You’re entering early adult life and you seem to be facing two options: One, jump right into a career-launching job, or two, travel the world to create the life you want. As you think about the options, you realise that having a job doesn’t allow you to keep learning or align with your current values. You’re hoping that traveling will help you “find yourself” or inspire your next big idea.
There’s a way to travel and get what you want from it. However, merely visiting a new place and seeing the touristic sites won’t do the job. It’s the experiences you create or how you react to new ideas while you’re traveling that will help you find yourself. Traveling with an open mind allows you to immerse yourself in new cultures, ideas, and even lifestyles.
Travel with an Open Mind To Find Yourself
Here are a few things that happened when I traveled the world with an open mind…
A Wider Perspective
Traveling gives you a new and better outlook on the world.
Instead of seeing things from a small window, you begin to see the big picture and over-arching themes. You learn about a country’s history and culture and how that entangles with another country or even your own. You begin to understand how history influenced a country’s current social structure and values.
After going to so many countries you begin to see how much the world has in common with your home country. You might even fathom the opposite: many things you thought were universal are specific to your country.
Traveling allows you to meet other people from different walks of life and cultures. You recognise that at the end of the day we’re all humans. We all have common wants and needs and problems we face moving forward in life. When I traveled in Europe and Asia, I enjoyed discovering one thing I shared with someone from a different culture. It gave me a reason to start talking to that person and form a relationship with them.
Challenging and Setting New Limits
Traveling allows you to be completely independent and forces you to make decisions for yourself. You don’t have the usual support you’re accustomed to at home. If you run into a problem, you have to figure out a new way to solve it.
You might come to a new destination and find that it wasn’t what you expected. Perhaps, the place doesn’t have a customary amenity. You accentuate the positives of the situation and find something enjoyable you can do even if that amenity isn’t there. After living a different lifestyle, you gain a better understanding of the things that are absolutely necessary to you and those that are “luxuries”.
When I traveled to France, I stayed with a family whose internet access was restricted. I could only access the internet between 11pm-7am. At first, I didn’t know what to do with my time. I thought of the activities I enjoyed doing before technology took over. Luckily for me, the family had a bike I could borrow. Every afternoon after lunch, I would read books and bike around the French countryside. It was there that I defined myself not as a tourist but as a traveler. By the end of my stay, I didn’t feel the need to check my phone so often and became more focused on creating new experiences for myself or with other people.
Appreciate New Experiences
When you travel, go somewhere no one ever goes and do something one rarely does.
If you have an open mind, you’ll welcome the unfamiliarity enthusiastically and willingly accept the challenges that come with it. When you immerse and open yourself up to new ideas and experiences, you leave what you know behind. You become happy to listen and learn about other cultures and ideas from your own. Afterwards, you re-evaluate what it’s important to you and maybe how you want to integrate new ideas into your lifestyle.
Throughout my month and a half stay in France, I began to notice how laid-back people acted. No one was in a hurry since they were in the present moment. It made me ask myself about why I always rushed to get places. I began to appreciate the journey and obstacles to reach my final destination as a part of my overall experience.
You will not be able to re-define your values or discover new ones if you’re attached to your old ones.
You can’t understand what you value and how to create a life with them if your friends and family influence you. It might be scary to restrict contact with your family and friends, but it’s necessary to help “find yourself”.
Try to either limit your time on social media or find remote places that don’t have internet access or have regulated access. Life becomes simpler without the constant bombardments of the news and social media posts. This alone time allows you to deeply consider what you value in life, what quality of life you want, what type of people you need around you, and how to create it.
When I was trekking in the Nepali mountains, I didn’t have internet for two weeks. I was truly present and curious about the things I saw around me. The only things I had to worry about was feeding myself and hiking to the next village by the end of the day. I had more free time to make connections with the other trekkers. I also had time to journal and evaluate what I wanted. At the end of my trek, I came up with two plans. One, if I came back home and two, if I continued my travels. I was happy doing either of the two plans since they aligned with my values and could lead to the quality of life I wanted.
Create Your State of Independence
All of the ideas you read about, help create your state of independence during and even after you’re traveling.
Traveling helps you build a stronger, more confident, independent person. You know what you value in life, the lifestyle you most desire, and the quality of life you deserve. You will do anything to help grow and sustain that state of independence and eliminate the things that shrink or harm it.
Take a leap, plan your next travels, don’t look behind, and come back a changed person.
Author: Troy has been married for 27 years to his wife Shauna. They have six active children and they love to participate in many extracurricular activities including: boating, flying, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and adventure motorcycling (pretty much whatever will get them outside). Troy has a vast amount of experience in the following business sectors: medical, dental, manufacturing, retail, restaurants, construction, farming and ranching. He is a shareholder in Cook Martin Poulson a Utah Accounting Firm.