If you’ve ever taken a long weekend to explore a new town, taken days away from your routine to hop on a plane and head to a far off destination, or even simply taken yourself to an unknown neck of your woods, you likely know how healing and expanding yourself in an unfamiliar territory can be.
Travel is an important part of our life. It’s not in addition to our work or family life, but it’s its own commodity that must be fulfilled to add depth, richness and freshness to us. It fills us up, opens our minds, and allows us to learn new things.
Traveling doesn't have to mean an out of country excursion. It can be a trip to a new city, time at a new park, or a hike you have never been on. The important part is that you immerse yourself in the unknown in order to expand your idea of what is possible, how it makes you feel, how you react, and how you approach life in its entirety.
Here are five ways traveling allows you to shine from the inside out.
1. It Slows You Down
It’s so easy to get caught up in our day-to-day lives filled with work deadlines, family dependences, friendly obligations and more that it can simply stress us out, cause us to lose sleep, and forget to breathe. Traveling allows you to hit the reset button—to come back to what really matters: your health and happiness.
2. It Humbles You
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert
We feel so big—physically and mentally—in the spaces we occupy on a regular basis, that we forget how little we really are. It’s easy to get caught up in materialistic contentment, but when you step away from this world and enter connection with a new territory, you come to the incredible realization that we are all united in a much more meaningful, grandiose way than the clothes on our back or the various circles we run in.
3. It Ignites Your Creativity
Traveling boosts mental stimulation as you digest new information from your surrounding scene. You are taken out of the comfort of familiarity and pushed to engage, immerse and adapt with the unknown, whether that be a new culture or a new landscape.
4. It Expands Opportunities
Your idea of what is possible only goes so far as to what you know. The more your travel, the more people you meet, the more ideas you see, the more inspiration you collect, and the more potential you see in the world. When you climb a new mountain, you realize there are more new mountains to climb and higher peaks to conquer. When you make a friend who doesn’t speak the same language as you, you realize friendship exceeds the standards you once knew. When you watch an entire community come together to care for and protect each other despite grave conditions, you realize you are capable of taking care of yourself and others in a much deeper way than you could have ever imagined.
5. It Allows You To Tell Stories
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
What’s more vibrant than a group of people congregating around an individual who has just embarked on an adventure and is sharing their experiences? People become your diary pages as you paint a picture of everything you saw, did and learned. You create an appreciation for collecting these memories that pave a constant path for you, and allow you to revisit lessons you learned, and use them to continue to guide you forward.
When we are stressed, sad, fed up with the same routine and surrounded by the same people day in and day out, our light is inevitably dim. To appreciate where we are, who we’re with, and how we live, we must get out of our comfort zone—experience new people, places and things—to reignite the fire within, and shine with all the vibrancy in the world.