Travel

If you don’t ever leave your comfort zone, have you ever really traveled before?

I just moved. I packed up my bags and moved across the country… alone.

I’m in the process of meeting new people and engaging in new adventures and experiences. It’s fun and exciting and curious. It’s also interesting. I noticed, the moment I stepped onto the ground in this new city, my thoughts, feelings and emotions shifted. Dramatically.

At first, I started to notice more negative thoughts, “why did I do this?” “I’m going to be so lonely.” “I wish I’d found a roommate.” “I hope to make new friends quickly.” The list went on.

My mind was attempting to cope with the uncertainty of my situation and I believe it was truly doing the best it can with the situation I presented it with.

But it can only do so much…

Over time, I decided I couldn’t give my mind the power I’d been giving it. Those thoughts still came, don’t get me wrong, but I found a way to engage with them in a different way.

When those thoughts came in, I smiled and laughed, instead of frantically searching for the next thing to do or the next person to meet up with.

It made such a difference — having the space to look at my mind and see the way it wanted so badly to control the situation around me, and then ultimately, choosing to respond instead of react.

Traveling, to me, is such a liberating spiritual journey. It’s a way of being able to see the mind and not have to take it so seriously.

Traveling has given me the opportunity to prepare myself to look at and see my current situation, and the world, for what it is, rather than how I perceive it to be.

Traveling forces me to engage with myself, to look closely at where it is my mind automatically goes, and be able to shift that, in whichever way I want to.

Traveling forces me to notice what calls to me, what stands out. Do I gravitate towards the familiar or do I seek out new experiences? Do I make new friends or do I gravitate towards the same, familiar people?

Whenever I go a little bit passed the boundaries of my ‘self’, I enter into a new state of mind and a new way of being in my body, and I work with it. I notice the shifts within myself and, I don’t react or cater to it, but instead, notice and observe what’s happening.

Traveling has helped me practice being okay when faced with an experience my mind has already deemed as a threat. Instead of running away in fear, I’m able to play the role of the person sitting in a movie theatre, watching the main character on stage — not having anything to do but watch. It’s such a liberating experience.

Traveling asks our minds to leave the comfort of its old, habitual patterns and as a result, our minds grow, adapt and actually learn new things. It’s the secret to growing, evolving, maturing, and adapting as human beings.

Traveling means forging a new path — making your ‘self’ so uncomfortable, the mind is forced to leave the equation. Being in the mind is almost too unbearable that you have to step out of it. As a result, you are forced into a truer, more real experience of reality.

So, I will ask again…have you really ever traveled before?

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