Travel is far more than simply discovering all the marvels in the world around you. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to discover yourself, too. Since this expansion of your self- perception is subtle, it’s easy to miss all the positive learning that you gain about yourself from your reaction to unique experiences. Here are some tips on how to get even more joy from your travels:
Enjoy Local Food and Beverages
When traveling, you open your senses to the novelty of your environment. Besides new sights, sounds, and smells, also try to stretch beyond your comfort zone by trying out local meals and drinks.
Every country or city you go to has their favorite foods or beverages. If, say, you go to Costa Rica, try some of its unique dishes like Olla de Carne, a beef stew you eat with rice.
If you go to San Diego, go on a San Diego beer tour to enjoy its unique craft beers. Appreciating distinct flavors and noticing the aromas of various beverages will improve your palette.
Research Your Destinations
When you research a place, you time-travel because you familiarize yourself with its history. This helps you to appreciate its political and economic evolution. By finding out the story of a place, you appreciate it more. Research also has practical benefits. You’ll know where to go, know how to dress for the climate, understand how much things cost and avoid unintentionally offending people by your ignorance about local customs and norms.
When you journal your travel experiences, you live twice–enjoying the experience itself and then re-living its highlights. You could write a chronological and factual description or a subjective one about what you thought and felt about something you saw, a place you visited, or interesting people you met. You could also do both. First, recording the event to keep the details fresh in mind; then, writing about what it meant for you and what you learned. Besides writing, you could also take pictures, videos, and dictate your impressions into an app.
Savor Your Experiences
When you travel, famous landmarks will excite you, like the Sistine Chapel if you visit Vatican City, the magnificent Mosque of Cordoba if you visit Spain, or the Parthenon if you visit Greece. However, it’s also important to savor positive experiences of a subtler nature, such as the smell of patisseries at a bread shop in London or the cerulean blue of the Mediterranean sea in Slovenia.
We shortchange ourselves by failing to fully appreciate new experiences. Caught up in staying faithful to our itinerary or preoccupied with taking pictures of the juggler on the sidewalks of New York, we miss the fragile moment itself.
Learning to savor an experience that you will never have again is one delight of travel.
Share Your Adventures With Others
You will amplify your experiences of self-discovery when you share them with others. Besides sharing them in person with family and friends, you can also share them on social media. If you have a blog, your readers would probably love to hear about your experiences. By sharing what you are bringing to mind what you experienced, and like journaling, you will get new insights about aspects of your trip.
The Many Benefits of Travel
Besides enhancing your self-discovery, travel makes you happier, too. You feel childlike because everything is new and different, and you feel calmer because all your current life stressors appear somewhat abstract. Travel also gives you time to reflect on various aspects of your life, from your personal goals to your relationships.