4 Ways Travel Can Help You Find Your Life Purpose and Achieve Your Dreams
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Finding your life purpose…
I think at some point, we’ve all asked ourselves this question. But what exactly does it mean, and does it even exist?
I hopped from job to job throughout my twenties, trying to find more fulfillment in my life. I desperately wanted to find something that brought me more joy and made a difference in the world. Still, no matter how many jobs I cycled through, I ultimately found myself in the same spot.
This went on for several years….
I guess you could say in an attempt to end the vicious cycle, one day, I decided to focus on what made me happy. In my search for more happiness and fulfillment, I noticed almost instantly that travel was like hitting the reset button on things.
Checkout this article if you’re interested in the health benefits of travel.
A trip away, be it to a small town for a weekend or a loop in Europe, always seemed to renew my energy and restore my hope and belief that one day I would know what it was that I was meant to do in this life.
Solo Travel- Jet Setting Alone
My first solo trip was to New York City. Now, this may not be a big deal for you, but in North Carolina, we don’t exactly have cities that compare to New York. Initially, this was a super exciting trip! Researching restaurants, finding the best clubs to dance the night away, and of course, deciding on which broadway shows to fit in kept me busy planning!
Maybe it was that busyness that kept me from noticing the anxiety building inside me as my trip approached closer each day.
What began as excitement, sure as hell, wasn’t exciting now!
As someone with a vivid imagination, every seemingly possible scenario played out in my head. What if I got lost on the subway? And then ended up in some unsavory part of town at midnight and couldn’t get back to my hotel? What would happen to me? Would I be robbed? Oh God, then what would I do if my wallet was stolen? Where would I keep a backup credit card? The scenarios were endless…..
Did I survive?
Now, I’m happy to report, I’m not dead, my wallet wasn’t stolen, and I only got lost twice.
In retrospect, the thoughts of impending doom were in part some of the strategies my subconscious threw at me to hopefully prevent me from following through with the trip. But, all in all, I had a fantastic trip, and the lessons learned were equally as valuable! And with that, I want to share some of the surprising things I learned to help you find your life purpose through travel.
So why do I share this harrowing experience with you?
Finding your life purpose is an adventure in and of itself. But, when combined with travel, especially by yourself, you, for better or worse, force yourself to face the music about where you are in your life and what you want out of this beautiful experience while you’re here on this big ball of mud.
Kiss that unfulfilling 9-5 goodbye!
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Solo Travel, Finding Your Life Purpose, and Entrepreneurship
You Overcome at Least Fear
One of the most obvious takeaways from solo travel is overcoming the fear of being alone in an unfamiliar place. This can be a bit overwhelming, but the energy that such an experience invokes is undeniable. It’s almost like all your senses are heightened, anticipating the unknown adventures ahead.
For me, this felt a bit like an adrenaline rush. I had more pep in my step right off the plane and felt more alive and reinvigorated, knowing that I faced my fear of traveling to one of the biggest cities by myself.
Overcoming your fears, whether traveling alone, starting a new business, or throwing caution to the wind, and finally revealing that you own an extensive collection of hand-painted thimbles, is an essential element of finding your life purpose.
Each of these actions involves facing fear head-on. Challenging ourselves to move forward intentionally rather than remaining complacent in our day-to-day lives. And that’s exactly what is needed when you’re finding your life purpose.
How can fear prevent you from finding your life purpose?
Well, fear can be pretty paralyzing. When we fear something, we give it power over us. This power can be so great that it can immobilize and drastically reduce the quality of our lives. For example, it took me some time to muster up enough courage and belief in myself to book the plane ticket and take my trip. Had I not done this, I would’ve missed out on one of the most meaningful travel experiences.
To build the life that we want, we have to move beyond the life we’re currently living. So if you ain’t living la Vida Loca, then it’s a good indication that maybe, just maybe, you’re given your fears the reins and you’re just along for the ride.
By embracing your fears, you show yourself through action that your happiness and the impact and fulfillment you’re seeking in your life are more important than spending your days fearful of what may or may not happen.
For me, embracing my fear of a solo trip had a snowball effect. When I got back from my trip, I felt more invigorated, creative, and ready to tackle the challenges ahead. The self-confidence that I gained from this experience produced a surge of action as I tackled other fears and moved closer to the life I wanted. None of which would’ve happened had I not charged ahead with my trip, even though it scared the hell outta me.
If it was easy, everybody would be doing it!
Deciding to take a step away from the crowd, face your fears head-on, and start a business that personally resonates and brings greater fulfillment in your life ain’t for suckers.
Take a minute and think about how often you hear people complaining about how terrible their jobs are, or their bosses, or maybe a coworker (prolly Karen). Maybe in your current situation, the thought of spending another day at your job makes your skin crawl. Rather than allowing that feeling to zap your energy, use it as an indication that you are getting closer to your life purpose by being aware of what you don’t want.
I believe that we each came into this beautiful life experience to impact the world and the lives of others in a way that brings greater fulfillment to everyone involved. But, to find that purpose and embrace it, we gotta roll our sleeves up and do a little work.
Take it one day at a time and start being more conscious of your fears. Will you allow them to continue to control your life and prevent you from finding your life purpose? Or, will you give them the finger, put the hammer down, and chase your purpose and greater meaning in life with everything you’ve got?
The chances of finding your life purpose without taking a risk every now and then are nil to none, which ain’t fun for nobody. So, embrace your fears, and don’t stop until your life is filled with joy and happiness, which could start today with the business of your dreams.
Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
The second benefit of solo travel is that you get really comfortable with being uncomfortable, even if you don’t mean or want to!
Being uncomfortable is a good indication that you’re stepping into new territory and embracing or doing something that isn’t familiar. Hint, hint… you’re on the right track. This is particularly important for finding your life purpose.
On my trip, the entire experience was shall we say, new. I had two options. To fear traveling alone and all that it entailed or to embrace the unique experience and charge ahead in this newfound territory with endless possibilities.
I’m glad to report that I opted for option two. My decision to do so required some behaviors and beliefs that were out of the norm for me. As an introvert, speaking and meeting new people on trips had always been terrifying. But, on this trip, I wanted to have some human interaction. With no friends traveling with me, I was forced to leave my comfortable refuge of familiarity.
This was initially terrifying. I mean, why did I think meeting new people and making friends as an adult was so scary to begin with? However, on my trip, I met several other people visiting the city and still keep in touch with them to this day.
As I continued my trip, I relaxed into the feeling of uncomfortableness and even found myself laughing at a few of the situations that came up. If you embrace the feeling of being comfortable with all of the new things that might come at you as you search for your life purpose, you’ll likely find that things aren’t all that terrifying.
It takes far more energy to resist things that might seem uncomfortable because they’re unfamiliar. Starting a journey and trying new things is going to be painful for most people. There’s nothing wrong with you or what you’re doing, just keep going.
In fact, when you’re feeling scared or fearful because you ventured so far out of your comfort zone, pat yourself on the back. You’re that much closer to finding greater joy and fulfillment in your life.
Kiss that unfulfilling 9-5 goodbye!
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You Question Your "Reality"
The third lesson learned from my first solo trip and my quest to find my life purpose was learning to question what I knew and what I told myself. By traveling to new places, we add to our expansive repertoire of knowledge.
Traveling solo provides you with tons of options to try new things. Whether it’s dining alone at dinner, visiting unseen attractions, or noticing how similar or different someone living elsewhere to you is, each experience provides you with an opportunity to examine your own beliefs and the stories you tell yourself.
For example, let’s say you’ve told yourself that you can’t move to a big city, find a job, and be successful. But, in your travels, you meet someone who did just that. What does that mean for you? Is moving to a new city, finding a job, and being successful really out of the realm of possibilities for you? Or is it a story you’ve told yourself to stay safe, avoid risk, and trudge along in your misery?
A solo trip provides you with experiences that are like open windows into another world. Will you peer through and check out just how many options are out there? Or, will you run the other way because seeing a different possibility is too scary or painful for you to accept?
If you’re serious about finding your life purpose, it’s going to take some work. So use each opportunity you’re given to examine and contemplate new ways of being and become more aware of the self-limiting beliefs and stories you’ve been telling yourself most of your life.
And, why not start today? Take a new way home, even if you’re the type of person that loves a routine and pay attention to how you feel. What are your thoughts, what did you notice, and how can you continue to expand on these types of experiences? Did something or someone say or do something that perhaps made you question a current belief?
These are all things to be curious about. While being curious, let your inner child out, imagine a different way of living and being. Allow yourself to get creative and use this energy to fuel how you envision your future.
Changing your beliefs by examining just what you know could be the difference between finding your life purpose in a month and finding it in 20 years.
You Hit the RESET Button
Sometimes life deals you a less than ideal hand. And, that’s all there is to it. You can either play the shitty hand of cards or bitch about it. The latter doesn’t change anything, and playing the hand can be stressful. So…sometimes, taking a break and hitting the reset button is one of the best things you can do for your mental health.
I can’t reiterate how important it is to take breaks. In daily life, vacations, etc.
By taking a break, we decompress, alleviate stress, and can more easily bask in the bountiful experiences of life.
Taking time off to travel compounds the positive aspects associated with taking a break. A solo trip allows you to see the world anew and calls forth our awareness and attention to the present moment as few other experiences do.
Whenever you find yourself tense, irritable, hopeless, or just plain tired, those are all good indicators that it’s time for a break. So the next time you find yourself tense or stuck trying to write an email response that just won’t come together, take a 10-minute walk. This will do wonders for your productivity, and it was only 10 minutes!
Imagine what 3-4 days away from work doing something you actually enjoy would do for you?
Using Travel to Inspire You and Your Dream Business
Whether it’s finding your way around, asking for directions, or eating dinner alone, these experiences help you become more attuned to the present moment.
Stepping away from a routine and trying something new allows you to take control of the plane and flip autopilot off for a little while. While this might seem uncomfortable at first, if you stick with it, you’ll likely begin to notice that you’re alert, more aware of things, and conscious of the actual moment you’re experiencing.
The more aware you are of everything you’re experiencing in your life, the more information you have to help you find your life purpose. And, who wants all of the information they could get to make an informed decision that will literally impact all aspects of your life?
This of course leads to more and more information to use as you start and build your dream business. Do everything you can to learn as much as about you as possible, then use this intel to create a business that reflects all of you and the impact you want to make in the world.
Quick Recap on Finding Your Life Purpose
- Overcome Our Fears – Overcoming our fears is not only empowering. You’re showing yourself and the world that you’re in it that we’re in it to win it! So get serious about tackling your fears if you want to find your purpose and build your dream life!
- Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable – Being uncomfortable is like the baby brother of fear. Tackle the uncomfortableness and know that building a life unlike the one you have now will take some uncomfortable steps. Use your uncomfortableness as a sign that you’re on the right path!
- Question What You Know – Solo travel to exotic and new places forces us to be strangers in new lands. It intensifies our attention to detail and gets us out of our heads and focused on the now. The beautiful thing about this is that we make fewer assumptions and open ourselves up to what the universe has in store! Awesomeness!
- Hit the RESET Button Already! Everybody needs a reboot now and then. Think about our computers and cell phones. What happens if we don’t keep hit the power off button at least every month? They’re glitchy and slow as hell! So don’t be glitchy or bitchy, for that matter. Instead, hit the reset button and break away from your routine regularly.
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I’d love to hear from you. What are some of the things that have helped you in your quest of finding your life purpose? Leave a comment below.