Traveling can change your life. It may help you grow up as you search for yourself on a class trip or a backpacking vacation before or after University. It may help you get over break-ups, divorces, losses. It may help you find, exactly, what it is you’re supposed to be doing. Trips are therapeutic sessions that do your soul good and leave you feeling as if you changed not only yourself, but a bit of the world, too.
Sometimes, you don’t notice the change until it’s fully upon you (much like the growing up phases in life). Other times, like the one I experienced while at a festival, you feel it coming and know that something big is in store for you.
I could feel it bubbling up inside of me: big things were about to happen. They weren’t happening yet, I knew that they weren’t, but they were coming. I could feel the future and the happiness that it could bring pressing into my present, begging me to pay attention and listen. The festival was one that – if you were at that stage and in need – would speak to your soul. It opened my eyes and let me see into my inner heart. That quiet voice, the one we tend to shy away from, was suddenly screaming. I knew that I couldn’t ignore it any longer and that if I was supposed to do what I was truly supposed to do, and live the life that I imagined, I had to open up and listen. I didn’t feel that I had to watch every TED talk out there, join numerous support groups, and quit my job (although I did that part) to continue on the path that was laid out in front of me. All I had to do was listen.
Memories from trips stick with you for years, tucked away happily as anecdotes for the next cocktail party or spring back to life when flipping absently through old photo albums. But, the feeling you get when you’re experiencing something new, or just simply ‘getting it’ stays in your soul, forever. I still remember the first time I touched down in Paris, the first inhale of diesel and cigarette smoke (that to this day reminds me of that great city), and the first moment that I fell in love with that town. There’s always something that pulls me back there, and each and every time I go it sucks me into its sweet embrace. There are trips that change your life in that moment, and then there are trips that change your life, forever.
Travel. Explore. Do. You never know when or what will touch you emotionally and send you on a whirlwind to find your true self and the life you were meant to live.