The Importance of Growth
If I had to pinpoint one reason why I decided to travel, it would be personal growth.
Take a moment and stop to think about what long-term travel actually is. A person uproots their entire life, discarding almost everything they know as familiar and throwing themselves into a totally new environment. This is a scary concept. I know it is for me anyway.
For human beings the unknown is naturally frightening. If we are lucky enough to already be in a situation where our basic needs for survival (food, water, ect) are being met sufficiently, then our instincts will tell us to do everything we can to avoid change. Change is the unknown. If no action is required, then why risk it? Our subconscious will warn us that something could go wrong and if it does, those basic needs may be covered no longer.
Many of us are living in a world today where the easiest thing to do is nothing at all. Just sit still, relax, and everything will be fine. It’s so easy to lose yourself in the negative influence of television, again and again, day in and day out. You don’t need to worry, nothing knowingly horrible is going to happen to you. However, your mind will stay limited in the realms and influences of the mass media.
You will not be growing.
Let’s look at the bigger picture. Is working in an office for eight hours a day doing something you have 0% passion for actually going to make any difference to your world? No! You might be earning money but in truth money is just a means to an end that will never arrive.
It’s an illusion.
You are still not growing.
But you are losing. You’re losing time. Time that’s never coming back.
For me travel was not only a way to break out of the familiar to create lasting memories but to use the lack of familiarity to improve upon myself.
It’s not an easy decision to make. It’s been a real challenge for me so far and I’m certain that the challenges will become increasingly more difficult to overcome in the future. But for me this is not necessarily a negative. If you can frame it from a different perspective, then these challenges are really just opportunities. With a difficult challenge comes discomfort and sometimes failure. And with these come growth.
I think it’s important to remember that the events and experiences you let into your life don’t need to be perfect. And they won’t be. Stop labelling things as “good” or “bad” and start letting them be. Open your mind and learn from them. You might find that the next time that a similar experience enters your life you approach it differently. You have grown.
Now, keep in mind that I’m not saying that you HAVE to travel to experience growth as a person. Everyone is different and there are many ways it can be achieved. Personal growth happens in unexpected ways which doesn’t necessarily require a conscious decision.
The point I’m trying to make with this post is that the human experience is all about evolution. If you are limiting your own possibility for evolution are you really living to your full potential? And if not, why not?
As an experiment I want to you think back through your life, and pick out those memories that have stuck with you most prominently. The moments that have potentially constructed the very person reading this article today. Then ask yourself, how many of these moments occurred suddenly as part of your daily routine? and how many occurred when you were doing something unusual or challenging, such as travel?
It’s something interesting to think about.
Thanks for reading,