People travel for many reasons. Sometimes, to get away with their pals and party in some of the most exotic locales on earth, as if they were never going to grow old or die. Sometimes to deepen their cultural awareness, by strolling through Renaissance art galleries and beholding the works of the artistic maestros of centuries past. Sometimes as a way of bonding and forming good memories with family. Sometimes for romance.
But out of all the reasons why people hit the open road, one of the most striking is the desire to find some peace, to rediscover what’s valuable in life, and to understand themselves that much better.
It’s not a given that travel will inspire this kind of vivid self-insight and positive change in a person, but it certainly can. Read on if you want to learn more about how to help this happen.
Stay off the internet, and out of the digital world, as much as possible
The internet — for that matter, the entire digital world of computers, phone apps, video games, radios, MP3 players, and so on — creates a sort of artificial model of the world which it’s all too easy to get lost in.
It’s very common — especially these days — for people’s entire experiences of the world to be coloured by their awareness of their social media image, or of the latest celebrity gossip (that they keep up to date with religiously), or the next chart-topping summer hit, or any number of other things.
While there’s nothing wrong with using these digital tools as tools, all too often it seems we end up being the tools and the digital devices the masters.
When you’re travelling, you’re experiencing new places and things on a regular basis. This can be a great entry point for thinking about yourself in ways you normally wouldn’t back home. It can be the motivating factor to consider what you really want out of life, or what you want to change about your attitude.
But it’s far, far easier to have these kinds of revelations if you cut the digital noise out for a while.
Follow a daily meditation routine
Meditation isn’t just for hippies and soccer moms (Arnold Schwarzenegger has gone on record saying that he was a regular practitioner of meditation during his heyday, so that’s something to consider), it’s the kind of practice that can help to transform anyone’s life.
Ultimately, meditation is all about training you to detach from your thoughts and view them from a distance. This often enhances clarity of understanding to a remarkable degree.
Keep a journal to note your thoughts and revelations
Even the most meaningful thought or revelation can be forgotten, and even the most reflective mind can miss a trick.
A journal helps you to formulate and articulate your thoughts, which actually helps you to think better in and of itself. It also helps you to store your revelations and reflections in one place, to review and ponder on later.
Keeping a journal with you when travelling, and making an entry once a day, can go a long way to helping you get to understand yourself better, not to mention keep a record of your travel adventures for posterity.