Why do people say “travel broadens the mind”? Because travel forces you to think and behave creatively, and respond to situations you could not have anticipated. As a traveler, you literally have to see the world from a different perspective, which means saying goodbye to your comfort zone. However it is our ability to learn from experiences and embrace change, rather than react to it, that broadens our outlook. Ultimately, our appreciation and understanding of ourselves and our place in the world strengthens when we travel.
Fortunately, or unfortunately – depending on which way you view it – there is no organized package tour to make our travels through life more predictable. Although plenty of individuals and organizations appear to offer neatly prepared responses to life’s questions, there is no life-handling agency that can make the decisions for you. There is no one who will do all of the behind-the-scenes work for you. In the end, you alone must learn to negotiate the transitions and deal with the problems. No one can guarantee you a safe trip and a pleasant stay, but once you face the challenges head on you can learn and grow through them. This is the adventure, the journey of life – both the unpredictability and the possibilities.
Are you ready to make the journey?
Any progress into the future will involve taking a risk and stepping out into the unknown. It will require taking on new challenges with the determination and flexibility of an experienced traveler. The traveler of the future cannot afford to be paralyzed by challenges, but needs to see them as an opportunity to learn and grow. Experience is the authentic teacher. It opens up awareness and guides judgment.
For the wise traveler, it is not only the end goal that matters. It is possible to gain as much from understanding the process of the journey as it is from merely reaching the desired destination. It is through understanding the process that it is possible to improve for the next time. Travelers will only survive life’s journey if they learn to innovate and adapt. Because scale doesn’t always translate to mass, value often accrues fastest for those who travel lightest and collaborate with others.
Let the journey begin!
Each country and all cultures have stories celebrating the determined individuals who have faced the challenges of travel ‘head-on’. They describe the importance of appropriate preparation and support required to complete the journey successfully. These stories and myths teach us that with a strong driving force and clear vision of what needs to be achieved, it is possible to find a way forward against all odds.
Entering a new culture is more than just putting on the costumes. It is learning to experience life from a different perspective. This experience broadens our view and helps us see things that we may previously have been unable to see. We become exposed to new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. Enter a new culture and experience life in new and unique ways.
© Gaia Grant
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