Discovering Yourself through Travel

by Jon Miksis
Neuschwanstein in Bavaria near Hohenschwangau
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Travel provides us with valuable learning opportunities

Throughout our lives, we are taught to conform to society’s norms and structure. At a very young age, we are dismissed from class by the sound of a bell, which tells us to move onto the next step in our daily routines. During the next chapter of our lives, we pursue activities and internships that align with our career ambitions. By the time we graduate from school, many of us are thrust into regimented jobs that are not necessarily conducive to cultivating our full creativity and imagination. As adults, our daily schedules begin to firmly take hold, leaving us with few ways to uncover our true passions. That is where travel comes in.

Traveling allows us to experience unfamiliar places and appreciate life outside of our typical routines. Traveling allows us to explore new possibilities and perspectives. Above all, traveling allows us to learn about ourselves and understand what makes us tick.

As you ponder your upcoming vacation time, I encourage you to invest in yourself and venture to a place you haven’t visited before. Here are a few reasons why you should plan your next vacation getaway with personal growth in mind!

Maldives Scenic Beach

Independence and Confidence

Traveling to new places allows us to challenge ourselves.

Beginning with our vacation planning, we strive to find the perfect accommodation, transportation, and excursions that fit our needs. Depending on the length and type of vacation, sorting out the logistics can be a laborious task. From the early stages of planning to the decision-making during the trip, there is a considerable amount of effort and responsibility that goes into each day of your journey. However, once the vacation is underway and you’re having the time of your life, the feeling of satisfaction makes all the hard work worthwhile. When left to our own devices in a new, faraway place, we are able to practice self-reliance.

As such, traveling fosters our sense of independence and confidence, which has an unwavering impact on our lives.

Confidence through Travel

Travel Teaches Patience

Despite all the rewarding facets of traveling, it can also be stressful and tedious at times. Whether you’re visiting a foreign country where people speak a different language, or another region with a distinct set of values and customs, you will undoubtedly encounter obstacles during your travel adventures. But these hurdles also offer a glimpse of opportunity and valuable life lessons. These experiences teach us to slow down and take a step back from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives.

When I lived in Spain, I was initially dissatisfied with the slow service and relaxed lifestyle that characterized Spanish life. I used to think to myself “how can it take this long to order food at a cafe?” or “why does everything have to close during siesta”?

This attitude and lack of patience was a direct result of my immediate environment and upbringing. However, as I took a step back and made the effort to learn about Spain’s unique culture and heritage, I began to understand and appreciate the different way of life. Experiences like these teach us patience and help us realize the impact of travel on our personal growth.

Spanish Life

Compassion and Understanding

The most rewarding takeaways from traveling are compassion and understanding. Traveling helps us recognize that our own culture, values, and traditions are not necessarily “better” or “more correct” than others. There are 190 countries across the globe, which are home to over 7 billion people! There is truly so much we can learn from our friends around the world. By visiting different places and striving to learn something new, you will discover unique and interesting points of view. Through exposure to different ways of life across the globe, we learn more about each other and ourselves.

Are you looking to kick off 2019 by discovering some of the most beautiful cities in Europe? If so, I recommend checking out my recent travel guides and itineraries for Barcelona and Verona:

Jon is a travel writer and photographer from Boston, Massachusetts. He is the owner of the @Global.Viewpoint Instagram page, which seeks to inspire others to travel and see the world with a global viewpoint.

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Vallie March 9, 2019 - 04:28

Hi there! Such a good post, thank you!

Alice September 1, 2018 - 12:35

What a great idea! I’m a writer, photographer, and traveler too. I have had many crazy, delightful, and even mystical experiences on the road. After hearing the sad news that Aretha had died, I remembered a magical moment I had while hitchhiking in Spain. My friend I were picked up by a semi in on our way to Italy. Our agreeable, if somewhat “touchy,” driver, had a sausage hanging outside one window of the cab. After awhile my friend and I were getting a bit antsy to get “there.” Then, as if out of the “ether,” “Think” came on the radio and Aretha was shouting “Freedom, oh Freedom, oh Freedom!” My friend and I went wild, singing along with genuine joy, as if this was the first REAL experience of FREEDOM we had ever had. And, in truth, I believe it was.


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