more carefully. It might have been a hard time for me, one I'd like to have avoided, but it taught me to value so much more about life itself, even the simpler and more mundane aspects.
And since beginning travelling, that mindset has somewhat taken over. I find such complete contentment and joy on even the more dull days here. You might think that its just a natural part of travel, having that relaxed holiday feeling, never having to tolerate anything too difficult for too long....
But anyone who's travelled knows only too well, it is not all just good times and amazing revelations.
For example, I have been super home-sick. I miss friends and family, the conversations I had with them, and I miss seeing their lives changing, witnessing their happy moments; no skype call can replace a cup of tea with your mum on a sunny English afternoon. It just isn't the same! I am very much out of that loop in more ways than one and its been a major sacrifice.
Yet I am still probably happier than I've ever been. Nowadays I try not to give much time or energy to negativity, I am kinder to myself and trying to be so to others.
I keep busy blogging and travelling, so most of the time, this is what holds my dedication and attention. But also I have let go of a lot of the things which held me back and caused problems for me in the past.
Why and how has this happened?
When you're travelling, you are suddenly focused on the journey of enjoying everything you see, touch, taste and hear. Your primary goal each and every day becomes to sustain the amazing feeling which being in a beautiful place brings you, far away from the stresses of your previous life. I don't get too dejected or down-cast any more, or at least, I try to move past these feelings quickly. I get stressed trying to find work but instead of being defeatist about it, I just try harder.
I have become more resilient, have more 'get up and go' and determination to do the things I want to do in my life. I have stopped letting adversity or my proneness to anxiety win. I refuse to let them dominate this time of adventure and exploration.
Travel will kick you up the arse. It will wake you up, make you come outside of yourself, and yet change thoroughly on the inside too.
You become part of a community of people whom all share that look of adventure and inquisitiveness in their eyes, that desire to just share fun, good times, wisdom and experience with all whom they meet. And you take on some of that trait, you become someone who wants to smile, talk, laugh and learn.
You have your walls broken down, you will question all the intolerance or introversion you might previously have just thought was your personality.
You will want to embrace the positive and best side of yourself. This is what it's felt like for me anyway. I can't speak for how it will or will not change you, but it has so much potential to do so. I mostly wake up in a good mood each day, and when you chase that mood by journeying somewhere new and beautiful, you are following a path to changing yourself forever. You are developing attitudes that will get you through the bad times, the uncontrollable peaks and troughs of life, and of course, when you return home (if you ever stop travelling..). I hope this isn't a temporary change. I hope I can take these positive thoughts and behaviours with me, long into the future.
Travel has already made me happier, and more open to creating happiness around me, and that, I will always remember and cherish, long after I retire my backpack.
Thanks for reading!
Hannah and Taran here. We hail from Southern England, where we met online and are now realizing our mutual passion for travel here at NomaderHowFar. We discuss Nomadic Living, Simplifying your Life and Long-term Travel, to empower, motivate and inspire our readers. Get to know us here!
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