When we travel, we spend much of our time searching for the things that we have been told are beautiful: the Eiffel Tower, Milford Sound and the Swiss Alps are just a few examples of the beauty that we will come across in our travels.
There is no denying that these things are beautiful, but there is something else that we can find when we travel that is infinitely more beautiful than any of these destinations...
When we travel, we gain the possibility to find the beauty within ourselves. Back home, we are always faced with the same people, the same environment and the same experiences. This makes us comfortable, but it doesn’t allow us much room to grow. Being forced to learn about ourselves aides us to become better human beings. As women, there is still so much to learn about being the best version of ourselves.
Travel offers us an incredible insight into how women all over the world live, and this insight can inspire us to improve ourselves. Whether it is seeing an inspiring woman on our travels or seeing the worst of what humanity can do. Maybe it’s being confronted with an uncomfortable experience or learning about the history of a city, travel can teach us how to improve ourselves so that when we return back home, we are better versions then when we left.
With this in mind, here are 2 key ways travel has enabled me to become the best version of the woman I am today.
How to be Confident.
When you travel, you are having to step outside your comfort zone on a regular basis. Have you ever been on a group tour, not knowing a single person on your bus? Have you ever travelled to a country where you didn’t know the language? When you are confronted with experiences that put you out of your comfort zone, it might be easy to retreat so you don’t have to acknowledge your feelings. However, once you start stepping into the unknown, you realise that it is not as scary as it first appeared. The people on your tour can be your friends – they are not going to bite you or try to kill you. Even if you forget what country you are in and speak French instead of Italian to the shop assistant – something I am definitely guilty of – it is not the end of the world. In fact, it will add to the thousands of stories you can tell when you get back home.
When you are forced to meet new people and try new experiences, you start to become a more confident version of yourself, and this is something that you can use in your daily life back home as well. Need to make a presentation in front of your work colleagues? That should be a breeze compared to standing at the front of a bus full of strangers and introducing yourself. Want to tell that cute regular at work that their new haircut looks good? This should be a cinch compared to standing in front of the Italian bartender and trying to order a drink in Italian. The experiences that we are faced with when we are travelling can appear daunting at first, but they are the stepping stones to becoming a more confident woman in our every day lives.
We are more capable than we realise.
Similar to the idea of learning how to be confident is the idea that we are capable of more than we ever dreamed of. As women, we are excellent at tearing ourselves down and seeing the worst in ourselves. We see our flaws and we use them as weapons against ourselves. For example, we believe that the man that we like will never love us because we don’t have a flat stomach and we don’t make him laugh as much as the other girl he was talking to at ten fifty-six yesterday morning. We believe that we are not clever enough so we don’t go for that job promotion that we really want to apply for. We constantly compare ourselves to other people, which forces us to think that we could never do what they are doing, even if we tried our hardest to achieve it. Well, from my experiences through travel, I have learnt that women can be pretty self-sufficient and they inspire me to believe that I can achieve anything I want to achieve.
I have seen the performers at the Moulin Rouge push themselves to the limit in the name of their art form. I have seen women who are breaking down gender stereotypes like they are made of paper – I’m talking female engineers, female miners and female CEO’s. I’ve seen women marching down the streets of London in protest of what they believe in. I’ve made friends that have used their compassionate natures to volunteer in Cambodia or to travel America as a travel nurse. All of these women are strong, courageous and extremely talented. They have shown me that women are capable of achieving anything that they put their mind to. By seeing these women, all of whom I would not have met by staying at home, I am inspired to go after what I want in life. My gender does not dictate what I can or cannot do, and I realise I am as capable as any of these women.
Oh my god guys! A few months ago I wrote an article for Contiki and they decided to publish it! It’s made me so excited and it finally went live overnight! Here it is, the most egotistical blog post I’ve written about how travel made me a better person. This is probably the most honest thing I have ever let anyone read so I'm a bit nervous for you all to see it. I hope it explains why I'm still an awkward person to be around sometimes- I may have come a long way but I've still got a long way to go. I don’t always get social cues right, and sometimes I shut down around people I’m close to, because of the person I was before Contiki! Like I said, sorry and hopefully this explains that… Please let me know what you think of the blog and if I should try and write some more blog posts for Contiki. If you want to check it out, go to Contiki six two page and it’s under the Community Contributer section, titled “Contiki helped me rediscover who I really am!” Or head to the link on my Facebook contiki #europe #blog
Has travel helped challenge you to become a better person? Share your stories with us here and you could see your work published on six-two…