Can Travel Help You Find Yourself?


Up until recently, I spent my days dreaming that I would travel to an exotic destination and find myself somewhere in between. I watched and read Eat, Pray, Love religiously and I yearned to have my own moment of self discovery, whatever that meant.

Now when I hear the phrase it strikes me as a strong cliche, a dolled up phrase that still leaves me confused. What does that even mean, to find yourself? What’s missing? I would be lying if I said I don’t come back with a feeling that I know myself a little better than I did before traveling. So, what exactly happens when you travel? What is there to find out there?

Dreaming To Escape

When I worked as a hostess, I would constantly fantasize about one day being able to explore a country and drop my job to leave it all behind. I would spend my days outdoors, hiking, discovering new places and learning about myself.

This summer, that’s exactly what I did. And it got boring, really fast. Road tripping across Canada, I hiked mountains, witnessed beautiful sights and fell in love with my country, but I carried with me a sense of longing for more. I missed working towards a career and learning new things, challenging myself along the way. I just couldn’t vacation forever, even though I once believed that would have been the ultimate dream.  Soon, I  realized that my fantasy was just an escape from a job I hated. From a life I had neglected to create out of love, honesty, and my passions. We often dream of an escape, when all we really need is a change.

Change of Scenery

When you find yourself in a new environment, you’re given the chance to clear your mind and think freely. All outside influences like friends, family, work, or society are miles away. The people you meet while on your travels will have a lasting impact on your life. They are people you may never have met otherwise, and they each have their own story. It’s incredibly eye opening and refreshing to learn from these people, who are each traveling for their own reasons. I’ve met so many people with unique life perspectives along my travels. People who were brave enough to follow their dreams and to live a life they were proud of. Cherish these unique stories and perspectives that they offer to you.

travel girl wanderlust

Time Alone

When I was driving through Canada on my own, I had over 50 hours of time to think about my life. That’s a lot of time! It wasn’t always easy, sitting alone with my thoughts. Unresolved emotions and events played through my mind like film. Wherever I would drive, my thoughts came with me. If I took a break at a gas station, as soon as I drove a few miles, there they would be- reminding me they hadn’t gone anywhere. My thoughts were like tangled ribbons I had to sift through, one by one to untangle my mind.

I’ve never had that much time for self-reflection, but as difficult as it was it gave me the clarity I was searching for so diligently through travel. It was through these hours of driving that I realized what I wanted to do for myself. The life that I was looking for had always lied right in front of me, but only when I realized that on my own, could I embrace it.

A New Appreciation

When I returned from my month long road trip, I felt different from any other trip I had taken before. Driving across the provinces of Canada, I realized how beautiful my own home was. After spending so many years dreaming of living anywhere but home, I couldn’t imagine myself living anywhere else.

Travel is a funny thing. It gives you a new perspective, sometimes one you never expected to gain. Often what we set out to find or gain through travel is not what we end up with. But that’s the beauty and mystery of the experience that I’ve come to love in the end. I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

What are your experiences with travel? Have you ever felt different after a trip you took? I’d love to hear your stories!

 

 

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  • Abi Street

    This is such a great post!! I wish I had the courage and money to do a month long road trip on my own. I would absolutely love to go to Canada, and it looks like you had such a fantastic time. I definitely want to do some travelling, but think I need someone by my side as that bit of support x

    Abi | abistreetx

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Abi! It was definitely a little scary at times but worthwhile. It’s a beautiful country and I agree, it’s so nice having someone by your side. I hope you get to explore Canada one day! 🙂

  • It’s really interesting to read your experience about how it brought you home, that’s not one I see very often. For me, visiting Canada gave me some focus. Before I went last September I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after my degree really, and visiting Canada and seeing it’s beauty finalised in my mind that I wanted to do something that would allow me to protect the environment. I think travel is great because it takes you out of your comfort zone and away from some of the things that cloud your mind and gives you a bit of clarity.

    • Diana Maria

      That’s so great, working with the environment must be such a rewarding career. I’m so glad you were able to find that clarity in Canada Rosie! Thank you for reading lovely xx

  • I always enjoy reading your posts! You’re such a great writer, Diana! When you said “We often dream of an escape, when all we really need is a change,” it felt like you were describing me! I find myself wanting to escape too, from the career I dislike and from the stress I feel. I’m glad traveling allowed you to reflect and to find clarity. I’m also really glad to hear that you were able to meet amazing people along the way! Thanks for sharing your journey!

    -Maddi

    http://www.thegirlandherthreads.com

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you so much Maddi, your comments always leave me grinning at my screen! It’s helpful to know others feel the same way, I really do hope you’re able to find a career you genuinely love- I’m sure you will love! xx

  • Love this post and love these photos <3 You're so amazing for doing all this on your own!

    Enclothed Cognition

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Keri you’re so sweet! xx

  • I think this is a powerful post – I’m like this too but often find myself yearning more, even when I’m at my favourite and “dream” destinations! I always need a bit of balance and learned to do things in moderation – a little bit of trips here and there, but ultimately, I want the sense of accomplishment from my career as well!

    This is a great post to reiterate how travelling really came full circle for me as well 🙂

    Stephanie | theFantasia.com

    • Diana Maria

      I’m the same way! Moderation and balance are so important but not always so simple to achieve. I wish you all the best with success in your career Stephanie, thank you! xx

  • What a beautifully written post! 50 hours is definitely a lot of time but definitely useful time for reflecting too! I’m happy your travels were able to help you find yourself!

    Tina
    http://www.justatinabit.com

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Tina! I’m glad I could use it as a positive experience too! xx

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Josephine! xx

  • This is such a great post! I never thought about the aspect of not really being challenged or learning more things when travelling. This is so eye opening xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you so much Hannah! It’s definitely something I hadn’t considered either before travelling xx

  • Esraa Bassiouny

    This is perfect. I really love how you did it. I wish to do the same one day.
    Would you like to follow each other on bloglovin’? Follow me and I’ll follow you back.
    http://www.easys-tyle.com/

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Esraa! Of course, I will definitely give your page a look xx

  • Georgia Owen

    Such a lovely post, I’m dreaming about doing the same. I really think you can discover so much more when you do things alone, both about yourself and the world around you. Amazing photos too!

    //teandtwosugars.blogspot.com xx

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Georgia, I hope you get the opportunity to do that one day! 🙂

  • Emily

    This was a really interesting post to read, I think we all have moments where we visualise dropping everything to go travelling. It’s great you got such a positive experience out of your time and even more impressive you did it alone too!

    Musings & More

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Emily! It definitely had its challenges alone but I’m glad to have done it. I agree completely xx

  • This is awesome! I totally agree with everything you’ve said. I think it’s so great you went out on your own and had road trips and such. You have no idea how many girls tell me they’d never do something like that alone. I’m like WHY?!?! It’s such an amazing feeling to be independent and out on your own finding yourself. It’s a nice break from the world. 🙂

    -Emily http://www.coatandcoffee.com

    • Diana Maria

      It’s so great that you feel the same way and embrace travelling solo- you’re right about it being a nice break from daily life! Thanks for stopping by Emily xx

  • I agree with everything you say about traveling. For me it works wonders when i need a break from reality. Great post!

    XoXo,Khloe

    http://khloelocom.weburl.ro/

    • Diana Maria

      I agree, I’m glad you enjoyed the post Khloe! xx