Traveling and Self Reflection: Explore A Foreign Location While Getting to Know Yourself
Nowadays, many people have failed to recognize the importance of taking a trip back to memory lane and perform self reflection. As a result, they missed out on its rich benefits. Examining one’s thoughts and feelings in relation to his/her current situation in life is a very healthy practice. It can be noted that this is a habit that has marked distinguished individuals in human history. Spending much time in self-reflection usually results to a deeper realization and appreciation of oneself and life as well.
Self-reflection involves introspection, which can be described as a personal “inward journey” back to one’s past. By recalling life events and reflecting on them, a person gains lessons that can only be acquired through this process. An exciting way of doing this activity is by travelling abroad, or simply just by going to locations that allows a person to get away from the hustles and bustles of ordinary life. Many individuals have made this a practice and have benefited much from it.
Are you travelling solo?
Traveling can be done alone or as a group. However, if one’s main purpose for travelling is to engage in self-reflection, going solo might be the best way of doing it. Possible distraction from peers (which is but normal in a group, traveling or otherwise) is lessened and can even be totally eliminated. Going somewhere alone also gives a person a certain “freedom” in choosing the details of his/her trip – destination, route, schedule, mode of transportation, intended activities, and many more. Thus, the process to discovery or rediscovery of self is enhanced.
Relax. It is good for you.
A person can start self-reflection while in the course of his/her journey, prior to reaching the destination. Since introspection involves a “slowing down” from one’s regular pace in life, taking a slower and/or longer route of travel is advised. Instead of taking a plane, a person may opt to take a boat. Instead of driving, he/she may decide to take the train. Taking these alternative modes of transportation gives the individual more time for relaxation. Another well-known way of traveling while doing self-reflection, which is a favorite of mountaineers, is hiking. There are various helpful aids and methods that one can use for relaxation while making the trip.
Aids and Methods
A person may want to ponder on famous proverbs, listen to soft music, do breathing exercises, etc., even combining these aids and methods to achieve a more relaxed state of mind (and even body). Taking videos and/or photos of the environment – landscapes, flora, fauna, etc., is a very good way of documenting one’s travel. This helps preserve memories, which are helpful both for present and future introspective journeys. To fully achieve one’s purpose in taking this trip, it is recommended that a journal is secured wherein the person can record insights and realizations gained while traveling.
Where do we go from here?
A favorite location of many individuals for introspective travel is the natural environment. These include, but are not limited to beaches, streams, waterfalls, mountaintops, hilltops, valleys, and forests. Simplicity creates the ideal atmosphere for introspecting. To lessen distractions and maximize one’s stay in these places while doing this, it is advised that only the most basic of life’s necessities is brought. These are food, shelter and clothing
To further enhance simplicity, a person may consider the possible sources of food (e.g. fish, berries, etc.), which may already be present and easily accessible in the location. Though mobile homes and cabins are currently used by many as forms of shelter during trips, one can opt to stay in a cave or a tent. Many, through the years even, chose to sleep directly under the stars. Decisions on clothing and footwear are to be carefully made based on one’s length of stay in the venue and terrain location.
Take the chance not only to explore new places, but to reflect on yourself on your next travel.
Featured and 1st image by vastateparksstaff [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
2nd image by Marcus Vinícius Chevitarese Alves (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons