I was at yoga today and the teacher, Phil, said something really simple, yet profound. He said everyone asks what we gain from experiences…right? “What do I get out of this?” That’s our culture these days. He dared us to instead think about what we lose. Of course, he was referring to a yoga practice. I start to crave a heated room when the weather turns colder, but for me – my true passion is dance. Dance (as in the kind we experience with my other biz, Wildhive) is just like travel…it’s a journey. Dance is infused with adventure. Also meaning, culture and connection. And, I never go into it with the attitude of what’s in this for me, rather with a keen awareness of what I lose from it: boredom. sadness. loneliness. silence.
I LOVE this perspective. And, I think it applies to so many experiences, but especially to travel. So many people are focused on what they might gain from travel. Instead, let’s dare to talk about what we are losing…
We lose a narrow mind
Travel is life-changing and broadening. From eating new foods to meeting people on the other side of the world. To new experiences and immersing in different cultures. I totally geek out over neuroplasticity (Obvi. Clearly, both travel and dance have a gigantic impact on the way our brain is wired). Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to strengthen and build new neural pathways, even as we age. Through travel, we lose our narrow way of thinking, our limited view of the world. Through our human senses, we introduce new experiences, new tastes, new sounds, and smells. It opens our minds. Gahhhh! This so exciting. These all impact our lives when we return back home. Say buh-bye to narrow-minded thinking, hello to open-minds, expansive thoughts and an enhanced ability to get more creative.
We lose stress
Ok. A little stress can be a good thing. But, we all know that too much stress causes illness and can reak havoc on our bodies. When we travel, we are losing stress. We need to encourage and make time for these breaks in our daily routines. Shake things up. Infuse our lives with some energy, for gosh sakes. We give our minds and body a reset. Fresh air, nature, fun – however you like to travel – is an opportunity to manage our stress levels. Watch out! With that broadened thinking AND lower stress, you just might return with new skills and a deepened ability to better problem solve. Promotion, here we come!
We lose fear
There is no doubt that fear holds us back. In all areas of our lives. Whether it’s taking risks in business, getting out of our comfort zone, trying new things, and even travel. Travel has to start with courage. Travel gives the gift of proving that humanity does exist. Watch the news – live in fear. Travel – live in love, community, and connection. Fear even shows up in making the decision to go trekking into the unknown. It also shows up in choosing to prioritize travel – by spending the money on it. It’s not tangible. Yet, I have not experienced one trip where I haven’t returned more empowered. This alone is worth any cost. Whether it’s navigating the streets of a new city, feeling the warmth of the local people, or realizing that you are creating life-long memories, fear begins to dissipate and courage floods in. This is beautiful.
My personal loss
Travel is my crusade. It’s my life-saver. It is not only what my businesses are founded on, but my personal ethos as well. The three listed above aren’t the only things we lose when we travel. What I personally lose is the disconnect from my family that seeps in when life gets crazy. Which, we all know – is quite often! I am running two businesses, a mom of three who play traveling sports, my husband is my #1 – yet, there is only so much time in a day. Only so much headspace and energy. And, we are all trying to do it all – focus on career, on parenthood, on being a good friend, spouse and so on, ALL THE THINGS. When I travel, I lose the disconnect. I am SO present. I don’t care about my emails. I don’t care about the laundry. All I care about is creating life-long memories with my family. Whether it’s a romantic getaway with the hubs, or an adventure-packed trip with the kids, or a meaningful volunteer experience – I am in it. If we can infuse more of that – imagine how connected, how productive, how creative, how smart, how courageous and how open-minded we would all be!
Happy #wildbumming – go lose something.