“Travel” (Lexi’s definition, patent pending): Adapting yourself in response to a changed environment.
Imagine any type of unfamiliar environment. For example, a very unfamiliar environment for a hipster is Starbucks. To thrive, humans must act appropriately for each different environment. Therefore, to be successful in Starbucks, the hipster would probably have to order that mocha-woppa-frappy-thingy, hand over the five dollar bill, and try not to grimace.
Adjusting to environment is human evolution, otherwise known as how we survived climate change. In essence, “adapting yourself” is traveling- which explains why traveling is an effective driver of change. Many travelers return from trips awakened because they were forced to change themselves as a result of changed environment.
Without travel, you are not forced to adapt because your environment is constant. What’s easier than changing yourself? Changing your environment. This idea is well summarized by Nathanael Massey:
“…Rather than adapting to our environment, we began adapting our environment to meet our needs, slashing and burning forests to create room for agriculture.”
-Nathanael Massey, Scientific American
Here’s the good news. Even if travel is not available to you in the form of changing your environment, you can still change yourself- hence, reaping the benefits of traveling. Here are 5 ideas to implement traveling into your everyday:
Whether it is one day a year or one hour a week, volunteering will take you out of your comfort zone- guaranteed. Sure, this is not “sexy” travel advice. But it is 1) completely free, 2) will make you feel like a million bucks, 3) will help you meet new people and, most importantly, 4) will lead you towards finding your higher purpose. Just like traveling in the traditional sense, volunteering will connect you with people who you would not have met otherwise.
Take a Class by Yourself
Yes, by yourself. Classes are structured, so you won’t feel awkward when you’re there alone. It is crucial to go by yourself- this allows you the opportunity to be a new person, the authentic you, to whoever you meet. Don’t be restricted by the expectations of others who already know you. Pick a class that you’re interested in, be that cooking, pottery, martial arts, anything. If you’re not enrolled in school, check out your local community college offerings.
Journal– In Any Form
Don’t like traditional journaling (as in, writing)? That’s okay! Instead, find someone to reflect with, make a photo log of your observations, read something that inspires you, start a blog, or listen to music that you connect with. The purpose of journaling is to stop and reflect on your lifestyle, your day, and your vision. It’s the same with traveling. New cultures question everything you know. Journaling is an easy way to question what you know. Start now.
Make a Friend From a Different Culture
Hint: you probably already have a friend like this. Have you ever asked them about their family history? Were they raised differently from you? What was the world like for their grandparents? Heck, ask to meet their grandparents! You have the most to learn from people who are different from you.
Go To One New Place
Busy? Make this your once-a-month mission. Go crazy and aim for places from different cultures. Examples: an Aikido dojo, an Ethiopian restaurant (eat with your hands!), or a Latino dance club. Seek the same experiences that you’d have when traveling!
How do you travel in your everyday? Leave a reply below!