During COVID-19 lockdowns, it seemed like people worldwide were using Marie Kondo’s principles to reorganize their closets and shelves to find their inner zen, among many other activities. While lockdowns seemed to provide many people with the ambition to clear out the garage and bake artisanal bread, others had difficulty tapping into any form of purpose.
The mental toll of limiting interactions and stifled travel has been more challenging for many of us than we might have initially thought. If you have been putting off self-improvement, find out why post-pandemic travel offers the freedom to reinvent and redefine yourself.
A Second Chance
Have you set out on a big adventure in the past? Perhaps you took a year out after graduation or joined the Peace Corps. Even attending college in a different state would have been an opportunity for a fresh start. Try to recall what it was like presenting yourself to the world as a blank slate.
A Fresh Face
We’ve all had plenty of opportunities to take time for ourselves in the past year or so. However, do you like what you see in the mirror? Traveling is the perfect time to try out a new look without it causing a stir or drawing attention. Have you always wanted to be a redhead or cut your hair short? Give it a try!
Here is a perfect example; years ago, one of our friends started taking personalized hair loss treatment for men. He was young and feeling insecure. The first day he went off traveling, he vowed to reinvent himself, and it was a defining moment, as every new person he met just knew him as who he was today. They didn’t know about his journey up to that point; they just saw the fresh face he projected to the world. When he got home, his confidence was already boosted from months of trying on his new look.
Ditch the Baggage
When you travel, no one knows anything about you except what you show them. You get to choose the parts of you that you want to present. No one knows where you went to school, who you dated, or your most embarrassing moment.
Our life experiences shape us, but they don’t have to define us. Travel can be transformative as you slowly realize that the path you thought you needed to be on can be altered with thoughtful, purposeful, and gradual changes. You can go forth into the world as a blank notebook that is just waiting for the first ink to dry on your next story. The writer might be the same, but the next chapter in your life can be what you make it.
Many of us need to be physically forced out of our comfort zones. What was important to us a decade ago, or at the beginning of our career, might not be relevant today. This realization can be a colossal stress-buster that we don’t have to continue simply because of vocational inertia. When we travel, we can try new things and become more comfortable with uncertainty.
Taking it Home
Going home is a test as great as an ex-smoker being offered a cigarette. You’ve spent days, weeks, or even months trying on your newly reinvented and redefined self and hopefully are much happier for it. When you like yourself more and your newly formed habits have taken hold, you’ll naturally want to keep them. Consider ways that will help you keep the momentum when you get home. Staying in touch with travel buddies or joining a new club or sports team is a fantastic start.
We recommend getting that notebook and writing down your thoughts and wish lists, however old-fashioned it may sound. Set small, tangible goals and work towards the life and the person that makes you content and grateful for the life you’ve made for yourself. Traveling solo is a liberating experience, and rather than feeling lonely, it can make you sever the weight of relationships that have run their course and find like-minded people that provide positive influences.
There is nothing like a global pandemic to make us contemplate what it genuinely means to be happy and content. Travel provides the ideal opportunity to escape the monotony, be spontaneous, get lost, and push our boundaries. This is when real life and real memories happen. If you could be anyone, be the best version of yourself.
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