Social media is filled with photos and videos of other people taking you on their amazing journey.
Now, imagine if that were you exploring, you’re the one feeling the vibration ripple through your body as a lioness calls for her pride to join the feast on the African savannah, it’s you feeling the exuberance and freedom as you explore ancient alleyways and medinas or striking up a conversation with a yogi on the banks of the Ganges River. You begin to realise first-hand experience is always better right?
In the world of technological advances, augmented reality, virtual reality, and social media, it’s so easy to get disconnected and lose track of what it’s like to actually be out in the open and experience life and its abundance in beauty. As they say, social media can now take us to places we never could otherwise but let’s not forget the true essence of how travel connects us.
In an article written by Jordan Lynch, social media is a dynamic means of communication however, it does not, in any way, replace actual human connection and the majority of the time, taking a step back from social media will encourage a sense of liberation and relief. So, if you’re debating that weekend getaway, go for it, don’t put it off. Do it just because it’s different, scary, and exciting all at the same time.
Nothing Beats the Real Thing
Travelling lets us appreciate the now. It makes us realise that there’s no better way to live life other than to experience every second of it to the fullest. You can’t create your future without acting on it now, so explore how travel connects us to that dream future by giving us time and space away from the rat race to explore all the opportunities at our fingertips.
Travelling essentially makes us realise how we’re all just a small part of something bigger than ourselves. We are placed in different situations that make us realise and appreciate humanity in its most raw and purest form and that’s practically how travel connects us to a deeper part of ourselves we don’t normally tap into when we’re too busy staring down at our mobile devices because it makes us realise how much of life we’re missing when we’re constantly on our phones.
So the question now is – how can travel connect us?
1. Connection Back to Self
The constant drone of life can often distract us from what’s truly important. And because of that, we often find ourselves in situations where we’re lonely, anxious, depressed, burnout, or all of the above. We owe it to ourselves to give our mind some time to relax and what better way to do so than with some packed luggage and a destination away from it all?
Travelling can help relax and distance us from extremely stressful situations and environments. In fact, it helps lower cortisol levels which then leads us to be more calm and relaxed. While our minds are in this peaceful state, we are then unconsciously led to reflect on our personal wellbeing. It is essentially how travel connects us mentally. We are more self-aware and it helps us face our problems in a more relaxed and thoroughly thought out manner. It is here where we realise our potential, the infinite possibilities and allows us to little by little, reinvent and become better versions of ourselves.
This mental connection that travel gives forces us to think; and being surrounded by this new and foreign culture and/or place, we are confronted by all this newness which then leads us to re-evaluate our principles, values, and help us transform into more open-minded human beings. As they all say, accept the things we cannot change and for those we cannot accept – we change them.
2. Physical Connection
More often than not, we find ourselves way too absorbed with the daily hustles of our lives be it school, work, family, friends, etc. that we forget to take care of ourselves. We become so used to not showing weakness so we don’t appear vulnerable to those around us because, in this day and age, we can’t really afford to show vulnerability, right? Wrong – we owe it to ourselves to feel anything we feel in a safe space, surrounded by people on the same growth journey and without having to be judged by anyone else. This isn’t something social media can offer because it literally disconnects us from our physical states – in fact, it destroys our physical connection as there’s nothing physical about a virtual world.
Travelling is a form of self-care and it’s probably one of the most effective forms there is because when we travel, it teaches us to be more connected with our physical selves. We come to realise how exhausted we really are and how much we’ve let ourselves go and how much we forgot to actually take care of our own bodies.
If you’re a workaholic who has trouble leaving their jobs behind, travelling is one of the best remedies for that. Taking a step back from all that work will help you clear your head so you can return to work with fresh eyes. Travel is more than an escape – it’s healing and because of that, your body is recharged and ready to once again, face the daily hustles and bustles of life. After all, everyone can benefit from a break from routine to help you disconnect from the pressures of always being available by phone, email, or social media.
3. Social Connection
One of the things you discover in your journey is that there’s always a story behind everything and that’s pretty much how travel connects us in a more social aspect. We meet new people who slowly, over time begin to open up and share themselves and their stories. Travel nurtures unique connections and more often than not, the people we meet along the way create the biggest impact in our lives. When we travel, we begin to accept relationships as they are and with the knowledge that some of these people we might not see again so in a way, we embrace the moments we share with these people no matter how brief it is.
Travelling also helps us empathise and we become a lot more considerate especially when it comes to understanding different cultures and beliefs. We begin to learn and adapt to the people around us which then helps us become more self-aware and considerate. Generally, their normal becomes our normal for that time we spent with them which is pretty cool when you are surrounded with like valued people on the same growth journey. You find there is no option than to uplevel yourself.
We share a part of ourselves to people we, at first, considered as strangers and they, too, share a part of themselves to us. It’s that kind of deep and personal connection we form with people that only happens when we travel. The feeling is oftentimes mysterious because right then and there, we don’t realise how much of an impact they had on us until we wake up one day and just think “wow – that actually happened”.
Sure, we can learn cultures and read people’s stories through social media but the feeling is not something technology can recreate. Sure, we generate a certain response when reading, let’s say, how someone overcame hardships via Facebook or see a video of them narrating such events but nothing can compare to the feeling of actually being in that moment as that person or with them. There’s so much raw emotion and pureness when you are present on a personal growth journey that those at home will never understand. It’s essentially how travel connects us to the moment and that’s not something social media can ever recreate. It’s all about community within and post experiences that keeps the spirit alive.
Social media might have opened doors to various virtual experiences but always remember that nothing compares to the real thing. It can never replace nor recreate how travel connects us to different aspects of life itself.
So, if you’re ever debating on whether you should travel, the answer is always yes – take that leap and connect to something bigger than yourself. You’ll find the experience to be liberating and life-changing.