“Travel far enough you meet yourself” -Cloud Atlas
The more I travel, the more at home my soul feels.
On my flight home (crammed in a middle seat, mind you) I am able to reflect on my most recent adventure to Minnesota.
While I wasn’t blown away by impressive landscapes or sight seeing, Minnesota still managed to steal a piece of my heart. The foliage at this time of year is absolutely breathtaking. The shades of yellows and orange along the winding river that tangles through the city makes for the perfect feeling of fall. The weather at this time of year seems to be perfect. The people we met all seem to be so carefree and full of life, but then again brisk cold weather was nowhere to be found.
I would love to go back if not only to experience more of the beauty of the state. We didn’t have the opportunity to hike or enjoy the view from one of the many lakes, but we did enjoy our time there.
Outside of Minnesota, this year I’ve also ventured to beaches of St. Lucia, the bay of California, the woods of Pennsylvania, the mountains of Colorado. Though my travels have been relatively close to where I call home, I’m not only learning so much about the other lifestyles available in our country, but I’m learning so much about myself. The hours I spend flying have given me more than enough time to reflect on my life, the places I’ve been and the places I’d still like to visit. I’ve come to a few conclusions about my love of travel and what it means to me.
Travel enlightens you. I get excited when I get to travel. Every destination, new or old, is exciting and full of adventure. With so many new places to go, people to see, foods to try, I feel
It forces you to prioritize. This has probably been my biggest challenge and learning experience since falling in love with travel. Checking a large bag is wonderful, but if you don’t have the perks of a free bag it can be expensive. Learning to pack a carry on effectively has proven to be quite the challenge, but it’s liberating. Think about it. You’re embarking on a trip with only the opportunity to bring along one bag, what do you bring? I’m learning quickly that there is only room for the things I find most important. I also have learned to prioritize my time. If you have a plan of places you would like to attend, you sometimes learn the hard way that you just can’t seem to do it all. Prior to your trip, it can help to map out the places you’d like to see by order of importance.
You step outside our comfort zone time and time again. Traveling in general puts us outside of our comfort zones. You’re no longer familiar with the place you call home for the time being or the food you eat. There’s rarely a form of a routine. There’s potential for so many wrong turns on a trip, so much room for error. And while the thrill and excitement that comes along with traveling, sometimes one foul moment or mistake can send your plans spiraling.
You learn to ask for help. Maybe you go to a new place, take a new, unfamiliar road or maybe even learn a new culture or language. Either way, at some point or another you will find yourself in a situation where you’ll need to rely on someone more native to where you are. In this day and age I feel as if sometimes we aren’t so eager to ask for help. In my opinion, we all rely too much on our technology and ourselves to know the answers to simple questions we could easily ask for.
You learn to live. With every new opportunity or trip, there is a new feeling of adventure and accomplishment. It’s full of new opportunities if you so choose to take them. It is full of discovery, sometimes stress, and always excitement. When you travel, you find a new part of yourself that is willing to do things you wouldn’t normally do.
I hope with every one of my travels, I continue to learn more about myself and that with every travel I find myself closer to the person I believe I’m meant to be.