It never fails that whenever someone finds out how I’ve made a living for most of my life or with whom I’ve been fortunate enough to work with, one of the very first questions I’m asked is; what’s it like to travel the world? Being the storyteller I am, I love being asked the question and I love engaging in the conversation even more!
Just the other day I received an urgent e-mail desperately seeking my immediate availability and now here I sit currently in London about to fly into Marrakech, Morocco.
Life is crazy sometimes!
The image above is the venue for this amazing awards ceremony, fashion show and concert featuring John Legend, Youssou Ndour, Akon, and Mos Def, just to name a few.
Traveling back across the “pond” has got me to thinking, once again, of the many great lessons I’ve learned from traveling the world. So in the continual effort to answer the above question, here are 5 major reasons why you need to travel the world.
1. It hits the refresh button on life. If you’ve ever surfed the internet and experienced a web site not load correctly, and then refreshed the page and suddenly that seemed to correct things, then know exactly what I’m talking about here. Sometimes in life, tunnel vision gets the best of us. We forget about others and even forget about what’s truly important in life. Last week I wrote about Awesome’s Ending, and frankly one of the beautiful rewards from traveling the world is that it hits the refresh button, reminding us of the brevity of life.
2. It awakens your soul to new senses and experiences. There are really two sides to this but both are ultimately good. Traveling the world awakens your soul and provides you with experiences that you otherwise would never have. Experiences like the lack of personal space, say on a 18 hour flight across the Atlantic. Or the sensation of rare and exquisite cuisine from a foreign country. All have a unique ability to stoke the fire of our soul, awakening, what many times are hidden desires and passions.
3. Traveling the world teaches you life is not all about you. Did I just remind you of something there? Like a parent or spouse, perhaps? It’s interesting that there was a time, in fact, when it was commonly accepted in the scientific community that the Sun rotated around the Earth, and the Earth was at the center of the universe. We’ve since disproved that theory, but isn’t it curious how many times you and I live like we are the center of the universe. Traveling the world teaches you in no uncertain terms that this life is not about you.
4. It forces you to grow and adapt to new environments. The best example of this is can be found by learning how to use a phone outside of your familiar homeland. Oh, it may sound simple enough, but trust me, just try it. Ever heard of a country code? When you’re out of the country, you can’t just pick up and start dialing, you have to think about where you’re dialing, what’s the country code, then the areas code etc. There’s a bit of learning curve to it. And then there’s the whole idea of currency exchange. And on, and on, and on… That’s just naming a couple quick examples.
5. Last but not least, traveling the world gives you the best gift possible: perspective. I’ve already hinted at how traveling reminds of the brevity of life, but beyond that, upon entering a foreign country, say Africa for example, you’re quickly given a culture shock, revealing just how lucky you are. Those aren’t actors in those commercials on tv. Things like poverty, famine, and genocide exist and are brutally horrific to experience first hand. Traveling the world and intentionally reaching outside your comfort zone is one of the most beneficial things you could ever do in your lifetime, no matter your age.
I love the quote above from St. Augustine and I love that I have been so blessed and fortunate to encounter the many awesome experiences I have over the years.
If you could pick one place, one destination that you’ve always dreamed of going, where would that be?
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