It's hard to find yourself when you stay in one place forever.
As we grow up, we are shaped into adults based on our environments.
We make friends, spend time in nature, explore the place we're in, eat the local food, and build a life for ourselves. That is how we develop a sense of home. The place that shaped us becomes one with our soul and our memories.
Home is a beautiful place and invokes an overwhelming sense of comfort. But it's leaving home andventuring out into the world that truly helps us find ourselves.
It's easy to feel settled at home, where most things in life are predictable and everything has its place. Life is simple and heartwarming, especially surrounded by loved ones.
Leaving this safe space challenges the mind, body, and spirit. It forces us to rely on our own instincts, our own decisions, and our own actions.
Outside of home, it's hard to find a sense of routine right away. Unexpected occurrences and unfamiliarities can create turbulence in your usually smooth, normal life. Coping with the unfamiliar allows hidden parts of your personality to shine through.
It's your own personality, wisdom, intuition, bravery, and courage that gets you through the day to day difficulties of being in a foreign country.
If you can communicate with locals who don't speak your language, navigate a foreign subway system, get lost over and over in unfamiliar streets yet still eventually find your way, you are already more experienced than you ever would be at home.
These challenges are part of life, and sometimes you miss out on life when you always stay in the same place.
Though challenges abroad can seem daunting or even terrifying, they make you a better person. They make you empathetic, as you see how people live in other countries. They make you wiser and more efficient because you have to problem solve, sometimes in high-pressure situations.
And the beauty of problem-solving while traveling is that it makes you appreciate the easy times more.
After spending hours or even days in airports, following schedules and navigating confusing places, you may find yourself sitting on the beach, or on a park bench in your destination, soaking in the joy of serenity in a new, exotic place.
All the struggles and confusion is worth it when you get to that new place.
Getting to know yourself while traveling
Another wonderful thing about dealing with problems while traveling, is that your real personalityholds true through it all.
While living at home, you may adapt to the people around you and talk or act like them. While traveling, you become truly yourself. No one knows you or has any expectations of you, so you don't need to impress anyone.
Maybe you have a great sense of humor that helps you through difficult times while traveling. Maybe you have a sense of positive energy that radiates through a missed train or a wrong turn. Maybe you are incredibly organized and have no problem creating itineraries and sticking to strict schedules.
Traveling takes you so far out of your comfort zone that the best traits of your personality thrive while you navigate the world around you.
Traveling alone is the best way to get to know yourself. Not only are you trusting yourself with the logistics, but you also have plenty of quality time with your own thoughts.
This is great for figuring out your goals and deciding what you want out of life. It's also a great time for reflecting on old memories and appreciating parts of your life.
For example, while you're away from home, you begin to appreciate and value the friends and family you have back home. This makes you a more compassionate person, as you begin to feel love for people who may be thousands of miles away.
Friendships while abroad
Meeting new people while traveling gives you a better sense of self, simply because they have never seen you before.
You have the chance to show your true personality without being judged, because most travelers are in the same boat. People have ventured away from home, out of their comfort zone, and are now willingly accepting the company of strangers.
You find that underneath all the appearances and material things, we're all just people who feel the same emotions and want happiness.
These new people you meet don't care about your clothes or your possessions or your grades in school. They care about your stories, your sense of humor, your willingness to listen and learn, your curiosity to ask questions, your compassion and kindness, your eagerness for adventure. These are traits that people develop while they're traveling, but they stem from each unique personality.
The more you feel vulnerable and show your true self to new people you’ve never met, the more confident and secure you begin to feel with yourself.
Making friends from all over the world justifies that you have a great personality. Again, none of the people you meet traveling care about what cool stuff you own or whether you have a nice house or car. If you are fun to be around and interesting to talk to, they will enjoy your friendship.
This proves that material things don't matter; that it's your personality that is your greatest asset. And with this personality, you can make friendships anywhere in the world.
Traveling is a great way to truly find yourself
So because traveling pulls you away from your comfort zone and throws challenges and life-changing experiences at you, your personality survives through all that chaos and you truly find who you are. And meeting people while traveling allows you to showcase who you are, and embrace new connections with others who find potential and positivity in you.
When you find yourself through traveling, you know you will never be alone.
The world is full of beautiful, unique souls who enjoy the company of others. And even if you are alone sometimes, you will never feel truly lonely because you have the most incredible and confident companion: yourself.
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Hello! I am a 25 year old from the USA with a knack for traveling on a budget. I fell in love with traveling while studying in Europe, and that love grew even more when I started volunteering abroad in South America. Since then, I've worked odd jobs and volunteered all over the globe while cultivating passions for hiking, wildlife photography, food, wine, animals, permaculture, and more!