Travelling is transformative

During this first month of Down To Earth I decided to share some reflections I wrote during my travelling experience in Asia. I don’t underline this experience to brag, but to show you how transformative it can be to open ourselves to the world around us.

Travelling is life changing not only because it can change the way you see life, but also because it can change who you are as a person – the depth of this change will only depend on how you live your own experiences.

I believe that there is a moment when travelling stops being something you do once a year, as a treat you give yourself for working so hard, to becoming a lifestyle. You start understanding that the world is much richer and bigger than you have imagined but, at the same time, the planet shows itself to being much smaller, as you understand there are no limits to how far you can go.

What’s a transformative experience to you?

For me, travel has become the representation of freedom, empowering and self-evolution. It became part of my priorities as an investment on myself, because I understand how much travelling improves me as a human being.

When you have a down to earth approach to travelling, and to whatever novelty you might face, you start having a greater appreciation for life, which progressively brings up the best version of yourself.

I don’t think that the transformative benefit of travelling is solely the result of travelling itself, but rather the attitude you have when breaking off your routine, when becoming more present and mindful of what you are experiencing. Hence, I truly believe that any other experience you approach with open heart can be transformative – it can be hiking in the mountains, surfing in the ocean, reading through the night…

For me, the concept of transformative travelling involves warm weather, contact with local open-hearted people, learning about (and living) cultural traditions and experiencing exotic food. That is the place where I fill fulfilled; there’s where I feel truly happy; and this is the emotional condition we need to find our real purpose in life.

Maybe for you it is different. Maybe it is going for a walk in the forest next to your home, or having a gastronomic experience in a really nice local restaurant; maybe it is going to the beach alone to watch the sunset; or maybe it is spending time with your family camping in your own garden.

I believe that a transformative experience – being it when travelling or not – can be any kind of experience, as long as you feel it takes you out of your element, it brings you to your own center, and reminds you – or actually teaches us – of who you really are.

Are you seeking real happiness or the idea of it?

The only reason I am writing the following paragraph is because I believe we live up to expectations of who we would feel in a certain context, which we have not actually experienced – i.e. we think we will be happier with the idea of something we have actually never tried before.

For a period of time I had the chance to travel quite a big, spending weekends in really nice hotels or spas, where I would be treated as a princess. I needed the routine break from work and I has the conditions to pay for that. It was therapeutic; it felt really good and I am fully aware of how privileged I am. However, it was I tool my backpack and gave up on seeking the perfect-rich-style experiences, and I slept in precarious places, ate street food, walked barefoot whenever I wanted (without being noticed by others), or did not brush my hair for 3 weeks (and yes, I looked great), that I really felt happy! Would I live this way? Probably not! Wouldn’t I have other aspects to bother me if I adopted this as my life? I am sure I would have, but it felt good!

As many people, I also thought that my happiness, my peace, my relaxing moments, would be in having access to these privilege things. I have always been a more comfort seeking person than an outdoor adventurous one. So I worked for that. I worked very hard and I was very focused on achieving that. And I am so grateful I did, because now I know how much those experiences where not fulfilling for me. Now I can redirect my focus, energy and efforts to experience what I am certain gives me energy.

Today I know what makes me feel living up to my full potential. Maybe tomorrow there will be other things, but today I found my purpose and my source of power.

What are yours? Have you found them already? What do you seek: living the idea of happiness or actually finding what makes you happy?

Let me know!

Lots of love,

Dani

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