04 May Making Travel Useful
If you ask young people these days (millennials & gen Z) what they want to do in their lives, there is a high chance that one of the first things listed will be travelling.
Sure, travelling is fun, exciting and something great to do for a holiday. It enriches us in more ways than one and I want to talk about why it’s not only enjoyable, but also highly important to our personal development.
Here is what I’m talking about today:
- Perspective shifts.
- Alone time & reflection (for solo travelers).
- Boosted creativity & motivation.
- How and why you should travel strategically (not just as a holiday).
Let’s start with the first one.
This is pretty obvious and it is a consequence of being away from your usual environment. However, perspective means a different view on the lives of others, but also on your own. It’s pretty easy to get stuck into patterns of thinking and living. However, being away from them and observing how different cultures do things can help us adjust and shift out of our negative patterns. For example, where I live currently it is much more likely to encounter negativity in people, even from strangers on the street. So it helps to visit countries like Croatia, where I’ve found people to be more open, positive and having a generally more easy-going attitude. This reminds me that the negativity that I pick up in myself can sometimes be a product of my environment, rather than my personality.
Alone Time & Reflection.
I believe very few people travel alone and can miss out on the benefits of this. If you ever get the chance to go somewhere alone I highly recommend doing it. It is a completely different experience than travelling with a significant other or your friends. It’s great because you can enjoy everything at your own pace, go wherever you want or just relax somewhere without thinking about anyone else.
Furthermore, you have a lot more time to think. To think on the environment you are in and notice the small things people do. Or to reflect on your regular daily life and choices. This is linked to the previous point of perspective, but being somewhere else really boosts my capabilities for reflection and decision making. I find that I think much more clearly and it is easier to make the right decisions. Somehow being away from my regular routine I can see the “big picture” of my life and goals more easily.
Creativity & Motivation.
Ever notice that when you are somewhere on holiday creativity & motivation just skyrockets? This is also related to the previous points, but I believe there is always more creativity whenever we are out of our usual patterns. I seem to get the best ideas to apply to my work, whenever I am not actually working. Somehow the mind is just free to explore options that would otherwise not come to us in daily life. Being in a different environment stimulates the mind to think differently (it has no choice)!
I find that motivation is also not a endless resource. Sometimes I lose it, because I am doing something for the wrong reasons, or because I become stuck and uninspired. Travelling helps me get unstuck, inspired and really replenishes my “motivation tanks”. I might notice a business doing something that I find applicable to mine and that gets me fired up to try it. For me, creativity and motivation are linked. The more creative I get, the more motivated I am to try everything that I just thought of. Creativity gives me options, while motivation is the fuel I need to get them all done.
Travelling has many more benefits than the ones I just listed. I believe it is one of the single most powerful productivity tool you can use in your work. Yes, it is a holiday for most, but if you travel in strategic intervals throughout the year it can really boost your effectiveness in daily life. I have found that if I don’t travel regularly I will sometimes miss the big picture at work or in my personal life. Travelling helps keep me aligned with my goals.
I usually travel for one week every 2 months and I can really feel the benefits of a regularly scheduled week away. I use the time to write down ideas (for work, for this blog, for my goals), to think, notice the little things. It reminds me that I forget to live ”in the now” when I get stuck in my routine. That is unfortunate, because I believe most of life’s little pleasures come from enjoying the current moment and being present.
I’ve also started filming, which I find to be really enjoyable lately. Hoping to use the shots for more video content!
Travelling isn’t just for holidays or having fun. Use it as a tool to boost your personal development and work effectiveness. Learning to make the most of it will help stay on top of your game and live a happier life.
The points I laid out here are my personal strategies. Maybe you will find things work differently for you. The important thing is to find your own way to get the most out of your journey. There is no universal way to do this, you just have to try and see what works for you.