By Cordelia Solomon
Every December, as our annual journey around the sun as comes to a close and we anxiously prepare to embark on the next, we find ourselves thinking of what we will do differently in the coming year. Regardless of how complicated or simple, the purpose of establishing resolutions, or goals, is to improve ourselves, and what better way to do that than travel?
Whether you’re an intrepid traveler or have never left your home country, make travel a priority in 2020. Not only will you have the benefit of discovering the beauty that exists across our vast planet, but you’ll also open the door to self discovery - the kind you can’t get from anyone or anywhere else.
For one, travel grants us the gift of anonymity, which in turn allows us to be more free. When we let our guard down, we do things we wouldn’t normally, like spark up a conversation with the stranger sitting across from us at the coffee shop. We worry less about superficial consequences of what someone will think of us, or rejection of any form, and just dive in knowing the risk-reward is in our favor. As someone who is more introverted, travel has given me the space to fight my insecurities and explore my more social self, allowing my too-often suppressed confidence to resurface.
On a deeper level, travel provides us the opportunity to temporarily leave our normal lives behind and reflect on a myriad of things from professional challenges and personal woes to what motivates us and our next great idea. It’s not escapism, but rather a way to satiate our need for a fresh perspective, reestablish our connection to ourselves and grow our appreciation for life by simply immersing ourselves in a new place. Some of my greatest breakthroughs and moments of clarity have come when I was halfway around the world talking to someone from a completely different walk of life or just wandering around an unfamiliar place.
Integrating ourselves in different cultures, discovering new countries, and meeting people from all over the world allows us to grow in both big and small ways. We’re able to put aside any preconceived notions and exist in the moment in a way that seems impossible in our day-to-day lives. It teaches us to cut out the noise and focus on what matters. It reminds us to be kind to and appreciate ourselves. When we travel, we broaden our breadth of knowledge, become more compassionate, and discover new inspiration, ultimately making us better.
Simply put, travel makes us more well-rounded. It pushes us to our furthest limits and often forces us to break past them, trying things we never thought possible. No matter where we go, we always end our travels much better off than when we started.