So, you’ve been thinking of taking the plunge into travel.  Awesome!  Get ready for some of the best times you’ve ever had, meeting wonderful people from all corners of the globe and learning about this beautiful world of ours.  But before you take off to your first destination, it can be super helpful to have a mental toolset to help make your trip even more worthwhile.

This toolset begins with a simple, but super important question:  “What exactly am I looking for in this trip?”  Beauty?  Connection?  Understanding?  Truth?  Whatever your answer is, there are many reasons to travel!  And while each answer is important and valid, being very specific about your goal can really bring your traveling experience to the next level.

Self-reflection is a powerful tool and I think this holds especially true with travel.  Travel allows awesome, new, and sometimes even strange opportunities into our lives – and using these opportunities as a conscious effort for self-growth can help you grow exponentially.  It is this exponential rate of growth that is why I think traveling for self-growth is one of the best uses of this energy.

Travel is one of the most amazing things you could possibly do for yourself; You are going out into the world and oh the things you see!  You are experiencing cultures vastly different to your own, doing things incredibly different than you normally would, you may not know the language, you may not know the customs, you may not know the value of the currency, and yet you still need to get where you are going.  You might be lonely, and need to find a travel friend, you may be confused and need to ask for help from a local, you may be doubtful and need of self-assurance and support from others around you.

These experiences can be incredibly groundbreaking in helping to focus your self more to the life you want to live in.  They can teach you tools of companionship, like in the case of needing a friend, asking for help, like in the case of needing help from a local, or finding solutions to problems, like in the case of needing support of your inner voice and ask for support.  Looking for these cues and at least paying mind to your reaction can mean the difference of staying in the same rut and trying something new.

That said, you will likely find you have many reasons to travel. Many people will use the travel experience to see other cultures and learn how they live.  Some travel to see the beauty that the world holds.  Some travel just to get really drunk as often as possible and sleep with as many people from around the world.  Some people will travel to run from their problems.  Some people travel because they have just had serious problems back home; others travel because there is really nothing else better to do.  Some people travel for good deals on what to buy, others travel to start or grow or start their own business.  Some people travel for a holiday from the mundane, others travel for a holiday of making the mundane come to life.  Each of these types of travel awesome! They are the exact reasons why you should travel.  But adding intention to this process, adding even a sliver, or a hint of intentional self-growth can make all the difference.

On top of all that, opportunities just come to you easier while you are traveling.  I think this has to do with mobility, just being able to get up and move at will, stay where you want when you want and change locations when it feels right.  This mobility, I think, helps with things while you’re traveling, you begin to feel like whatever it is you are envisioning in your life you can bring in easier.  And the things you can’t bring in right away, you feel like you can make a good plan to make these things come in faster.  Anyway, that’s how I felt with travel.  I think this feeling itself is a huge reason for me why self-growth was huge – like I think I could have had these learning opportunities doing something else, like swimming lessons, or jogging, or drinking with friends at home, but here it felt like everything was faster somehow – like someone clicked on the “flow of the universe button” and you can just ride the wave easier.  Or again, that’s how it at least felt to me.

Anyway, the truth is, it really doesn’t matter what you do – go and travel and do nothing. Go and travel and do everything.  Go and travel and meet the love of your life.  Go and travel and live in a cave.  Go and travel and see how other people live in other countries.  Go and travel to learn how people live in your very own country, seeing it with a new lens.  Go and travel for sex with a lot of different people, go and travel for celibacy.  Go and travel for a better mind, go and travel to lose your mind. I don’t care what you do.  But for God Sake’s, travel.  And see what this beautifully hideous, weird, awful, cool, huge, little world can offer you.  But if you can muster it, I promise even pulling this one tool from the toolbox can mean the difference of a good time, to a life-changing time.