Traveling is messy. It’s scary, filled with constant change, and half the time you end up miles outside your comfort zone.
You sleep in a bed that countless strangers have slept in before you, or maybe on the dirt with nothing but the thin wall of your tent between you and the outside world.
You don’t want to break any rules. Traveling to that place on your bucket list is really just being a visitor in someone else’s hometown. You get tossed into this brand new place with it’s own culture, rules, and way of life that might be way different from what you’re used to.
You visit places you don’t know your way around, often with zero cell service and a language barrier too. When things go wrong, it becomes about 10 times harder to problem solve than when you’re home.
It sort of seems like a recipe for disaster, and sometimes it is.
You miss a flight, get lost, end up somewhere you’re not supposed to be, lose something important, or embarrass yourself in front of locals.
In that moment when things go wrong, you panic. It truly feels like the end of the world and you wonder what on Earth you’re supposed to do next.
But the thing is, if you’re reading this right now, that means you survived that moment. You figured it out one way or another and now you probably laugh while telling the story.
You probably don’t even realize it until you look back on it, but everytime you travel, especially when it’s a bit of a mess, you are growing exponentially. Both as a traveler and just as a human trying to navigate through your own life, you are learning so much about yourself and the world.
So yeah, traveling is scary and uncomfortable sometimes, but it’s about twice as beautiful.
You’re standing in foreign city, frantically searching for something familiar to help you figure out where you are. Then you look up and remember you’re in a place so beautiful it could take your breath away and for a moment, you forget the stress entirely.
You feel homesick and out of your element, but then you see people holding hands or witness the kindness of a stranger and rememember you aren’t alone at all and suddenly the world feels okay again.
In the middle of a quiet museum filled with people from all around the world, you slip down the stairs. It seems as if every person in that museum turned to stare at you and your hip stays bruised for about a month, but then 10 years later you’re sitting in a living room with your best friends laughing while telling the story of how you tumbled down a staircase in a famous museum.
You miss your train, but while you’re waiting there for the next one, you wind up starting a conversation with the person you will end up marrying.
When you’re on a trip, traveling to a new place, it is almost guaranteed that something will go wrong. Not only is that a part of traveling, that is traveling.
It’s learning, growing, and making memories and creating the stories you will tell one day. When you travel, you discover what makes you feel the most alive. You start to chase that more and more, and before you know it, you’re creating the life of your dreams.
You’re gaining new perspectives; seeing the world, yourself, and the people around you in new ways. You’re problem-solving and navigating new places while your confidence grows and you start to discover that maybe you are capable of figuring this whole life thing out.
So if you ever find yourself in the middle of a disaster during your travels, balance out that stress you feel by reminding yourself that one day this will either be a story you will tell or a lesson you will learn that will guide you to something beautiful.