How can travelling broaden the mind?

“Home, sweet home”. Most of us sigh with relief when we return from a trip. For a day or so, we feel refreshed to be back to our life, the way we know it – with our habits and struggles. Yet, have we ever considered a new destination as a potential home?

Travelling challenges our abilities

In the 19th century, English aristocrats would send their youngsters on journeys of initiation. The aim of the journey was to enable young men the transformation to the stage of adulthood.

Some of today’s youngsters, including women, continue this tradition. Their goal can be to take distance from their parents and see what they’d like to do in life.

Irrespective of age, venturing abroad can be an eye opener to hidden sides of ourselves.

The unknown environment is suitable for testing our abilities. For example, if we get lost in a new city, we can resort to:

  1. Asking for help from locals. We may want to do that to test how well we manage talking to people in a foreign language.
  2. Using our intuition. No matter if we are intuitive type of person, we may still want to test if our intuition can bring us back on the right track.
  3. Using the GPS application on our phone, if we want to become an every day tech-savvy.

When we are back home, we may surprise ourselves with creative solutions to the problems which seemed insurmountable before the trip.

Visit new cities as if you would temporarily move there

When I discover a new city, I like imagining how my everyday life would be if that place were my home. I choose to focus on the positive sides of the respective habitat.

In Barcelona, I would live close to the Barceloneta beach, so that I can have my daily dialogues with the sea and make my way in the streets among enthusiastic tourists.

In Paris, I’d live in the Latin Quarter to be surrounded by student life and book stores evoking the literary past.

In Amsterdam, I’d choose to live for one month on a boat on the Canal to wake up with a different view at the window, each morning.

After imagining how it would be to live in different places, we can become aware how the surrounding environment can influence our state of mind and our thoughts.

Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)

This is the title of a song which was first recorded in 1962. Some of us identify themselves so much with the house where they live and the objects in it, that it must be very hard imagining another place called home.

Without doubt, it is good for our emotional balance to feel rooted in a place. Yet, it is even better for our psychological and spiritual growth to develop the ability to feel like home wherever we go.

Every city has one characteristic that resonates in us and reveals who we truly are.

How about you, what do you like about travelling? And how does travelling affect you?