Traveling is like a rollercoaster – how to enjoy the ride the most

Traveling is the great true love of my life… I am loyal and constant in my love of travel. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby – I just don’t care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it’s mine. Because it looks exactly like me.

–  Elizabeth Gilbert

 

Traveling offers such a wide range of experiences. You will feel great at one point and bad at another. Without any doubt there is something magical about traveling and I love it with all my heart. But it’s not a cure for everything, it isn’t always pretty like all those billion pics on instagram want to make us believe. Traveling doesn’t offer you an instant solution for your problems nor does it always make you happy. Nevertheless it can change you for the better.

Traveling is like a rollercoaster, it goes up and down, but that is exactly why we enjoy the ride!

 

Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.

Anthony Bourdain

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I will tell you why I love traveling so much, but I will also share some of the downsides with you and give you tips on how you can get out more of your travels.

Do you know that feeling, when the adrenalin is rushing through your veins , your heart is racing and you almost grin like an idiot? In those moments you feel like the king of the world. Nothing can stop you, you’re completely free and lost in the moment. Those are the out of this world experiences during traveling.

Then there is the excitement when you meet new and interesting people or walk through a landscape that no words could describe and no camera could capture. And sometimes you even arrive at a places where time freezes for a brief moment.

But traveling also brings a more quiet kind of happiness to me, the happiness of having successfully solved a new and difficult situation in a foreign country. The moment during traveling, when the mess in my head suddenly starts  making sense, because I accidently stumbled across an answer.

Why traveling can become your best friend, when you’re looking for answers? Because it often changes your perspective on things, the ankle you look from and it can help you to refocus. Bebe sings ” la distancia te ayuda a mirar con mucho menos miedo”(distance helps you to look at things with less fear). And sometimes that’s true. Getting out of an old environment into a new one, can help you to see a problem from a distance, it makes you less involved and allows a more problem orientated thinking.

That doesn’t mean you should run away from your problems, because it will for sure not work, I promise .

 

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Traveling is a constant process of learning, of growing and developing and I love that, but I think, TV, Blogs and magazines, sometimes miss to point out, that it’s not always easy, not everything or every problems in your life will disappear just like that.

 

Some things just need the messy, the uncomfortable part in the middle, otherwise there will be no growth. Sometimes you have to walk uphill first, before you can enjoy the view. You always see the nice pics on social media. Awesome pics make you believe that everything is perfect, easy going, free of problems. Sometimes it’s true, other times it isn’t.

 

Sometimes you arrive in a new place and it’s so different from what you imagined it to be, it makes you feel uncomfortable and out of place. Sometimes it’s easy to connect with others, but other times you find yourself feeling lonely, because no matter how hard you try, you just find no one to connect with. Some places just make you want to leave right away, but you know you’ll be stuck here for a little while longer. With some places it will take time to fall in love. You’ll find yourself in neighborhoods where you don’t feel safe. And then there are the times you will feel completely lost and wonder what the hack you’re doing and why chose this lifestyle and all. And you wonder, if you’re better off with something else. You will question everything and not just one day, you might be questioning you’re lifestyle a while longer.

 

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But what I learned over time is: don’t limit yourself, don’t get attached to a picture of how your life should be like or look like. Be sensible to the way you change and develop. What might have been perfect for you last year, doesn’t have to be so this year, because you change and grow constantly. So allow yourself to change your opinion, your dreams or your goals! Just because you want it now, doesn’t mean you have to want it forever. You’re in a flow, you’re dynamic, so stop trying to make your life static. When you or your life differ from the perfect picture you have in your head, stop fighting or building resistance against change.

So before forcing yourself into a life that is not yours, every time you feel there is a inner struggle going on, ask yourself: is this a part of growing and transforming that is difficult for now, but will turn out to be good in the end? Because leaning into uncertainty generally means feeling uncomfortable. Or am I struggling, because I’m trying to become someone I’m not meant to be?

 

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Sometimes it happens to me, that I miss out on “updating” the picture I have in my head about myself. So in certain situations I still act like the person I was some time ago and wonder why it doesn’t make me happy anymore or why I feel uncomfortable, until it hits me that I have changed and become a different person. For example that  I don’t enjoy some things anymore I enjoyed some years ago or that I stopped being afraid of certain things.

 

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We always want the perfect trip, we imagine to have the time of our life’s on the road, but funny enough, often we are the ones, who give us a hard time during traveling. Why? There are probably a million of reasons. Here are just some things you shouldn’t do, if you want to have a great trip.

 

  • Don’t make travelling a contest. Don’t let it become a status symbol to show off with. Traveling is not about speed, it’s not about, who has traveled more countries in a short amount of time.
  • Don’t compare yourself to other travelers, find your own way and your own speed of traveling.
  • You can let yourself be inspired by other travelers, but make sure that you don’t lose yourself in dreams that are not your own. Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate between what you think you want and what you actually want and need
  • Let the motivation to travel always come from the inside and not from the outside. The motivation comes from inside, when you would chose to travel in the exact same way and do the exact same things, even if “nobody was watching”.
  • Don’t always travel inside your comfort zone, don’t always travel in the same way. I promise you, you will make some awesome new experiences, maybe you feel uncomfortable at first and there will be some things along the way you don’t like , but in the end, leaving your comfort zone offers you some unique experiences.
  • Be aware that you’re problems won’t just disappear as soon as you get on a plane. You take them with you where ever you go. Sometimes traveling will help you to solve them, sometimes it won’t.

But for sure traveling will always be a great source of inspiration, growth and happiness.