The Importance Of Travel For Self Development

The Importance Of Travel For Self Development

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves" -Viktor E. Frankl

Traveling can be one of the best and most powerful tools for personal development. Becoming enlightened by a different environment, food, fashion, and attitudes can give you a new perspective of the world. You are able to unravel characteristics about not only yourself but also the world that you live in. Surrounding yourself with different cultures and people can flood your body with a sense of happiness that you didn’t even know existed within you. If you ever stumble upon the ability to travel to a different continent, or even somewhere within your own country, take the opportunity. The journey that you will tread on will not only give you the potential to step outside and give yourself new surroundings, but it will also present you with the power to find out new aspects about who you are as an individual.

Traveling teaches you a greater tolerance for things being different.

Some people in this world really relish the idea of having a routine and a set schedule. Others do not like venturing out into other social circles because they are completely comfortable with their own. We like what is familiar because we have a sense of what is going to happen and what it is going to be like. However, when we are in a different place we throw out the ideology that society has placed upon us. We are exposed to a new culture and different types of people when we are somewhere new.

Traveling gives us the chance to spread our wings and explore. When given a chance we tend to enclose ourselves with the same friends, the same routines, and the same surroundings. Traveling alone can give you greater exposure to the world that is out there. We have deeper conversations with people who we would have never met and we learn to treasure the different perspectives that the locals bring. Being placed in a different culture gives you the opportunity to openly tolerate other people’s opinions as well as learn to understand others better.

Traveling makes you become more responsible and gives you a sense of independence.

When traveling alone you need make sure you that don’t lose your passport, your documents, and your belongings and you have to take care of yourself. Making sure that you make your connecting flight and to always keep your luggage in your peripheral view is important. You develop a sense of responsibility because you have to. You have no one else to rely on but yourself. With that being said, you have the ability to take a day trip to wherever you want because you do not have to consult with someone else if that is the destination that they want to reach as well. You can go where you want, when you want, and create the experience that you want because you have no one else to tell you otherwise. Having the ability to finally do things on your own can make you feel like an independent adult. When you are given the opportunity to travel it makes you more aware of your surroundings and yourself.

Traveling gives you the ability to understand your aspirations for the future.

Being placed in a different environment causes you to become more open minded and encompassed with the thirst to learn. Learning causes your dreams to not only have the potential of becoming real, but gives you the ability to expand on them as well. Traveling gives you the opportunity to want to learn and, by the end of your trip, you will crave more. Traveling has also given you the ability to want to take risks and to be more adventurous. It causes you to push your boundaries because you have widened your perspective. Some of the most successful people reach their dreams because they were willing to take risks. In order to trust the world that you live in you need to trust yourself and who you are as an individual. Doing so will instill courage in you and may cause you to take a leap of faith on a future endeavor. You have taken fear to the next level and it has given you cause to not be scared any longer. Life is all about jumps, loops, and, above all, risks. If you muster up the ability to take risks then you will explore the unknown and create even better dreams.

Traveling gives us the opportunity to know ourselves better.

Traveling forces you to learn more about yourself. Many of us have never really looked inside of ourselves. You start to question aspects of your life because you were put into a space that offers you growth. Traveling rids you of a place to hide and it gives you a step out of reality, leaving your ego behind with it. The mask that you display for society is behind the self-image that you have set for yourself. We constantly seek approval from everyone but ourselves. You are now placed in an environment where you don’t have your friends to reinforce the ideas that have been set for you. Living in the unknown causes your self-image to fall apart and the person who has been trying to emerge will finally come to light. Traveling will cause you to be in a constant state of observation. Learning to watch other things and people around you can be the ticket that you need to learn about yourself. You begin to challenge and question everything that you have been taught and that you believe. There is a sense of confusion and a point where you feel completely lost, but you start to really understand what it is that you believe in and what it is that you desire, rather than what society and other people want for you. It can be scary and intimidating, but it can also be quite liberating in the end. When you are traveling you have the chance to develop a quiet mind. Being in the here and now can cause you to really take everything in front of you into perspective instead of worrying about the past and troubles back home. Expanding your consciousness will help you conjure up your own faults and make you really think about them. This is the time to find out who your authentic self truly is and who you are in this monumental world.

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads


I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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Abroad 'Grew' Me

Change can not even begin to describe it


"Abroad changed me."

It's the cliche, all-encompassing, slightly asshole-ish phrase that any student returning from a study abroad experience is bound to let slip at least once. As ironic and annoying as it may sound, especially when repeated 100 times, it's definitely not false. However, I believe it best gets its point across when modified slightly.

The one slight correction that can be made to this statement is the word "changed". I know for a fact that my study abroad experience opened my eyes to new cultures, new perspectives, and new possibilities. I was able to branch out and pursue areas of interest I had never imagined. However, I am still me. I did not morph into a new person or lose anything I once had before I boarded that plane. If anything the correct phrase (although not grammatically proper) should be "Abroad grew me". The path I followed in my experience, every twist, turn, and bump that hit me along the journey, helped me to become something more of myself.

My problem-solving, communication and overall interpersonal skills have become so much stronger than those which I left JFK Airport within early September. All of this combined, my confidence has grown tenfold. In terms of my self-confidence, I have never felt more validated or reassured of who I am, what my values are, and what I want out of this life. All of these things are due to the situation I was put into, but I would not call them changes. Because the word "change" insinuates I never had any of these skills or characteristics before.

Being brave, for example, is not something I typically would label myself as. But when you are lost in the streets of Morocco, frantically running in circles to find a blue building (in what is known as the "Blue City") when your bus is leaving in under 5 minutes, the act of going up to a complete stranger and getting your Spanish to somehow coincide with their Arabic is not just a show of bravery, but a necessity. It is how you survive. Although I quickly learned that after a few too many travel fiascos, I also came to realize how much better life can become when you let this bravery into other aspects of your life - not just the emergencies. The little parts like trying new foods, volunteering to make a fool of yourself and flamenco dance, stopping at the street corner to converse with the woman selling flowers, these are the small things that shaped my entire experience. And these are the biggest things that helped me to grow. This bravery was something that I always had, just never to the extent at which I tapped into during my time abroad.

Yes, coming back from studying abroad I feel like the world around me and my normal life have changed. I never could have expected it to stand still just because I was absent. However, I do not feel that I have "changed" from who I was before. A desire for a challenge is what led me to go abroad in the first place and I am extremely blessed to be able to say that my wish was fulfilled. With each new experience, I expanded my horizons, and piece by piece I watched myself morph into what I would now call a confident and well-rounded individual. This growth has brought me to where I am today, but it is only the starting point on my adventure to further explore cultures, the world, and where my place is in it all.

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