Traveling and personal growth go hand in hand. I travel and look at everything in terms of how I can learn a lesson about the past, tell a story about the present, and improve the future.
In 2014 the travel-inspiration-growth connection will be stronger than ever for me. It’s my 20th wedding anniversary and my husband and I are returning to our honeymoon destination, Lake Tahoe, with our children to live the ski bum life for 2 months. It’s nerve-wracking to pack and plan to be away from my home for that long. Arranging housesitting, deciding what small appliances we really need (I can’t live without my crock-pot), agreeing on what games and gaming systems to bring along for the kids… and can we really pack 2 months worth of stuff (and ski stuff at that!) into the back of our SUV? Truly a growth experience right there.
Getting to Lake Tahoe and back will involve two cross-country road trips and I am BEYOND EXCITED. We’ll be following the epic and historic Route 66 on our way out, then weaving through the northern states on our way home. More decisions – how do you possibly choose which landmarks to hit and which to pass by? Where will my kids learn the most and still have fun?
Nestled within all this excitment and planning is the memory of my Nana. She took a solo trip around the world when she was in her early 60s and I love looking at the scrapbook she made. She was the ultimate people person. We used to say she could make friends with a lampost, and her photos reflected her personality. Yes, there were many shots of landmarks like the Parthenon, but just as many of her and whatever new friend she made or had dinner with. I aspire to be more like her and connect with people when I travel, even if it is out of my comfort zone to do so.
Another practice I want to engage in during my trip is seeking out the unfamiliar. I read a fantastic post about travel being a way make time seem to pass more slowly. In The Need To Travel from The Great Family Escape, Neuroscientist David Eagleman is quoted as saying:
“When something threatens your life, this area [of the brain] seems to kick into overdrive, recording every last detail of the experience. The more detailed the memory, the longer the moment seems to last. This explains why we think that time speeds up when we grow older. Why childhood summers seem to go on forever, while old age slips by while we’re dozing. The more familiar the world becomes, the less information your brain writes down, and the more quickly time seems to pass.”
In 2014, I strive to make life less familiar. What do you want to get out of travel this year?