“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should live a life you don’t need to escape from.”-Seth Godin
The latest travel trend, especially among millennials, has been quitting your job to travel the world. While it’s something I glad I did, and I’m grateful for the experiences I had while doing that, it also didn’t solve all of my problems. I realized that I needed to go deeper. I realized that while I loved traveling and all the wonderful things that it brought to my life, I also needed to live a life I didn’t want to escape from.
Many people see travel as the answer to ending a job they aren’t happy with, or getting away from it all, and not as a way to learn new things about themselves. Travel caused me to look at how I was living my life, and to add all the things I loved about travel into my daily life. Here’s what I did to live a life I didn’t want to escape from.
1. Live A Life With Purpose
Ideally, while we would all like to turn our life’s purpose into our jobs, not everyone can do that. And, you don’t have to. To feel fulfilled in this life, though, you should be spending time on what you think your purpose is. That can mean volunteering, making sure you dedicate time to your passions and hobbies, or exploring new things to figure out what your purpose is. If you feel stuck or lost in this area, my book, Dream Catcher: The Magic of Living Your Dream Life, can help you figure out how to live a life full of purpose and passion.
2. Stop Complaining
One of the things I noticed most in my travels was how hard people worked in other countries, making very little money, and yet how happy they were. They made people in the US look weak in comparison. I noticed something about these people. They don’t complain. In fact, not only do they not complain, they live each day in joy and gratitude.
I keep a daily gratitude journal to write the things I have to be thankful for each day. Traveling also taught me there’s a lot of basic things I have that I take for granted. A working toilet, running water, electricity 24 hours a day. Start noticing the things you have in your life to be grateful for. And, if you don’t like a situation you’re in, use your energy to change it instead of complaining.
The book that probably changed my life the most is Byron Katie’s: Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life. Byron Katie’s life was falling apart, she was suicidal, and her questions allow you to see anything that you may be going through in an entirely different light. She shows you how to change your thinking in a profound and powerful way. I can’t recommend this book enough.
3. Reconnect With Your Childhood Self
Remember, when you were a kid and thought that you could do anything? There were no limits and no fear to stop you. What were the things you wanted to do? Your child self was a lot more tuned in to your purpose and passions than your adult self is now. Think back to your biggest dreams. A lot of people want to be a child again because life seemed easier and without worry. Part of this reason is we’ve forgotten how to play. Do you have enough playtime in your life?
Go on a date with the world. Allow time for spontaneity instead of planning out every moment of your life. Spend at least one day a week seeing something new in your hometown. Take time to watch the moon rise and the sun set. Meander, get lost, let the world speak to you, and follow her where she goes. (hint: she prefers skipping!)
4. Create Deep Friendships With Others
One of the things I realized fulfilled me the most in my life were my friendships. While you meet many amazing people when you travel, these short encounters are nothing compared to the friends you make over the years in your life. The friends who are with you in your ups and downs, who accept you as you are and love you unconditionally.
We all have a need for other people in our lives and travel taught me just how important the friends I had were to me. Make time to nurture your friendships with other people in your life, as there is nothing else in the world that comes close to the joy of having a true friend.
5. Take Care Of Your Body, Mind, And Soul
Many times when we feel unhappy in our lives, it’s because we aren’t nourishing an aspect of ourselves whether it’s our body, mind, or soul. Your body needs exercise, healthy food, and good sleep to feel it’s best.
Your mind is not stimulated by watching reality TV, constantly being on social media, or by watching the news. To take care of your mind, take time for stillness. Give it a break from constant thinking by taking time for meditation. Read and learn new things. Learn a new language. Give yourself a digital detox. Unplug your phone and take time to daydream instead.
Nurture your soul by focusing on your purpose in this life. Ask yourself what moves you in this life and follow that. Do something for others instead of only focusing on yourself. Express gratitude for the life you have created and the things you have been given. Enjoy where you are at. Exactly as it is right now. For every moment is now.
Featured photo by Martinak15/Flickr CC