Today I am visiting the gorgeous island of Maui. As many of you know I am a true gypsetter with wanderlust in my veins. Seeing the world through different lenses has taught me valuable life lessons and it’s what I owe much of my worldly knowledge to. On top of that, I believe travel makes us smarter, sexier and more inspired. Let me explain why.
Displacement is good for the brain. When you travel to a new place, the language and dialect are strange, the customs are unfamiliar, and the culture presents a different rhythm of life.
Adjusting to these elements forces the brain to tackle new, unexpected challenges and will ultimately create more neurological connections making you quicker to react, think through logic and work through problem solving more efficiently.
Removing ourselves from our everyday lives mentally puts us in an almost child-like state, full of wonder and excitement. Everything is new and we need to figure things out as we go. When I say travel makes us smarter it’s really much more than the neurological connections I’ve mentioned, it’s about expanding the mind. Visiting a new place releases the heavy expectations of the “One Right Way” mentality. From here, you can move with the flow of life – organically. Sometimes who we thought we were or what we though we wanted isn’t being true to ourselves at all.
As you go through these journeys, you’re going to meet great people, inspiring people, kind people and weird people. You’re also gonna to meet shitty people. A lot of them. And that’s a bad thing. Every person you meet has a story, and a reason why they are the way they are. It’s important to remember that before passing judgment, allow yourself to learn from them. From the cabbie to the fruit stand vendor, everyone has seeds of wisdom to spread. It’s up to us to grasp it. Too often we go through life on autopilot which is a real disservice to ourselves.
Crucially, your interactions with all of these individuals throughout your life will impart experiential knowledge within you. This knowledge will come in all forms — from learning new skills and improving your storytelling, to learning how to have your own back. We all know there are different kinds of smart, street smarts can’t be learned from the comfort of your own home. When meeting people from all backgrounds we develop an ability to read people. That can’t be taught, and it’s something that is an incredible asset once understood.
Your social skills will improve, which will lead to better future conversations and allow you to learn more about the people you come in contact with. You’ll enhance your understanding of all kinds of people, become more open minded in general and heighten your appreciation for diversity. Recognizing and celebrating each others differences is a beautiful thing.
As far as sex appeal goes, it’s not just a tan you return with, but stories. The best first-date conversation topics are hobbies and travel. Manage to combine the two, and brace yourself Romeo. Someone who learned how to play piano in Paris, scuba dive in the Maldives, or can make a kickass margarita because of time spent in Mexico is beyond interesting, they become alluring and fascinating because their passion for life shines through, their passion for knowledge. You look at these people with wonder that sometimes turns to a stare. That’s sexy.
Travel is like an idea generating experience and that’s when productivity and inspiration come into play. Sometimes you can act on inspiration right away, like writing a poem or starting a business plan, other times you can’t wait to get home to start working on your new project or creating your new life. Either way it all does comes down to the traveler, you must be open in order to receive. Sometimes it helps to have a desire in mind before you go, if you can’t figure out what it is you’d like to add to your life or accomplish, try looking at the people you admire. Chances are they have qualities and skills that you’d like to have. Don’t go searching for inspiration on your trip, let it come to you.
The most important thing you can remember when you travel is to live in the moment. If you see something that makes your jaw drop, take it in for a few minutes before you pull out that camera. Be here, right, now. Ultimately, this will allow you to be inspired. Whether it’s by the people you meet when you travel, something you see, or a song you hear. That inspiration can only make you a happier, progressively smarter person.
So get out there. See the world from a different view. Let it change you.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain