Travel and Self-Discovery

Travel and Self-Discovery

Most people have a desire to travel.

And it’s not surprising that matriculants, graduates and young adults find themselves constantly entering free holiday competitions and looking for flight deals to get away.

There is a link between traveling and self-discovery that is an indirect motivator to wanting to get away.

Being on your own or with a close friend in a new place, learning new things and experiencing the great big world is invigorating and educational. Educational in that you discover things about yourself and unlock potential that may have, otherwise, never been known.

When people come back from traveling there is a certain glow about them that infects the rest of us with the travel bug – and it’s not from their Caribbean tans.


Why You Should Travel

Start at “Home”

Start in your home country – not town or province – country. Plan a road trip around South Africa, there are plenty of accommodation options out there like Country Hotels so that’s no excuse. Also, there really is so much to explore right here.

Map out how you want to make your way in and around the country. Have an idea of where you will be stopping each day and where you will be finding accommodation. Plan the sights you definitely want to see, otherwise, make sure you have enough petrol between towns to just drive and take in everything around you.

Starting at home means that you can learn the ways of looking after yourself and getting used to different places without experiencing the full force of culture shock that you might experience in a different country.

You will also get a good idea on the value for money while traveling and how overpacking is unnecessary and can slow you down. Think of it as a training ground before you spread your wings and cross borders.


Spread Your Wings

When you've got the hang of getting yourself around, finding affordable accommodation and safely traveling alone, you can hit the skies and cross the oceans.

There’s hardly a good way to prepare yourself for experiencing a new country. Yes, there are reviews, blogs, videos, documentaries and all the Pinterest photos you could ask for to get you excited, but it’s a whole new playing field once you’re there.

You’ll have fun trying to communicate with locals through what can only be described as a long game of charades, and feel instantly connected with anyone else that can speak your own language.

You’ll learn about new customs and how shaking hands to greet someone may be acceptable at home, but in Turkey, it’s frowned upon.

Even though you’ve seen a photograph of the Big Ben a thousand times, seeing it in person will make you appreciate its beautiful design and, at the same time, realise that it’s not as big as you thought it was going to be.

You’ll discover that you are more interested in the history of the world than you thought you were and you learn to appreciate natural beauty here more than you do at home. You’ll wonder why that is… and you’ll come home with a newfound respect and appreciation.


Why You Need to Do It

You need to travel at least once in your lifetime – and it doesn’t need to be extravagant or expensive, there are affordable travel options out there. In any case, all money spent on traveling is money well spent and here’s why:

  • Step out of your comfort zone: Being in new places forces you to step out of your comfort zone and into the unknown. But this is a great place to be to meet new people make new friends.

  • Try new things: You won’t find Astro’s overseas, but you will find new things to try. You’ll discover new likes and dislikes and acknowledge that you’re actually the type of person willing to try new things.

  • Getting lost: You’ll find the value and experience in getting lost and having to hone in on your skills to get yourself back towards society. But you’ll also find yourself tempted to stay lost and explore the breathtaking surroundings or interesting buildings and curios.

  • New foods: This is probably the best (and sometimes grossest) part of traveling. New cuisines and genuine cultural foods – not the Westernised versions that you’re used to.

  • Confidence: Traveling gives a person confidence in who they are and what they’re capable of because they have taken care of themselves and managed their way around a foreign country.


Life is the Same

This is a lesson you learn when you come back home and realise that everyone struggles and everyone gets through life. Just because the advertised life of a country is glamourous and provokes envy, that’s generally a representation of the minority, where the majority experience life the same way you do – just with a different view.