Recently, I binge watched Jane the Virgin and picked up the line: To have faith is to banish doubt. Makes sense. If I have faith in you, I relinquish all uncertainties I have of you; I believe in you without questioning or hesitating.
Many times we get ‘stuck’ in life by our own ambiguities; whether it be our passions, our careers, our families, our relationships, etc. Looking back at two of my other posts, Yoga’d to Keep Going and False Evidence Appearing Real, the same themes appear: fear, courage, uncertainty, letting go, etc. All of these things relate to having doubt.
They’re also things that can work hand in hand with traveling. No, you’re not putting faith into traveling, you’re traveling to restore faith back in your life and booting out the doubt. Here are my personal top ten reasons why you should travel when in doubt, in a Elite-Daily-Huffington-Post-BuzzFeed-like format:
Please note: when I say ‘travel’, it can range from going an hour up north to a cabin all the way to 16 hours west into a new country. It also doesn’t necessarily mean going somewhere new, but instead, somewhere different.
1. You get to be yourself
There’s the saying, “The more you talk about someone to others, the more you fall in love with that person.” It’s true. The more you express how you feel about someone to another person, the more likely you are to realize the things you truly like about them. Why? Because you’re being honest and not scared to admit certain things about the person to someone else. Same concept goes for yourself.
I remember the first time I felt this way: falling in love with who I was. It was after a date, and no, I didn’t talk about myself the entire time or in any egotistic impressing way. It was a flow of conversation with another person who was genuinely interested in getting to know me (and vice versa, me wanting to know him). He was a stranger I didn’t need to hide anything from.
Who is the best person to tell someone about you? Yourself. You tell them what you do, what you like, where you’re from or where you’ve been; and in return, you learn so much about yourself. In your own honesty, you’ve come to realize all the good things you truly are; which in turn, banishes the doubts you may have about yourself.
So, travel and meet more people. Not only will you fall in love with others, but even more with yourself.
2. You improve your relationships
Friends, family, and significant others are maintained through experiences together. Traveling allows you to increase your connections and forges shared memories. It creates cooperating interactions to better understand each other. This can be done physically together or by mentally supporting each other. Meaning, you don’t have to actually be traveling together, but even by telling each other your travel stories, you’re still building and strengthening your bond.
Granted, traveling can make you realize how some relationships don’t work or if they’re just different kinds of kinship, but it’s at least guaranteed that what you’ve lost was gained somewhere else – perhaps in new relations, stronger in other relations, or even in the relationship with yourself. You’ll find out who you miss most (as distance makes the heart grow fonder), what you actually miss about certain people, and appreciate the ones you can really relate to.
So, travel to affirm your relationships. Rid of the doubts or lack of faith you have in the people around you.
3. You learn other perspectives
Listening and learning about other people is what it means to be social. Just like our fingerprints, there are no two people alike. We all come from different childhoods, containing different beliefs, as well as have different behaviors. Each person has their own experience regardless of how identical the problems were. Even in uncontrollable circumstances such as exposure to education, how your parents coped with emotion, financial resources; we are all walking a different path.
So, travel to gain information you otherwise would have never thought of or been exposed to. Be open to other ideas and thought processes. The more foreign it is, the more it may help rid of any doubts by opening up gates to unexplored answers.
4.You build up confidence
Traveling with a plan doesn’t take much effort until things don’t go as planned (most of the time). But! That’s where decision-making comes in. For example: you planned to take the train to the Heineken Brewery, then you get lost in the train station (true story). What do you do?
That decision is what shapes you. You need to take charge, competing against the unknown, having to pick an option eventually. That action of choosing strengthens your backbone when in comes to problem solving. And you know, even if you’re traveling without any set plans, the same kind of decisions being made will still challenge you; virtually giving you the confidence to go on with what you elected even without knowing what could happen.
So, travel to increase trust in your capabilities. That confidence will radiate into your decision-making abilities, essentially facing doubts and having faith in your choices.
5. You become more flexible
Traveling eases in the idea of letting go. We have to learn that it’s okay for things to not go as planned. It raises your tolerance for uncertainty since you’re practicing how to cope with the unexpected. I’m not saying the best method is to go without a plan, the best method is to be flexible with your plans.
Letting go makes you more easy-going, opening you up to other experiences that may not have occurred if you ‘stuck to the plan’. Also, by increasing your resilience, you decrease your anxiety for when things really do go astray.
So, travel and build up a system that allows you to be fine with where ever you end up.
“Because sometimes chance and circumstance can seem like the most appalling injustice, but we just have to adapt. That’s all we can do.” Gavin Extence
6. It’s not the end of the world
When you travel freely, the petty little things will fade away. You’ll get bored with the things that you worry about, things you beat yourself up with. The only way to enjoy yourself is to quit the self-loathing and focus on things outside of you. Eventually, you’ll be overwhelmed with other senses.
Pico Iyer said, “Travel for me is a little bit like being in love because suddenly, all of your senses are at the setting marked ‘on’. Suddenly, you’re alert to the secret patterns of the world. The real voyage of discovery consists of not seeing new sights, but in looking with new eyes.“
So, travel and be swept away by the beauty or even the ugliness of the world. It’s just not about you anymore. You’ll come to realize that the little things you kill yourself with are really not that big of a deal. And even if they are a big deal, traveling will at least help you get over them.
7. You make the most of anything
One of my most asked question is, ‘Why not?‘ Last year, I planned a trip to Dubai and in order to do it frugally, it involved multiple connecting flights at various hours. My first thought: let’s use that to my advantage. I was able to spend two days in Amsterdam and three days in Virginia essentially for cheaper than hopping directly to the U.A.E. I mean, why not?
So, travel to break down the expectations. Don’t limit yourself to what would of, could of, or should of. Try to take advantage of the situations handed to you; the opportunities for adventure and exploring.
8. Purge the Bad Habits
Falling off the face of the earth feels great. Everyone needs a social media detox every once in a while. Sometimes, there’s just no point in keeping everyone updated, no need to post on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or any alike. It’s okay to be off the grid for two reasons: being present in the moment, and most importantly, ridding of the outside approval via how many likes or comments you get. Take a break.
Most of my favorite trips are the ones without booze. Not saying drinking isn’t fun, but alcohol can impact how much you really enjoy yourself. Not only can you have full and rested days, but you find something inside of yourself to be just as fun without the liquid courage. Your body will thank you too.
So, travel and purge the habits that make you feel less than perfect. Try different behaviors to tap into a real relaxing mindset; a real retreat.
9. Taste of a different life
There’s a saying that suggests, if you’re always needing a vacation to escape, maybe you just need a new life. I am not suggesting to travel in order to disappear from life, what I am suggesting is to use travel as an avenue to explore life. For example, use travel to visit a place you could see yourself moving to. See the history, learn the culture, understand the laws, eat the food.
If you’re fine with the life you have, still, use travel. Use it to live more lives than you currently do, like competing in international golf tournaments as part of your passion for golfing.
So, travel to live life undoubtedly, fully, in every way you’ve wanted to.
Happiness is infectious. Traveling to the third world or just witnessing those less fortunate than you – yet, they’re still as happy as can be – that’s contagious. There are so many different worlds out there that if you see enough of them, you become truly thankful for the world you have. Or the opposite, if you don’t appreciate your circumstances, at least you’ll get to know what isn’t making you happy and what you need to change in order to make it a better world.
So, travel to become grateful, it helps clear out your doubts and restores your happiness.
So… When in doubt, TRAVEL!
By traveling, you regain faith in your life – believing in your passions, your relationships, your decisions, in yourself. Traveling truly has the power to heal.
“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed, is you.” Eric Roth