March 26, 2018

HOW TRAVEL CAN MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON

10 reasons why traveling the world makes you better

I am going to tell you the reason why I am so obsessed with traveling, or rather, I will explain how in September 2015 I came to the point of quitting my well-paid job, leaving my husband-to-be alone, and going to India and Sri Lanka on my own without any specific plan in mind.

A mentally healthy person should have had a good reason for doing such things.

I had not one, but ten reasons to do so. So, below are the drivers that led me to going for such crazy adventure.
Om Beach, Gokarna, Karnataka, India
Search of my inner self

Before going to India I had a "dream" job that took me eight years to get it.
I dreamed about it for so long, but the fulfillment of this dream did not give me a sense of meaning.

I felt like I was just an easy substituted cog in a large machine.

My work depressed and absorbed all of me, it took away all the energy, and there was no satisfaction from what I was doing, as well as no sense of importance of my own efforts.

The energy that remained after the working day only sufficed for getting home and falling asleep. And that was how I spent my every day.

I understood that it might continue until my retirement day, thus wanted to break this vicious circle without causing harm to anyone and with minimal losses.

The problem was that I knew exactly what I did not want to do, yet still had no idea what I needed, who I really was and what to do with all of these.

So I took a leap of faith.

I quit everything and booked myself a one-way ticket to a country I had never been before hoping to get the answers on the road.

It happened to be the way to myself.

On my way, there, on the road, I learned to hear my inner voice distinctly and realized what satisfied me.

While traveling I took a broader look at many things, reconsidered my value, understood the direction I wanted to move to, where my talents would be applied, and where I would be truly useful.

India has allowed me to get acquainted with my true self, to discover my strength and new qualities, and to refine some individual skills (those skills that top corporations call "soft skills").
Gokarna, Karnataka, India
Healing

Traveling helped me to recover from mental pain and return back to life.

They say time heals, but I believe, the time spent on traveling does heal. A journey helps even in cases when you do not realize that you need some help. No matter what the cause of the pain is, travelling heals even deep bleeding wounds.

Cognition

I believe that in order to understand herself every woman should go on a journey on her own at least once in her lifetime.

Traveling is sort of a school for me. It is not just a geography lesson, rather than an express course of life.

I love the multifacetedness of the Earth and like to try the taste of everything.

Moreover, I love to communicate with people who do not belong to my usual surroundings, because this changes my picture of the world.

While talking to local people, I see their country with their eyes, I feel their pain and joy. This makes my micro universe more abundant.

Traveling to other countries expands the mentality, opens my mind, brings in an infinite diversity of knowledge and teaches to live differently.
An Indian lady in a village close to Gokarna
Reload and search for meaning

During that period of my life, I lost the understanding of its sense. The monotonous earning of money did not match my vision of the future, and I was giving up in despair.

Life turned into a jelly - it was kind of sweet and easy to go downstream, but somehow everything was dull and way too boring.

I was gently drowning in this seemingly cloudless pink slush.

I desperately needed any emotions, no matter whether positive or not.

I wanted to feel that I was actually alive. It was necessary to restart my life program and to recharge myself.

The trip to India became such a switch and filled my life with a new meaning. It gave me a strong impulse, helped to make a fresh start and raised me to a new level.
Cows at Patnem, East Coast of Goa, India
Determination and independence

I have been dreaming of visiting India alone for a long time, and back then I thought, that should I not do it then, I would never ever do it at all.

I flew away from home without having any specific plan, only having arranged the accommodation for a couple of days in Mumbai at complete strangers through Couchsurfing.

At that time of my life, I dreamt of stopping saying "Yes", where I wanted to say "No".

I was overwhelmed with the desire to get rid of my senseless politeness and get phrases like "It is not right", "I do not want to offend anyone", "What will people say?" out of my head.

I wanted to make my own decisions, take responsibility for my thoughts, actions and even inactivity. Once and for ever I wanted to make a deal with the Universe that this was my life and I was ready to answer for it and all its challenges, painful moments, joys, pleasures and emotions.

During my trip to India I was no longer worried about anyone's opinion, because at that time I felt comfortable on my own with myself. It was me who chose where to go, what to do, where to stop, so, in fact, I decided what kind of person I wanted to be. And I could have been anyone; if I wanted I could even walk around naked, because nobody knew me anyway. I could just ignore what others thought of me.

And also, there were no loved ones around who could listen to my wining and support me, there were no possibility to shift responsibility to my mother, father, neighbour or a dog.

Thanks to my journey to India, I felt that I am the only one who took control over my life.
Curd with fresh fruits for breakfast, India
Freedom

I reached the point where I could not stand listening to advice and moralizing from everyone around me anymore.

It became almost impossible to hear my inner voice and separate personal desires and goals from those imposed from the outside.

For some weird reason, everyone around me, starting from those in my close surrounding and ending with total strangers, believed that they had the right to give me any sort of advice.

The list of recommendations was endless.

They seemed to know better what I should do, what I should eat, where to go, what to wear, with whom to communicate, whom to love, what to read, how to talk, etc.

I was sick and tired of proving the right to have the life of my own that is mine and unique.

This trip allowed me to become independent from the system, social bounds, other people's thoughts and expectations, and gave me the freedom to be alone with myself.

There were no boundaries on the road. There were no employers and employees, there was no pressing society, and there was no need in doing something because "That will be a right thing to do".

Freedom gave a feeling of an extreme power. The power to take care of myself, to listen to my desires and to do only what I want to do. I began to see clearly what I truly needed.

Traveling taught me how to choose right priorities. It allowed me to put on the top of a priority list only the things important for me.

You may call it selfishness, but it is not. It is the pure self love and self care.

No one, even a close person or the most wise and experienced guru will not ever live my life better than I do.
West Coast of Goa, India
Steeping out of the framework

I dreamt of seeing what I was actually capable of, and India became a perfect challenge. My comfort zone started strangling me and I really needed a shake.

On the road I broke all my inner boundaries of everything familiar and understandable.

Decisions were made quickly, the brain was shocked and worked in an intensified mode, but my soul enjoyed everything that was happening around me and that allowed discovering new edged of life.

Any journey has its common risks within it, but even leaving your house in the morning you risk of being struck by a brick falling from the roof. Voyage to India helped me to stop feeling sorry for myself and taught me to do more. I realized that my fate was in my hands and I had to decide what to do with it.

The first week of my trip I bought two identical leather bracelets. Back then I did not know that one of them would drown in the mountain lake of Andhra Pradesh during the survival trekking, in course of which I almost died.

Every time I have to overcome new challenges now, I recall this trek in my memory.

By the way, the second bracelet has also drowned, but that happened during our honeymoon trip to Lake Ohrid, to where Alex and I went a year after my trip to India.
Mountain trek in Andhra Pradesh, India
Getting rid of unnecessary things

On the road there is no time for unnecessary chatter and actions.
While traveling alone, I had no worries about the way I looked. And sometimes, for the sake of good memories, I sacrificed a shower, a sleep, food or some extra dresses, which were painfully pulling me down.

Journeys, especially long ones, clean the life out of junk: unnecessary things, thoughts and people.
They raise tolerance and teach to cherish what you have.
Also they help to appreciate yourself, your loved ones and your time. Time is a resource that you won't "kill" for nothing anymore when you can spend it with meaning.
In a moment like that you feel how easy it is to get rid of everything unnecessary and to care only of the things that really matter. This is one of the most important skills that you master along the way.

Confidence

I really needed to regain self confidence and self trust and my trip to India gave me that chance.
There is one special feature in traveling on your own, and that is that you are never alone.

To get from point A to point B it was absolutely necessary to communicate with other people.
Let's face it, a search for accommodation at midnight in a village where no one speaks English makes a sociable and self-confident extrovert even from a sociopath.
On my way to Nuwara Eliya Waterfalls, Sri Lanka
A good story to tell

My cherished dream is to tell my grandchildren some interesting stories when I am 87 years old, confirming what a cool granny they have.

So another reason for my journey to India was that I just needed another good story to tell.
Now there are a lot of pleasant memories in my head and I have another amazing story for my grandchildren to tell.

No one under no circumstances can take away my memories from me.
This is my treasure of a lifetime.

Fortune favors the courageous! So Do Travel!

Sending you lots of love,

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Thank you for reading!
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