Humans have been travelling since the dawn of time. Exploration was always a means of educating ourselves, of sharing cultures and learning about what the world had to offer. Christopher Columbus traversed the Atlantic four times, chancing upon the Americas in the 1400s, and Marco Polo spent almost 20 years crossing the Silk Road to explore ancient Asia.
Now with modern technology, travelling has become a common commodity across all walks of life. Whether its upscale luxury vacations or budget college backpacking trips, travelling is now accessible to all with better infrastructure, international relations and cheaper travelling options.
As more and more youths take the leap to step out of their comfort zone, there has been a recent trend of articles that all seem to harp on the same piece of advice. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about:
Why Women Should Travel Alone
9 Reasons Why You Should Travel Alone
How I Learned to Love Travelling Solo
11 Reasons Why Travelling Solo will Make You A Stronger Person
Thousands of articles have been preaching the benefits of travelling alone, of ditching your day job and following your dreams to explore the world. It almost seems as if the only way to discover your life goals is to throw a dart at a world map and simply book the next flight out.
As someone who relocated across the globe and travels for a living, it has been fairly interesting for me to read all these articles. After all these years it truly begs the question, does the mantra of Eat, Pray Love really work for everyone?
My Own Two Cents
Holidays and travel have always been considered as a form of escapism, to take a break from our daily lives and unwind. As you would read from The Middle Kingdom, my epic journey began when I needed to find inspiration for my work and my brother Colin wanted to take a sabbatical after starting up and selling off his own successful company.
So we took the time off from our day-jobs, planned this monstrous route across China, and set off into the unknown. It may have worked for us, but does it always work for everyone? Here’s what I think.
Travelling Provides a Clearer Picture
There is no specific formula to making travel work for you. You don’t always need to go to some special beach in Thailand that appeared in a movie, or a popular bar in Bali. The city lights and billboards in New York or London aren’t going to magically spell out your life’s future for you, or spark off an epiphany about your goals for the year head.
What travelling does is remove all other influences.
Whether it’s your stress from work, or influences from your family and friends, travelling provides you with an opportunity to clear your mind, and look at the bigger picture. Whether it’s the calming waves of the ocean pacing each breath you take, or the hustle and bustle of the city acting as white noise for your brain, it finally takes you out of your comfort zone and allows you to think.
Travelling Gives Perspective
When my brother Colin and I took our first leap into The Middle Kingdom, most of the world was in disarray. The Lehman Brothers had crashed global markets, affecting every sort of industry you could think of, including mine.
But as I travelled across the vast plains of China, it showed me that life is all about perspective. There are billions of people across the globe living their lives in ways that we could never have imagined. Bankers, lawyers and corporates could never imagine the lives of villagers in rural Tibet or China, just as those farmers could never imagine a cosmopolitan lifestyle.
It helps you to re-evaluate what truly matters to you, and when it comes to building your Pyramid in Maslow’s Hierarchy, what separates your wants and your needs?
Life may not be what you want it to be right now, but travelling shows you that it doesn’t always have to go according to plan. Giant sequoias and redwoods in my home country Canada may take years to grow, grass plains and landscapes in China take decades to form, but nature still gets the job done anyway without feeling the need to rush for time.
So in conclusion, travelling does help you to discover yourself. It helps to clear your mind, remove all further distractions, and see the bigger picture. However, the onus is on you to decide what you want and how you feel, how you react when you’re out of your routine and your comfort zone. No listicle or clickbait article listing 12 reasons to Discover Yourself By Travelling is going to magically sort your life out, because there is no formula to life.
Sometimes when you get lost, you don’t need to be found. So go travel out there, and discover to your heart’s delight.
You can learn more about Ryan Pyle’s work at www.ryanpyle.com
Ryan Pyle’s Television Adventures can be Streamed Online:
Extreme Treks: Season #2 (Vimeo) | (Coming Soon)
Extreme Treks: Sacred Mountains (Vimeo) | (Amazon Prime)
Tough Rides: China (Vimeo) | (Amazon Prime)
Tough Rides: India (Vimeo) | (Amazon Prime)
Tough Rides: Brazil (Vimeo) | (Amazon Prime)