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It's All About Perspective

A few years back, I took my first trip out of the country. Despite the fact that I had no means to do so, a series of very fortunate events had my best friend and I traveling to Madrid, Spain. This was the first time that I had been exposed to a new culture. A place where I didn’t understand the language and a society that functioned much differently than what I was used to in the U.S. Aside from the physical beauty of the country, there was a particular magic in the air half way around the world. I presume it had something to do with the pace that life tended to move.

Everything felt so easy. There was a lack of hustle in bustle that I was used to. People seemed to just ‘stroll’ as opposed to ‘race’ through their day. In the evening, the city was ALIVE with laughter. People enjoying delicious food, wine, and most of all savoring company of each other. There was something about that trip, something about physically removing myself from my environment that really shook things up for me. It was as though I was able see my life from an outsider's perspective. I could see certain patterns, behaviors, relationships, and ways of thinking that were simply not serving me anymore. It was as though I had returned home with a fresh set of eyes. I couldn’t ‘unsee’ what I had noticed thousands of miles abroad.

Enter in a few challenging conversations, surprises to loved ones, a career change, & a move back to Florida, this trip had sparked a journey that pivoted the trajectory of the rest of my twenties. Below are some of the gems I've found that make travel well worth the time, investment, & energy.

  1. Presence: When you're in a new environment, you have no choice but to be present. New scenery, sounds, and smells bombard your senses, and your mind is taking all of it in. You have to be ON. Being present and fully engaged in what's happening is where the magic lies. In the day-to-day life, things become routine and it's common to get stuck in a loop of familiarity. Travel can teach you that approaching everything with child-like wonder can make every experience magical.

  2. Exposure to new Culture: Experiencing a new culture opens your eyes to different ways of living. You realize that the world is not confined to your own experiences and beliefs. Interacting with people from different backgrounds challenges your preconceived notions and expands your understanding of humanity. You begin to develop a deeper sense of beauty in diversity.

  3. A Shift in Perspective: Traveling to a foreign land grants you a fresh perspective on your own life. Being removed from your daily routine and surroundings creates space for reflection and introspection. It helps you identify aspects of your life that are no longer in alignment. This clarity can inspire the courage and motivation to make changes for the better.

  4. Adaptability and Resilience: Even when planned to the very last detail, traveling often involves unexpected situations. Navigating unfamiliar environments, language barriers, and cultural differences strengthens adaptability and resilience. It teaches you to embrace uncertainty, think on your feet, and find solutions fast. These skills generalize into various aspects of life.

  5. Connection: Travel has a remarkable way of fostering connections with people from different backgrounds and with different stories. Whether it's connecting with the other travelers on your trip or interacting with locals, these encounters can be transformative. The bonds formed through these experiences often transcend language and cultural barriers, reminding us that we are ALL ONE!

Moral of the story, traveling offers you a POWERFUL opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, shift your perspective, and discover aspects of yourself you didn't know existed. Setting out on your adventure with an open heart & open mind is where the journey truly begins. As Dr. Seuss said, "You're off to great places, today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so... get on your way!

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