When everything’s new, time seems to slow down. Sitting on the rooftop of La Banda Hostel in Seville, I was engrossed in conversation with new friends. It was only Day 4 of my travels.
I met someone who moved from the states to live in Amsterdam. I asked him how living abroad and traveling impacted him most.
“Travel made me humble,” he said. “You meet so many different people and see so many different versions of what success looks like. You also realize that there are so many different versions of YOU that you could create… Or could have created.”
Yes, that’s true. There’s the me living in my apartment in San Francisco, applying for my next job. Or the me traveling and working remotely around the world. Or the me getting a visa and living in Amsterdam.
You can change your life and surroundings in an instant.
And that’s what I did. I was supposed to leave the next day by train from Seville to Malaga – and instead, I decided to stay another night at La Banda. I couldn’t get a refund for my first night at the next place, but it was worth it. I chose to stay immersed in this amazing community for one more day, in a city that captured my heart.
When you travel, you’re constantly making decisions to recreate your life experience. Change becomes the norm, replacing routine and consistency. Bigger decisions like your flight itinerary and where you stay lead you to the amazing people you meet. At the same time, they pull you away from the beautiful souls you could’ve met like ships in the night.
Travel gives you a clean slate to rapidly iterate your habits, surroundings, priorities – and even your personality. It begins every time you land in a new city or meet someone.
You constantly choose. Who do I want to be today? What aspects of my personality do I want to surface? What types of people do I want to connect deeply with? How do I want to grow?
You can actually do all of this without traveling at all, but something about travel gives you permission. As you step off the plane, your clean slate is the first thing you touch.
You get to experience so many different sides of yourself in one day. Outside of your comfort zone, your strengths and weaknesses come to play. Sometimes, you’re in survival mode. And other times, thrival mode.
To me, travel’s not about sightseeing and new experiences. It’s a medium that allows for rapid personal growth. The world is a playground where we can experiment and experience ourselves in new forms. While travel seems externally focused, it’s a deeply internal process of growth.
After so many iterations, who will I become? What types of people and experiences will this new me attract to my life? How will travel change my mind, heart, and soul? I can already feel something shifting, and my heart is opening.