I was asked the other day if I traveled much before I met my husband. He’s Aussie. I’m American. The question came from a Kiwi. She knew that it wasn’t surprising for an Australian to love to and make time for travel, but struggled with the idea that that same love would come from an American. ‘You’re a good match’, she realized quickly.
Travel has changed me. Before travel me and after travel me are two different pieces. There’s the girl who grew up in the sheltered shadow of Long Island, NY and the one who’s slept on the edge of the Serengetti National Park in Tanzania. The first girl was scared more often, thought New York was the center of the universe and couldn’t really imagine ever feeling like a minority in the population. The second has seen a fair share of life outside of her comfort zone, tries to put fear in its place and knows what a small place she holds in the world. These are two divergent approaches to life with travel as the barrier of change in the middle. Who knew that’s what it could do.
When I Travel…
I am healthier
My mind is full and wide open
I notice what a small piece of the puzzle I make up
My eyes are open wide
My heart is full
My perspective is challenged and changed
Life is full of new experiences
I embrace the simple
Any anxiety or agita falls away
Only life in front of you matters
My senses awaken
My soul is cracked open
I truly see people and they see me
I am my best self
I listen better
I embrace change
My curiosity wins out each time
I am braver than I thought I was
I become comfortable in the uncomfortable
It’s not about the number of places I’ve visited or the flights taken. It’s not about the boxes ticked or stamps in a passport. It’s about the personal growth, the spiritual awakenings, the comfort zone expansion and the redevelopment of me that comes from travel. It’s about the changes, the acceptance, the perspective, the learning, the understanding and the doing. It’s about the many gifts of travel that continue to keep on giving regardless of where you are in the world. Travel has changed me, and I’m the better for it.