Over the last week, I took a trip to DC for a work conference. I was excited and nervous to explore the Capital City. Even though I was nervous, I knew it would be a positive experience, no matter the circumstance.
There is so much you can learn from traveling…
Five important things you get from traveling.
1. Grow as a person.
When you push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you grow to be more tolerant of new experiences in the future. Your comfort boundaries keep expanding, pushing yourself to experience more. It is extremely important to push yourself out of your comfort zone, to prevent yourself from being stuck in a holding pattern.
Since I have been pushing my boundaries by moving to Alaska a month and a half before my family and starting a new job in a city I had never been before, going to D.C. caused me less anxiety than it would have normally. Now that I have traveled alone to D.C., another city I had never been to, I can now travel to other places without experiencing much anxiety in the future.
2. Experience different lifestyles.
Going to another part of the U.S. or another country gives a new perspective of how people live their lives. When you experience other lifestyles, it can help you to look at the way you are living your life. You can then evaluate what is working and not working and make the appropriate changes to live the life of your dreams.
Three years ago we decided to take a trip to Alaska. My husband and kids drove from Oklahoma in our truck and travel trailer, through Canada, to Alaska. I flew into Fairbanks where they were waiting for me. We explored Fairbanks, Pioneer Park and Chena Hot Springs.
We then visited Denali National Park and Talkeetna. The cutest little town in Alaska full of Artists and a cat for the Mayor.
We kept moving south to Anchorage and then to Girdwood where we did the Winner Creek Trail. Riding the hand-tram across the ravine was a blast.
We visited Seward, my favorite town of the whole trip. Seward is a small coastal town that has a beautiful view of Resurrection Bay. You can pull your travel trailer right up to the ocean in their oceanfront RV park. Going to Seward made me decide that I wanted to live in a coastal Alaskan town.
We moved down to Hope Alaska, another really cute small coastal town where they have the best fish and chips and where we had some of the best Salmon fishing of the trip.
We ended our trip before moving back up to Anchorage to fly me out before my family traveled back home to Oklahoma in Homer. We stayed on the Spit and really enjoyed sitting and walking along the beach of the spit.
That trip gave us perspective on the life we wanted to live. We knew we wanted to live the Alaskan lifestyle and preferably in a coastal town. Seward was our first choice due it proximity to Anchorage for supplies and the Kenai for enjoyment.
Traveling to Alaska gave us the gumption to make a change in our lives and go after our dream to move to Alaska, which we did 3 years later. We ended up moving to Juneau, the capital city and an Alaskan coastal town where my husband and I both found jobs.
3. Traveling educates us.
Not only can you learn about others lifestyles, you can learn about art, culture, geography, history and much more.
While in DC I was able to visit the National Gallery of Art. I got the pleasure of viewing Picasso, which I was not very impressed with, art from Georgia O’Keeffe, which I loved and Henry Farrer, which was my favorite.
I also got to see the sunset over the Potomac River while walking around to view the monuments. It was awe inspiring. The Monuments were inspirational and the Monuments commemorate the history of our country and its Presidents. When I viewed the Lincoln memorial, I could not help but get a little chocked up and I would not call myself a very patriotic person.
Usually when on a trip, you want to take in as much as you can. You look intently at everything, read the details and relish every second. This is mindfulness at the core. Usually you are happier when you are on a trip, partly because you are taking a break and experiencing something new. You are also happier due to being mindful.
Being mindful and living in the moment keeps us from regret and stops us from looking to the future for our happiness. It helps us to live in the moment and enjoy all that life has to offer.
Some ways to be mindful while traveling or in life is to pay attention to the landscapes, building’s architecture and how food tastes. We can take what we learn such as mindfulness and use it in our everyday lives.
5. The kindness of others.
Traveling to other places gives you an opportunity to meet new people. When meeting people in various areas, you will notice the kindness of others. People are usually very helpful when you need assistance.
People, especially in Alaska I have found are very helpful and welcoming when you are in a new place. They love to tell you all about the best places to eat and visit. They love to share their stories and to hear your story as well.
Seeing the kindness in others while traveling can help to give you a more positive outlook on life and the goodness of others.