Traveling is not a magic formula for achieving all of your good resolutions. In the previous article, I shared the main reasons why travel and personal development don’t always go together.
I also revealed to you the two essential ingredients to achieve your goals, whether they relate to your self-confidence, your desire to learn new skills, to make a new start, to have a healthier life …
Now, I invite you to detail 5 of the most common goals for travelers, with concrete ways to achieve them.
5 travel change goals and how to get there
Traveling and making changes (objective or subjective – see part 1 for more details) is therefore possible! With these two ingredients, determination and openness, the traveler has all the cards in hand to achieve this.
But for those who want practical examples, here are some ideas for achieving individual development goals while traveling.
Personal development: towards a self-2.0
Wanting to work on oneself may be a goal set in advance by the traveler, but in my opinion, it corresponds more to the second category of goals (the subjective): in the sense that not everything can be calculated or measured. There is a large part of the unconscious in this inner adventure.
To walk on the path of personal development, travelers must want to listen to their thoughts, their fears, their distractions during long hours on the bus watching the landscape pass by. Wanting to think about who he is now, who we were and, most importantly, who he wants to become. Minus this, plus that …
But often the greatest work that one can do on oneself is that of acceptance. Accept yourself as you are, with its flaws and qualities, which are often two sides of the same coin.
You will tell me that self-confidence is part of personal development … And you will be right! But this subject seems to be a sensitive point (probably, because it is the basis of everything) that comes up often in the testimonials of travelers and in the questions I receive.
Traveling seems to rhyme with the word “dare”. Traveling is stepping out of your comfort zone. Enlarge the circle of his experiences. Develop better confidence in yourself and in the world.
On paper, it seems obvious. But on the roads… it seems less obvious! For example, traveling alone does not necessarily mean meeting people all the time or feeling comfortable with being a solo traveler (as Mélissa clearly shows on her return from her world tour).
Dare is not a decision to be taken once and for all when booking your plane ticket. It’s a bet to be repeated every day, at every crossroads, every hesitation. Yes, I move forward, I continue, I approach this person, I embark on this activity, I try this new thing. The road is paved with opportunities to “try your hand at daring” … or pitfalls to close in on yourself. Virtuous circle versus vicious circle.
Take care of your body
There is a myth around travel and the body: travel seems to have a magical effect, repairing everything, erasing flaws and particularly unwanted curves.
But what is the truth behind this myth?
Yes and no! Yes, on our first trip we came back a few pounds lighter, but I owe this change mostly to an illness that made me a hair’s breadth away from repatriation!
If the trip allows you to lose curves, it is above all for the change of status, from sedentary to nomadic (not surprisingly, we move a lot more in the second case!) And the change of diet: the we nibble less and we adapt to the diet of the countries visited.
Afterwards, traveling for several months in Asia or Central America, given the gastronomic specialties of each of these regions of the world, will probably not have the same impact on your figure!
And if the traveler, in his sedentary lifestyle, already walks a lot, avoids snacking and has a balanced diet … This does not mean that he will necessarily lose weight on the roads!
I will come back from a sporty and muscular trip!
Once again, this is not straightforward. Carrying a backpack for miles or rolling a suitcase while getting into a taxi doesn’t involve the same effort!
And good resolutions (“every morning, I will do an hour of jogging / yoga …”) are not so easy to keep on the roads. Sometimes, traveling requires spending nights on the bus, getting up before the sun … The days follow one another, but are not alike: it is thus more difficult to establish a routine and to apply good resolutions to lifestyle.
Great determination is necessary to apply one’s decisions… just like a certain laxity for all these dawn mornings: a subtle balance difficult to find!
Travel and learning
Before leaving, we often see the trip as an elastic time where anything is possible: do everything, see everything, learn everything … And yet, time flies, and perhaps even faster than in a sedentary life!
Travel is a golden opportunity to learn. A language for example. But learning a language requires willpower and a certain organization. Personally, I’m not good at learning a new language: it requires a lot of work and daily effort. Before traveling to Latin America, I took several Spanish courses during the two years before my departure and, there, I wrote down the new vocabulary words that I wanted to engrave in my memory.
The most difficult thing, beyond the memorization aspect, is quite simply to dare: to dare to speak a language that you do not master and to make mistakes. And avoid taking it easy when looking for people who speak English or their mother tongue.
Solve a problem
Whether personal, family, professional … for some, travel seems to be a solution to anything that can go wrong. A leak, say those who remain in the country. Perhaps. But I think in a lot of cases the traveler doesn’t realize it. He hopes to be enlightened by the magical force of the journey, allowing him to see everything more clearly and to become a better person, able to solve his problems.
Yes, travel allows you to take a step back. Yes, it will allow you to get out of certain vicious circles, stressful situations, difficult relationships …
But no, it won’t solve any of that. In any case, not without a conscious effort on the part of the traveler.
On the roads, the trigger for the problem is absent. The traveler feels lighter, free from weight. And yet, the problem is still there. He hovers above his head, and sometimes plunges him into moments of sadness or gloom. More importantly, once the return plane hits the ground, the traveler will be back in their troubles, without the situation having changed.
For example, leaving to forget is, in my experience, a bad strategy. I left for my first long trip, by a combination of circumstances, a few months after the death of my father. Did the trip help me grieve?
My only answer will be this: neither time nor distance eases pain.
The trip is often seen, for the couple, as a test or a therapy: “it passes or it breaks”.
I have already developed the specifics of traveling as a couple in various articles, so I will not expand on the question too much. But more than a solution, the journey is to be taken as a “relational accelerator”. The constant proximity over a long period and in a foreign environment allows you to live more intensely with your spouse … for better or for worse!
Traveling for change: a great opportunity
If any change requires a certain attitude combining openness and determination, travel often offers a fertile ground for questioning and taking charge of one’s life. Achieving personal goals is being fulfilled through them.
Hopefully with these few examples, the traveler in search of personal change finds avenues for fulfillment throughout this great journey of life!
And you? Do you have personal examples of personal change and development to share with us? Any advice for other travelers?