Traveling is an amazing way to have new experiences, feel present and grow as a person.
Generally speaking most forms of travel can naturally promote personal growth, however to intentionally plan trips that include health, fitness, adventure, volunteering, sustainability and spirituality, you can accelerate your personal growth even more. Although personal growth can be gained in many ways, traveling leaves you with more unique and joyful memories than if you did it by staying home.
1. Get out of your comfort zone
Being in a new environment with a different climate, landscape, food, language and smell can put most people out of their comfort zone. The way you go about obtaining your basic requirements such as food, accommodation and safety is totally transformed. You are forced to learn new survival skills very quickly such as non verbal communication, determining you safety, sourcing adequate food and working out how to reach your next destination. That in itself promotes growth and equips you with skills you can apply to everyday life when you return home.
2. Being Present
Being away from the responsibilities and stresses of everyday life while traveling allows you to be more present. Seeing, tasting, hearing and feeling new experiences ignites your senses which keeps you in the present moment. This is when you can really experience and live life and have a sense of fulfillment Experiencing this enough while traveling can create a desire and remind you to be more present in everyday life when you get home because life is about the present moment, not the past or the future.
3. Facing Fears
Traveling can bring many lifelong fears into the limelight especially if you add adventure and fitness to the equation. I often found while doing adventurous activities such as high altitude trekking, white water rafting and mountain biking, concerns for my safety came up in the form of potentially falling, drowning, slipping, altitude sickness etc. Each moment was an opportunity to face and transform these fears and turn them into life changing accomplishments and memories.
4. Discovering new cultures
Learning and discovering other cultures, languages and other ways of living first hand gives you a bigger perspective on life. It also illustrates what you class as a normal life to you can be a completely different normal to someone else. It’s an amazing way to put into perspective how having the basic needs of life such as shelter, family and love can bring the greatest joy in life.
5. Processing your past
While including spiritual development courses such as yoga and meditation and volunteering into my travels, I found a lot of insecurities, fears and challenges came up that I needed to confront, process and learn form. Being away from friends and family adds an extra dimension of challenge to the process as you may not always have someone to support you. This increases your sense of individuality, knowing and in turn speeds up the processing as you are more focused on it. This experience in itself gives you more strength for future challenges and greater sense of personal power.