Holiday’s, vacation and traveling are usually occasional, well needed and require a lot of saving for the everyday person.
So why not make the limited time you have away a time to develop yourself as a person, in order to become the best possible person you can be? What better time to grow, learn and expand then when you are away from the stresses and routine of everyday life.
Travel is an amazing opportunity to open up, try new things, confront fears, meet amazing people and grow as a person. There is a big difference between coming back from a vacation burnt out, exhausted and feeling unhealthy vs feeling clear, refreshed, healthy, strong and ready to progress to the next stage of your life.
Refocus Your Intention
Like many people when I first started traveling in my early 20s around Europe, Asia and the Middle East, I was focused on seeing as much as I could, ticking off boxes and consuming as much as I could whether it was food, shopping etc. Although I had amazing experiences of growth, I often felt there was something missing and always felt burnt out and exhausted after each trip. I remember when I returned from my first trip to Egypt, I had to go on another holiday 3 weeks later to Cyprus just to recover.
After already focusing heavy on personal growth activities at home through workshops, books, courses and even university in my early 20s, I discovered that bringing a personal growth focus to travel can catipult your learnings and progress a lot quicker.
How? Firstly you are out of your comfort zone with the food, language, culture and being away from friends. Although that in itself gives you increased wisdom and survival skills, taking it a step further by undertaking courses, studies and having experiences that force you to confront your fears is what really makes the bigger difference. The growth experiences and learnings that you have while also being out of your comfort zone can only make you stronger, wiser and ready to take on future challenges in life. Returning from a trip refreshed, clear, focused and stronger is also a pretty cool bonus.
By keeping a focus on growth, achievement and pushing boundaries, I’ve been fortunate enough to have many amazing experiences of personal growth throughout my travels which include:
- Volunteering in an orphanage in Nepal for a month
- Studying yoga teacher training in an India Ashram for 3 months
- Multi day and week high altitude trekking trips in the Himalayas and Andes
- 10 day silent meditation retreat in Nepal
- Travelling India & Egypt alone
- White water rafting in Nepal
- Yoga and meditation courses in Thailand
Of course not all experiences of personal growth can be planned and can naturally just happen such as:
- Dealing with travel companions that are not a match in a loving and compassionate way
- The distress and recovery of being hospitalised and operated on in India
- Losing all my valuables and personal items in a taxi in Delhi
- Dealing with intense emotions that come up while undertaking courses/workshops, while being away from friends and family
Tools to Plan
While planning my next trip I always ask myself:
- What activities can I do that will progress me to the next level of __________? (eg fitness, health, relationships)
- What activities can I do that will help me overcome my fear of _________? (eg heights, water, altitude)
- Are there any suitable courses or workshops I can enrol in while I’m there?
- Is there some volunteering I can do while there?
- What can I do before I go so I can remain strong and healthy on the road?
- Are there any like minded friends I can invite that want to achieve simliar goals?
- What do I need to learn or research before I go in order to achieve my goal/s?
From my experience there is nothing more rewarding than coming back from a well planned and earned trip than feeling refreshed, positive, happy, clear and stronger. I encourage you to add in activities and experiences of personal growth in every trip you undertake. What have you got to lose except your blockages and fears?