Day Three of Guest Post Week: Today we have a philosophical post on how travel fits into the bigger picture of our lives
Hello, my name is Anne-Sophie and I’m a travel junky.
I’m one of those people who upon returning from a trip envy the travelers at the airport who are just starting their journeys. I love to see the world, explore different cultures, speak foreign languages and experience new adventures. It thrills me, it fulfills me, it opens my heart and soul every single time and I just can’t get enough of it.
I’ve been privileged because my parents enabled me to follow my passion from early on and have always supported my ventures out into the world, whether I was alone or with a travel companion.
And so I traveled, sometimes for weeks, sometimes only for a few days, but I always had my eyes on a new adventure. The rewards of my trips have always been amazing: I came home rejuvenated, reenergized and always a tiny bit smarter and wiser than before.
Then, last winter, as I’ve started my own business and worked around the clock, I went cold turkey on my travels and the withdrawal symptoms didn’t wait long to appear. I felt restless, then less energized, less inspired and ultimately, void.
I loved what I was doing; I was more fulfilled than ever before. I didn’t mind the long workdays or the weekends spend behind the computer. I was following my passion, created meaningful work and was grateful for my new life, but something was missing.
I needed a fix.
And so, this summer I traveled all over France, one of my favorite countries in the world. From Paris to the Cote d’Azur, I’ve had it all. The trips were short, but the benefits were instant. I felt more energized again, more engaged, and more challenged than in months.
I returned with a renewed sense of motivation, inspiration and drive and have been more prolific in my writing and in making radical business-related and personal decisions than before. It’s as if my mind suddenly went back into a super high functioning mode as a thank you for taking some time off.
This little anecdote shows how important it is to break your routine and give yourself time to play, no matter how busy you are.
Taking the time to get out of your city, leaving work behind, feeding your brain new information and treating it to new impressions is more important than we realize.
Travelling, experiencing novelty always challenges you; it opens your mind to new possibilities and generates often life-changing ideas and concepts.
It is one of the best ways to not only get out of a rut but also to stimulate your brain and find your way (back) to happiness and fulfillment.
Don’t believe me? Well, believe science then. It’s proven that your brain not only welcomes, but also seeks novelty and challenge. It yearns to learn, to explore, to expand and to engage (all of which traveling makes you do). By giving your brain challenges, forcing it to pay attention and figure new things out, it’ll release dopamine, the happiness hormone.
So, as Brendon Burchard suggests in his phenomenal book “The Charge”, treat yourself to getaways every 90 days.
You don’t have to travel around the world or even go to a different country. But simply getting away from the familiar will snap you out of your boredom and put some spark into your life (and brain) again.
Make it happen. The rewards will outweigh the initial investment.
And if you’re really serious about being energized, enthusiastic and functioning on a top level, then leave your agenda at home: follow your instinct, explore, go the unconventional routes and let your brain do what it’s designed to do: make you happy.
Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is an anorexia survivor, body image expert, self-love advocate and the owner of aMINDmedia. Join her newsletter and receive your free 3-part video series empowering you to madly fall in love with yourself.