Most people travel to find themselves, to become happy and seek a way to live a more joyous and rewarding life. However finding yourself is not something that just happens through travel. It takes a lot more work than just that.
Here I was at a major turning point in my life, living in Egypt as a Dive Master. I still miss this place too
I mean, just because you take a few weeks, months or years off to gallivant around the globe merrily, does not mean you will end up finding yourself at all. Do you really think it’s that easy? Do you really think that after a certain amount of time away from home you will come back to find a humble abode, live happily ever after and know what you need to do with your life to stay eternally content?
Sure we would love to think it’s that easy but unfortunately finding yourself is just not easily done.
So why am I telling you this?
Well not because I don’t think travel is not incredibly life changing, as in all honesty it really is! But just because you go to spiritual places such as Tibet, Israel or India does not mean you will end up finding yourself among the many other things that will go on there. So you can stop planning that 3-6 month trip to India where you stop talking for a week, become vegan and learn to love yourself whilst practicing meditation and yoga. I myself meditate, do yoga and also like to often listen instead of blabbering on, but I can (and do) do that at home (where I learnt it all) or anywhere in the world. So why can’t you?
Early morning for the sunrise at the Taj Mahal
That’s not to say India didn’t change me as a person either. People go off travelling and return home a changed person most of the time. Usually in big ways too, and heck I know from experience. Travel has changed me into a person I never thought could even exist and mostly it’s for the better (well I like to think so anyways). But this is not because I have visited certain spiritual places around the world. They do play a certain part in that change from teaching me things about various ways of life. But it mostly allows me to look at the world and situations in a different perspective. It helps me to understand how people think and why they do what they do and whether I should be doing the same or not in order to be happy in my own life.
And if that is not deep enough, brace yourself because this is what we need to do to actually ‘find ourselves’. It takes seeing new places, meeting new people, taking adventures and sharing experiences with different people in different cultures, allowing us to see the inside of situations and ourselves from the outside. This is where you find yourself. By looking at different perspectives and ways of life and then looking within yourself to make a non opinionated judgment on what you choose to believe or not.
Finding yourself can’t be done by going anywhere and everywhere around the world, because you’re never going to find yourself in those places. You already know where to look to find yourself. And that is within you. You don’t need to go travel, you could stay at home for all you like and still find yourself. The misconception here is that people believe by going places they will find themselves and will learn to live a happier life.
The sad fact is, you can still travel the world and not find yourself. You need to be open to change. I mean how can you find yourself without a bit of change? You can’t, otherwise how would you ever know what is right for you if you don’t try new things and become susceptible to different changes.
On a solo adventure in Jordan to the famous Petra, where I learnt a lot about the natives and myself
This is where travel comes into the picture. Travel itself doesn’t help you find yourself it’s those experiences and those important life lessons you learn along the way that help you to think and accept information in different ways. By travelling you open yourself to a world of adventures, which opens you to look within yourself from a different perspective and see what does and does not make you happy.
You need to travel to acquire those experiences that will allow you to look within yourself from those different situations. It is possible to find yourself wherever you are, but by staying at home in one place, doing one thing for the remainder of your existence is not the best way to do it either.
“To travel is to not find yourself, it simply allows you to learn about yourself” – Jaryd Krause