Along with a new year, there is optimism of fresh starts and new beginnings. Many people would have made New Year’s Resolutions to start 2018 on the right foot and turn over a new leaf!
We want to eat better.
We want to read more.
We want to work out.
We want to learn languages.
We want to be independent.
We want to be more active.
We want to be less awkward in social situations.
We want to meet new people.
The list goes on and on!!
Of course, many of these things are difficult. You may have decided to go to gym daily, but that’s easier said than done when you have a busy schedule. Something will come up and plans will be put off until tomorrow as you wait for “the right time.” However, the idea that you will find the perfect day to get the ball rolling is a fantasy.
It takes a lot of effort to bring change. Even one or two changes to improve your life requires persistence and commitment. But to make several? That is biting off more than you can chew. No one has the mental energy or time to do that. That’s why most of the resolutions fail and we abandon those dreams as rapidly as they were thought up.
So when people tell me all the ways they want to improve their lives, my advice to them is to travel.
Picture this: You’ve booked a flight to Warsaw. You don’t speak Belarusian, Czech, Hebrew, Yiddish, Lithuanian, German, Armenian, Russian, Slovak or Ukrainian. And, to top it off, you’re going alone. You land in Warsaw. Now, you have to map-read in a different language, ask people for directions who probably don’t speak your language (maybe pantomime), get to your hostel, make friends in the dorm and explore the city during your stay.
By the time you leave, you’ve learned how to appreciate and understand different culture and people.
American author Mark Twain put it best when he said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”
You’re introduced to new ways of thinking about the world. Your problem-solving skills are tested as well as your communication skills, self-reliance, and resilience are honed. You’ve learned to turn strangers into friends, learned how to be independent and improved your self-confidence.
Why? Because you had to. You had no other choice.
And you didn’t even know you were doing it.
I was a nerdy introvert before my first solo trip. As I kept travelling, I started discovering myself.
Travel puts you into situations that force you to better yourself. It won’t immediately solve your problems but at least, on the road, you have an opportunity to start fresh.
So stop waiting!
Stop making excuses!
It’s a new year!
And it’s full of new possibilities!
Just go for it!