I have to admit, I never really understood the notion that people travel to find themselves. Finding themselves like they had lost parts that could be found. I know myself I stubbornly thought. But the more thought about it, the more I started to change my mind on this.
Maybe we don’t consciously make a note that we are going to travel to find ourselves but I think the decision to want to travel is also the decision to expose ourselves to new things that could change us.
Now I think we all travel to find ourselves.
Travelling presents us with more opportunities to make connections either big or small. I recently read a book chapter in Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life about order and chaos and about that sweet spot on the border, where you have one foot planted in security and order and the other in adventure and possibility. For me, this is where I find myself when I travel. On the border of order and chaos.
All our lives no matter where we live contains chaos and order. Perhaps more of one than the other depending on where you live, what you do and the cards you’ve been dealt. But we all experience it. Is it this human connection that we seem to find on travels, untethered from the day to day grind, that adds to this feeling?
By finding the new in life, we edit ourselves. We edit our thoughts, perceptions and actions. Maybe even spiritually and ‘humanly’. We might find a part of another culture that seeems to resonate more with you than what you’ve known. Or a language, dish, person or even place.
You discover parts of yourself that you never knew existed because you have never been exposed to it before. We only know and think based on our experiences in life. And each of us come from such different places with different societal or cultural values. Getting out from where we’ve always known, it an opportunity to see the world from a different pair of eyes. To learn to become another version of ourselves.
And as such, this gives our perceptions of the world to be shaken up whether good or bad. You don’t know what you don’t know. Travel gives us an opportunity to seek.
Through travel, we are able to edit our lives and drive it to where we want. Or at least get ideas on where we want to drive ourselves to. Maybe we don’t know where we want to drive ourselves to yet but we are able to get closer to that idea. It can change how you act or react.
And maybe it’s not all about finding but rather life presenting itself to you in different forms. Appreciating new dance and music. New foods. New people. Or pleasing colour combinations that you have never seen (or seen but not appreciated).
Through all this, it’s the chance to find ourselves.
What do you think? Does everyone travel to find themselves?