This journey starts with a growth mindset and the willingness to embrace inner change. If you are looking for a transformation from your travels, you will need to take time for some introspection. And goal setting is the first step.
Knowing your intention and purpose will not only help you in prioritizing tasks and deciding what's important for you, it will also keep you accountable for achieving your desired outcome.
A good way to think about this is imagining that you have come back from your trip: What would you like to explain? What have you seen and experienced? What has changed for you? How do you feel now?
This is not about creating a to-do list or being attached to a specic outcome. It's about consciously dening your purpose to support your pursuit in this journey.
2- BEING PROACTIVE
Travel creates a unique opportunity to rediscover who you really are, free from social expectations, assumed roles and workaday responsibilities. It creates the space and state of mind for the important matters and ideas to surface, so you can embrace them.
But the mere act of travel won't change things for you, unless you understand what you are looking at. Don't miss this opportunity for growth by being a spectator! If you pursue transformation, you want to proactively engage with what's happening around you. Seek connection with your inner self, with others along the way, with the place you are, with nature, with something bigger than yourself...
This might take the form of writing a journal, meaningful conversations with strangers, hire a tour guide, ask genuine questions, listen proactively, learn from others, be curios about their traditions... Many people engage passively, but if you participate purposefully, you'll see yourself and the whole world with new and fresh eyes.
3- BE CONSCIOUSLY PRESENT
In our hectic society it's getting harder everyday to disconnect from the daily routine. We feel pressed for time, like there is not enough time in the day to do all the things we need to do. Sometimes, we are the ones keeping ourselves busy just to avoid looking inside - because when we stop 'doing' we are forced to look at a reality that we might not like.
Overall, we spend too much time in our minds, thinking about the past, planning about the future, doing stu on 'auto-pilot'... We have lost touch with the present moment, with our bodies. Can you also feel this urge to restore the mind/body balance - both in yourself and in society?
Travel gets us out of our mind. It provides a unique opportunity to slow down, disconnect from the external world and open our hearts fully. When you travel, make time to tune into how it feels to 'be here right now'. Practise mindfulness, focus on your 5 senses: what can you see, hear, smell, taste, touch? Real transformation is through the body.
4- CHOOSE RESOURCEFULNESS
Travel has its challenges. You can predict and plan for some of them. However, you'll face others that are unexpected and unavoidable. So, when packing, don't forget to add some positive attitude, exibility, compassion and especially your sense of humour! It's eventually up to you to see challenges as an opportunity to grow, rather than allow these setbacks to ruin the rest of your trip.
Prepare for the expected by writing down the challenges that you expect to face during this trip? What are you fearful of? How will you conquer these fears? Remember to be always kind to yourself.
On that note, it's always useful to have a list of positive afirmations in your toolkit to keep your vibe: "I am embracing life", "I am charting my own path", "I a ready to grow", "I've got this", "I am proud of myself for doing this work". Remembering that traveling is a privilege that should help us to connect with gratitude.
5- PRACTICING VULNERABILITY
Being in our familiar routines, our jobs, our homes... makes us feel safe and 'in control'. Our social roles give us a sense of identity, prestige, recognition. However, when we travel, the human being underneath these roles is brought into the light. When we don't know the language, the culture, the norms, it can trigger feelings of discomfort, insecurity or fear not 'fitting in'.
If any of these feelings arise when traveling, deal with them with vulnerability. This is a unique opportunity to send love to these parts of yourself by connecting with your heart and sharing your truth unapologetically.
There is nothing weak about being vulnerable, it takes guts! Be bold about going deep in your conversations (vs small talk), share your real thoughts and feelings in a journal, in messages, or with others where you are. This is not about expressing everything that comes to your mind but being able to feel your feelings, accept them, and express them.
6- CHALLENGING PERSPECTIVES
One of the reasons why travel is such a great catalyst for transformation and growth is that it has the power to change your mindset - if you allow it to do so.
Would you agree that a same situation can be seen from different perspectives, all of them real and valid for the people perceiving it that way? Eventually the meaning we assign to each situation is highly influenced by our beliefs and past experiences, which at the same time will determine our thoughts, feelings and actions - and shape how we perceive and live our lives.
If you can come back home viewing yourself, others and the world around you through different lens, then we can say you've been transformed. While on your journey, try to reflect on the perceptions, beliefs and past experiences that shape your current experience of the world - including your experience of the place, the people and the reality around you.
7- TAKING INSPIRED ACTION
This journey doesn't finish when you return home. Actually that's the moment you want to take action to ensure long-lasting transformation.
I know it's tempting to delay this step and just plug in again to old patterns and routines - you might have dozens of emails to reply and lots of work to catch-up with. That's why I want to remind you about the Law of Diminishing Intent: 'The longer you wait to do something you should do now, the greater the odds that you will never actually do it'.
Look at your journal for inspiration and write a list of 3-5 actions that you can implement right now to move you forward to your goals: What are the parts of this journey that you want to keep with you? What do you want to start doing differently? What do you value that is not reflected in your choices and routines? If you could change anything about yourself, what that would be? Search for those meaningful changes you want to implement in your life, and take purposeful action