5 Truths World Travelers Know (But Never Talk About)
I left my corporate job several years ago to follow my heart and become a travel writer. Today I get to work from anywhere in the world, doing what I love.
Just today, while in Barbados, I met a woman who was surprised I was traveling alone. She said to me, “You are so brave; I don’t think I could travel alone.” She smiled with her eyes as Barbadians (Bajans) seem to do, but her words stuck with me.
I realized many of us make excuses or rest behind our fears instead of following through on our hearts’ desires. What she really was saying is “I would love to travel alone, but I'm too scared.” If we aren’t careful, fear will stop us from truly living a purposeful life.
Maybe you love to travel but you don’t have a buddy to venture out with. Or maybe you don’t feel like you have enough money to go to the places you keep dreaming about. Think about the excuses you use, and see how they're blocking you from doing what you truly want.
Our own insecurities and fear-based thoughts are the main things that stop us in life. To break this limiting lifestyle, we can learn from well-traveled folks.
One thing I've learned is that no matter who you are or where you're from, you probably want what everyone else does: to be loved, accepted and happy.
You don’t have to travel all around the world to learn life lessons gained from insightful travelers. If you want to be happier, try adopting any of these five essential life lessons well-traveled people know:
1. Investing in experiences is more fulfilling than things.
People who travel a lot understand the importance of investing in experiences, which will bring life rewards. Instead of buying things that will soon be of no use or forgotten and shoved back in their closets, they save their money for trips and adventures that will help them explore life more deeply.
2. The fastest way to get unstuck is to do what you’ve never done.
Traveling keeps you connected to your true self. The more you invite in new opportunities, the happier you can be, and going outside of your comfort zone on a regular basis is important. People who spend time living out of a suitcase embrace each new location as it opens their eyes to a new way of life. If you feel stuck, consider adding more adventure into your life.
3. Contrast brings clarity.
One of the most beautiful things about traveling is the amount of diversity you're exposed to. New cultures, languages, approaches to life, and beliefs can open your eyes to miraculous opportunities. With travel comes an opportunity to question yourself and your current way of life. Are the beliefs you have working for you, or is it time to adopt a new approach to a situation? Traveling can help you get out of your own way and gain more insight and clarity.
4. Adventure is the best way to learn.
Remember when you took field trips as a child? You spent weeks studying things in history books, but it wasn’t until you took the trip to the museum that things came into perspective. Experience is rich and full of wisdom that can never be learned in training, textbooks, or courses. Sometimes the best way to learn is to get out and do. Which means exploring life more fully and taking more adventures.
5. Everything is in the right order.
People who travel often understand the true meaning of going with the flow. When you're in a new culture or location, you're forced to look at things in new ways. But this helps you adapt to change and embrace what is. As you travel, you learn more about life, and you often see that everything is always in the right order.
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Shannon Kaiser is the best-selling author of 5 books on the psychology of happiness and fulfillment including The Self-Love Experiment and Adventures for Your Soul, Joy Seeker, and Unshakable Inner Peace Oracle card deck, and the forthcoming book Return to You. She has a B.A. in journalism and communications from the University of Oregon. As an international life coach, speaker, and retreat leader, she helps people awaken and align with their true selves so they can live their highest potential.
She's been named top 100 Women to Watch in wellness by mindbodygreen, alongside Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kris Carr and Gabriel Bernstein, and was listed as of the freshest voices in mental health and wellness by Chicken Soup for The Women's Soul. She's been named one of Entrepreneurs Must-Follow Instagram Accounts for Inspiration and Top Facebook Accounts for Daily Motivation by Mind Body Green.
Her website Playwiththeworld.com has been names top 75 Personal development websites and top 100 self-help websites by the institute for the Psychology of Eating. She's an international life coach and author mentor, and a full time world traveler with a home base in Portland, Oregon with her best friend, her Golden Retriever Chance, who she flew to China to Rescue.