The Magical Things That Happen to You When You Travel
Monotony Can Make Us 2D
It’s no secret that when you’re stuck in the same place all the time, things can get monotonous. You may even start to notice yourself becoming very ‘flat’. It’s almost like you’re losing touch with all the other facets of yourself that you might’ve forgotten about. And that’s exactly why we often don’t notice how two-dimensional we’ve become until we go on an adventure and get reintroduced to those bonus versions of ourselves that exist in other spaces.
This feeling has been magnified for many in the last year or so since most people haven’t been able to travel. It’s really put everyone’s collective love for travel into a whole new light, emphasizing what we’ve been missing. We’ve lost touch with those other dimensions that traveling adds to our being.
The Power of Changing Habits
Dr. Joe Dispenza, who brings scientific and supernatural ideas together in a unique blend, often writes in his books about breaking habits to create new ones. In Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, he says “If you want a new outcome, you will have to break the habit of being yourself, and reinvent a new self.”
One of the main concepts he writes about is rewiring our thoughts to break our habits of unhappiness. He emphasizes un-learning things that bog us down without us even realizing it. Simple habit tweaks are powerful, according to him.
“Think of it this way: the input remains the same, so the output has to remain the same. How, then, can you ever create anything new?” Dispenza says. So, how can we change our input?
Travelers Love Being Multi-Dimensional
Those dimensions are one potential reason that the backpackers’ community harbors so many optimists. Once you’ve tasted that first hint of freedom and possibility while trekking across one continent or another, you’ve become acquainted with who you are capable of being when you occupy a new space in the world. From then onward, you know you can find what you’re looking for within yourself on the next trip. And the next trip…and the next trip. And guess what? You always find something new.
Well, I had a reminder myself last week — and I’m here to remind you all, too, of the promising potential that traveling gives us. Not to torture you, but to let the remnants of that beautiful scent waft your way so you don’t forget it. To get you excited about traveling again. The world won’t be shut down forever, after all.
I’m also here to tell you there are underrated ways to experience this same magic on a much smaller scale. Heck no, you don’t need to be a world traveler to feel the magic I’m talking about. There’s a way to hack this algorithm. Like the subtitle says: you can get it by simply taking a different route to work.
Magical Things That Can Happen While Travelling
Firstly, let’s talk about the magic of full-blown traveling. Let me remind you of that version — or those versions — of yourself. For one, you get to be a completely new “you” when you travel to a new place. If you’ve traveled often, then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. Travelling allows you to broaden your identity, and that’s a part of what’s so addicting about it. The possibilities feel endless.
Out there, you can be whoever you want to be. You’re not restricted by expectations of society back home, of your usual friend circle, or anything else. You get to see yourself in a part of the world you’ve never been to before, and that materializes a different version of yourself. Travelling provides us with the opportunity to be whoever we want to be in this other place, and because of that, we get to try things out. We get to experiment with, and often, impress ourselves.
We can almost observe ourselves to see how we react to new people, cultures, and sights. We build our confidence. We lose that pesky cloud of fears that hovers over most people like an incessantly grey sky. On the contrary, the sky opens up for you and the sun shines through when you change your environment. Getting out of your comfort zone opens more doors than any of us can realistically fathom.
Back home you’re pretty much expected to be a certain way, but abroad you can change it up. It’s like you get a shiny new perspective on yourself. You also get a sense of how you come across to a different kind of people in this new part of the world you’re visiting, which can help make you more adaptable.
Travelling also demands a good deal of emotional intelligence if you want to blend in and be respectful to the people around you. It challenges you to do things you may have never done before — and even if you have, you’re now having to do them in a new place where things may work totally differently than they did back home. These are some serious life skills that travelers gain while navigating abroad.
Beyond all that, traveling cultivates so much inspiration. It can serve as an endless source, in fact. New experiences and places tend to do that! According to this Very Well Mind article, “Positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi suggests that surroundings also play a role in the creative process. Stimulating environments can facilitate creativity…” and your environment can be made inspiring right in your home town.
However…new places and experiences don’t have to be an ocean away.
Feel the Magic on a Smaller Scale
Now, what’s almost even cooler than all those great things that happen when you travel abroad is how such similar feelings can arise within you on a much smaller scale. You don’t need to fly overseas to get a change in atmosphere. I think this is especially true when your level of environment variation has significantly lessened, as it has for many people this past year.
When you’re mostly stagnant, the smallest things can spark inspiration within you. You don’t need to trot the globe. Simply staring at a different set of dry walls, looking out a window with a fresh perspective to the one you perhaps stare out every single day, or driving a different route to work can do wonders. You’d be surprised.
- As mentioned, try taking a different route to work. When we see the same exact thing, make the same turns, and overall go through the same motions day in and day out, our inspiration dries up. Take Dr. Dispenza’s word for it: see how refreshing it feels to change it up tomorrow. Or better yet, today.
- Stay in a hotel for a night. Seriously. You’d be surprised how renewed you might feel. If you’ve got no other way to get a different view or experience right now, book a hotel room and enjoy the different window views. Remember what it feels like to experience something different. Plus, it might feel like a mini-vacation. (You deserve it).
- Get out in nature. This is always a great, quick way to find inspiration. There’s something about being around other living things — even just plants and birds. Just make sure there’s nothing much larger lurking around, say, bears. Some experiences are not worth the inspiration they might give you! But in general: outside=good.
- Take a spontaneous weekend road trip if possible, and ideally somewhere you’ve never been. Go by yourself or with whoever, just do what feels good for your soul. Do you need to bond with someone, or do you need to bond with yourself?
- Explore a different part of town you don’t frequent. Finding inspiration and getting a sense for those other dimensions of yourself you’d forgotten about can be as simple as this. You might discover a slew of things you’ve never seen before. Alternatively, you could revisit an area you haven’t been to since childhood. This might stir up some wonderfully inspiring nostalgia.
If you’re like me, and you struggle to thrive in a monotonous routine, you don’t have to travel the world to change things up. In my case, I think I’ve gotten a little too used to a stagnant life because of so much lockdown time. Therefore, I have to remind myself to get out when I can. If that’s you, then challenge yourself to do at least one of the above ‘small-scale’ methods of finding magic this week!
There is so much of that magic to be felt — so many new places to see and experiences to have. For now, we have to work with what we’ve got. Do this by checking out a different part of town you don’t usually frequent, checking yourself into a nice hotel room for a night, or taking that new route to work one or two days a week.
There are plenty of ways to add some excitement and inspiration into your routine. Simple deviations here and there hold more power than we realize. They can remind us of our other facets — of who we can be when we aren’t robotically stuck to that same routine and comfort zone.
Do you have any other ways to find inspiration when you aren’t able to travel? Comment below!