Know Thyself Through Travelling

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View from Lake Louise Ski Resort
(photo taken by the author on an iPhone 5s)

“The greatest explorer on this earth never takes voyages as long as those of the man who descends to the depth of his heart.” – Julien Green

Travel is the best kind of education for learning about yourself. Let’s face it: we are all “set in our ways”, to a certain degree. Travel blows this distortion out of the water. Like a meteor falling from the sky, so is the explosion this effect has on our way of being. We are shaken to the core and are forced to deal with who we are and who we’ve become. In this state we become open to learning things about ourselves that we may not have been otherwise. The irony of course is those who know us have seen and noticed these parts in us for a long time, so this new information we have become aware of slowly comes to the surface as we reach a new level of awareness. As the saying goes, “awareness is the first stage for real change to occur.”

In the process of learning new parts about ourselves we discover new things about those around us, both abroad and at home. We also gain insightful information about the world in which we occupy a small space in it. Another way of stating this is, as we gain insights about the world and people around us, we reach new heights of understanding about ourselves, our behaviours, thought patterns, and ways of relating to people and events. This is incredibly helpful and useful because this process of learning more about ourselves, and the world around us, leads to acquiring newfound teaching’s in real-life, in real-time, and in real-life discovery.

The journey of traveling has in itself learning’s that no classroom can ever teach us, for it impacts us in the raw and tangible way that walking on distant streets and distant shores can only reveal. The terms “street smarts”, or “learning on the job” come to mind as a communicative effort to put into words what I am talking about. Through the course of travelling we gain an A+ in the study of exploration. We come back far more educated, in so many different areas, than we were heading in. If you are looking for an Ivy-League education, seek not the prestigious campuses of Stanford or Harvard; rather, seek to travel in any part of the world that is not your own and create your own campus.