It is well known that travel is full of virtues: it forms youth, has benefits for couples and has a clear link with personal development. Some travelers even seem to go so far as to make a list of goals to accomplish through the trip:
- have more self-confidence
- learn a language
- losing weight
- solve a relationship problem
- stop smoking
- overcome grief
- live healthier
- solve a couple problem
- get into sport …
If all these objectives are undoubtedly achievable (at least taken in isolation), accomplishing them is not, however, taken for granted! Because no, traveling does not solve all problems …
Travel and good resolutions
Going on a trip is sometimes an act of good resolution.
But like New Year’s resolutions, which always start with a good feeling, these promises rarely translate from theory to practice.
The reasons can be many (and cumulative!). So, as going from December 31 to January 1 does not fundamentally change our life, going on a trip is not enough to achieve all the good resolutions in the world!
Travel and voluntary change: a winning duo
Yet, yes, travel and personal development can go hand in hand. Travel (especially long-distance independent travel) naturally leads the traveler to question himself. To change his perspective on his personal problems. To put things into perspective and review their priorities.
While some changes can be seen as “objective” objectives (identifiable, quantifiable), which can be anticipated before departure; others (the majority?) on the contrary, surprise and touch the traveler in a very personal, completely subjective way, bordering on naming.
Achieving your goals while traveling: two essential ingredients
For travel to rhyme with development (both for objective and subjective changes), two ingredients are needed.
For objective changes, will and organization are the key words here. The traveler must set a concrete goal (as objective and measurable as possible), with intermediate steps.
Like a marathon, the goal is a long run. So, to achieve this, it is better to divide the route into clear intermediate stages (sub-objectives), with the path to take to get from one sub-objective to the next.
For example, if a person wants to lose weight, rather than wanting to lose 10 kg at one time, they will divide the weight to be lost lengthwise, for example aiming for a loss of 1 kg per week.
For personal development, although it may seem less practical than losing weight, it is exactly the same principle. Wanting to “develop your self-confidence” is a broad and vague goal. It is up to the traveler to clarify: what does this mean for them in concrete terms?
Go more towards others? Dare to say what he thinks bluntly? Getting into an activity that scares him? …
Depending on this personal definition of self-confidence, he will be able to develop intermediate milestones. For example, once a day, talking to a stranger, if only to ask for the time or the way. You shouldn’t hesitate to start small, to feel comfortable with each step of this marathon.
For these kinds of changes, it is also unnecessary to tackle all the problems head-on. For example, a traveler who decides to quit smoking would not be in the best position to, at the same time, do personal work AND lose weight AND etc.
It is therefore more likely to limit its objectives, so that they do not obstruct each other, and, above all, not to become discouraged.
For subjective changes, the secret ingredient is above all a matter of state of mind. The traveler must be able to accept to feel destabilized or surprised. Possess a mentality that shows a great openness to the world … and to yourself. Which is probably the hardest part!
Accept to let go, not to control everything.
This can be witnessed in a thousand and one ways: accepting not to “see everything or do everything”, to make mistakes, not to plan everything and organize everything down to the smallest detail … Leave room for the unknown.
One of the great woes of modern life is the lack of the unforeseen, the lack of adventure.
Here too, this can be worked on, starting with more concrete sub-goals first. For example, by letting go of your travel guide for a day, to choose where to eat by yourself, as you wander the streets.
This state of mind can thus be evidenced by concrete actions which, little by little, will induce another mentality.
Another way of being in the world.
This openness and peace of mind will then allow the traveler to listen to himself more.
By being more in tune with themselves, the traveler will be open to “subjective changes”: personal changes that they did not anticipate. Which he might never even have thought of. No doubt he will not be able, on his return, to say exactly what has changed in him. But he won’t feel quite the same, happy about this metamorphosis.
5 travel change goals and how to get there
In the second part of this article, I will detail 5 common objectives that travelers aim for, as well as ways to achieve them and avoid their traps.
Travel and grow: the project of a lifetime
The journey allows you to grow, develop, unlock certain fears, understand certain chapters of your history and accept aspects of your personality… But this work is not straightforward. It requires, in certain cases, a great force of will. In others, a certain psychic attitude. And, most often, a clever mix of the two. As well as time. A lot of time.
But above all, this development is not limited to travel: it is the path of a lifetime! The process of personal development, while it may seem to accelerate on the roads, is not to be brought to a standstill once you return to a sedentary life.
It’s a long, beautiful road ahead of us to be the person we want to become …