Have you ever thought that going travelling might genuinely change your life? Perhaps you found yourself out on the open road at some time and realised that some of the hangups and fixations which had been bothering you for a while had completely disappeared into nothingness, seemingly out of the blue. Or maybe you left on your trip in the first place in order to get a new perspective on things.
Whether the issue currently preoccupying your mind is one of future goals and direction or something more immediate and concrete such as identifying the best estate agents for an upcoming move, travel has the ability to radically alter how we look at the world, to redefine our priorities, and to give us insights into ourselves that we might have struggled to achieve if we’d stayed at home the whole time.
But, for all the amazing insights and clarity of mind that travelling can offer, you might also find yourself in the position of struggling to hold onto those benefits when you return home. Perhaps the insights you’d had quickly begin to seem unimportant or silly, the anxieties and concerns of life pile back on, and before you know it, you’re right back where you started.
Here are some tips for not only having positive and transformational experiences when travelling, but for bringing those experiences home and allowing them to exert a positive impact on your entire life going forward.
Try to replicate some of your key travel habits back at home
One of the major ways in which travelling away from home can create the space for positive transformation to occur, is by shaking up our normal habits and routines dramatically, to the point where we are forced to see things from an at least somewhat different angle.
A good example of this could be that, in the course of your normal life back at home; you spend several hours a day idly surfing the web. Perhaps a number of negatives occur as a result of this practice. Maybe you habitually surf websites that reinforce negative and self-defeating viewpoints, or maybe the time you waste on the un-focused web-surfing creates a constant sense of guilt and urgency in your life, which makes it difficult to properly balance your priorities and engage in the pastimes you’d most like to.
When travelling, you likely won’t have the time or even internet access to commit to your normal web surfing routine. Without that time spent surfing the web, you might find that you’re far more productive than you ever were before. This may bolster your self-esteem as your sense of your own abilities to overcome the challenges that life presents.
At the same time, being removed from your normal web surfing patterns may mean that you’re no longer being bombarded by the same negative and self-reinforcing messages that have been keeping you trapped all along. As a result, you may begin to see things from new angles, and develop a more positive and optimistic outlook on things overall.
This is just one example of how shaking up your habits while travelling might radically change your life for the better.
Next time you’re travelling and feeling great, focus on identifying the habits you’ve dropped, and the new ones you’ve acquired, while out on the road. Work to replicate this habit structure back at home and see if things don’t rapidly change for the better.
Keep a travel journal to record your insights in
Our lives and personalities are shaped by many different experiences, and this is even truer on our travels. The character of any journey or vacation — and the benefits we enjoy from it — will be the result of a large collection of individual experiences, and rarely the result of just one major event.
In order to properly understand and track the progression of your own mood and thoughts while travelling, it can be extremely helpful to keep a travel journal of sorts. This should generally be a paper notebook that you can take with you anywhere (and that will never run out of battery), in which you record the thoughts and events that have had the biggest impact on you each day.
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll remember the most striking and intellectually or emotionally relevant parts of the day, as your mind will automatically attach a sense of meaning to them.
When back at home, you should review this travel journal regularly, identify the key insights you’ve had, and reflect on the importance and nature of the trip overall.
Make an action plan and set goals as soon as you arrive home, if not earlier
Simply thinking about a thing is rarely, if ever, enough to motivate serious, positive, and lasting change. For an experience or thought process to be transformational, you will generally need to take some kind of positive action in line with your revelations and findings.
When travelling, it’s common that you will think up ideas of things you could, should, or want to do differently in your life. You may have visions for the direction you’d like to move your life in, in the future, or perhaps you will come up with solutions to a problem that’s been haunting you for a while, which seem like they really might work.
As soon as you arrive home — if not before — it’s time to use these travel insights (hopefully recorded in your travel journal) to set goals and create an action plan that you can begin to work with immediately.
This action plan will, of course, be unique to you and reflect your own life circumstances and the insights you’ve gathered. If you’ve been inspired, when on holiday, to spend less time in front of the computer, for example — you may make an action plan that involves you joining clubs and hobby groups, and leaving the house to socialise as much as possible.
The key is that you move your ideas from the realm of the purely theoretical, and begin taking active steps as soon as possible.