Why travel is vital to your soul
Written by: Nadia Alamo
If travel is an important part of your life, we’re willing to bet that your soul has something to do with it. Whether it’s a conscious thought or not, that calling to travel, that longing for the next horizon, is coming from your soul. That unexplainable feeling of coming home, or the equally unexplainable feeling of falling in love as soon as you arrive is a soul recognition.
And soul recognition is compelling, powerful, and thrilling. It can change you in an instant. It’s no wonder the soul calls out for it. Here’s our short list of why travel is good for your soul.
Engaging in a culture that is different from your own has its own blog post of benefits – including enhanced creativity. There’s a good reason why writers and artists travel. The inspiration of novelty, beauty, and excitement are available to us all. Whatever your creative passion, most agree that it wells up to the surface from the soul. It comes from a place that we can’t always consciously tap into. Travel is a muse for the soul’s creative needs. Those bursts of creativity and periods of heightened awareness and engagement are the soul’s way of saying thanks.
You never know what travel will bring you (or life for that matter). You can plan ahead, you can be prepared, and then it can all be wiped away in a moment. You miss the train. You get lost. It doesn’t work the same as back home. You thought there’d be towels.
Travel gives you the opportunity to practice embracing uncertainty and letting go of the need to control. These aren’t easy lessons, but it can make the difference between living life fully or complaining your way through a new country. The truth is that none of us know what’s going to happen. In our daily lives, we’re able to insulate ourselves from this reality with schedules, routines, agendas, and familiarity. When we travel, we leave the bubble and are forced to live more presently. It’s impossible to take the unknown for granted.
Rolling with Change
Scenery, people, language, customs, clothing, and more all change as you travel. Nothing is constant. Unfamiliar territory is the ideal playground for learning to release expectations. Another lesson that isn’t easy. And change doesn’t need to be about tangible changes. Sometimes we have to change the way we relate to people or change our belief in being right or in the existence of ‘one right way’ to do things.
Big is Big
When you travel, it doesn’t take long to realize just how many people 7.2 billion really is. Each of us is one among these billions and these are a speck in a larger universe. The sense of self-importance that we carry with us naturally fades when we’re standing at the top of the Himalayas or seeing a natural wonder for the first time.
This may sound isolating or lonely, but those who have had the experience of an earth-shattering sunrise or a view of the grandest vista imaginable know that realizations about the amount of space we take up in the universe can be reassuring. We’re a part of all this largeness. Life is big and we are in it!
Grief and pain are inevitable experiences in life. How we hold those experiences can be vastly different and vary from healthy to unhealthy. Travel, especially slow travel, creates space and time to process, connect, and learn from our pain. The ultimate aim is not to release pain, although that can happen. The ultimate goal is to slow down and connect with ourselves in a way that staying home doesn’t often allow so that we can feel what is coming up from within.
We grow up with certain biases about how people should behave, about what’s important, and about how to interact with each other. Travel blows these biases out of the water. When we open to it, the loss of our biases leaves space for deep connection with people. The adage that we need to walk a mile in another’s shoes becomes reality when we live in new places, ask questions, try new food, and immerse in a completely different community. Human connection is deep nourishment for the soul and enriches our lives like nothing else can.
The Ultimate Benefit
All of these benefits are really about growth. And growth is what feeds the soul. So, travel. Grow. Let your soul guide you on this wonderful adventure. Bring this expansion home. Integrate it into how you live your life, share it with others. Then do it again.