One of my fondest memories is from when I was just about six years old. A promise from my father that my mind hasn’t let slip away— “I will make you discover the whole world.” I don’t know if covering the entire planet is something my to-do list can handle, but at the age of 23, I’ve somehow—maybe even through simple manifestation—had the privilege to discover more countries than my years on this beautiful Earth. I’m on a road trip writing this blog, and I can say that I feel liberated. Travel expands our capacity for wonder, joy and appreciation of the amazing diversity on our planet. Having a moment to simply ‘be’ allows us to let go of stress and tension and just enjoy being in the moment.
Travel is my one and only Guru for many reasons––and a few of them I’d like to share.
Travelling helps us feel like our best selves because we’re more willing to receive the world’s many lessons, no matter their shape or size. It helps us recognise our shared humanity with others while dissipating fear or misunderstandings. After all, it’s way more fun to love the world than to be afraid of it.
The best alternative to gaining knowledge from a book is travelling. According to neuroscientists, when we travel, we rewire our brains. This is because new experiences are the key to building new neural pathways in the brain. By rewiring your brain, you become more creative and accepting of new ideas. This is why travel makes you happy. It also takes us out of our comfort zones and inspires us to see, taste, and try new things. It constantly challenges us, not only to adapt to and explore new surroundings but also to engage with different people. Engaging with people of all kinds gave me a sense of humility and compassion.
The happiest people are the ones with the strongest connections to others, be it family, friends or the general community. One of the best ways to improve these relationships is by travelling together and experiencing new things together. You will find that it creates an opportunity to have some of the most important memories of your life, and this level of connection does wonders for relationships.The pleasures of discovering new things and the joy that comes with meeting new people or the thrill of eating new foods all come together to create a feeling of happiness in any traveller.
My favourite lesson was that the body and mind are not separate entities. Travelling improves your mental health by helping you feel calm. Taking time from work to see new places releases the stress you’ve been holding on to, so much so that the feeling can only be described as feeling alive. Studies have shown that we value our experiences more than any material possessions we may own. Spending money on a new experience is more important than buying something new because the experience stays with you forever and you can take it with you wherever you go. This is why when people are reminded of the good experience they had before, they instantly become much happier. As we age, this phenomenon only increases. Our overall satisfaction with experiences increases while the joy and satisfaction we get from buying new things reduces.
My second favourite lesson is, like anything in life, it’s not always rosy. During my first few travelling experiences, I went through an array of different emotions. From excitement to nervousness, lingering doubt, a sense of accomplishment, boredom, self-confidence, I felt them all. Feeling so many emotions can be quite taxing, but one must remember that this creates an opportunity for growth as it's not about not feeling emotions, but about being able to understand them in order to understand oneself.
You’ll be able to explore new places and cultures and discover the different ways that people live around the globe. You’ll discover as much about yourself as you do about the world, feeling truly complete. Your confidence will grow and you’ll realise how capable you are of taking charge and getting out into the world.