You Should Travel To Help Reinvent Yourself

Laying Down

Throughout life, there are many circumstances that will force you to re-evaluate your life, your decisions and your directions. Careers, family, friends and hobbies all play an important part in which road your existence will take. But for the most part, the path that is made available to you through those avenues usually follows a course of predisposition. In my experience the one true factor which really forces you to step back, reflect and reconsider everything you know and understand is the concept of travel.

Anyone can buy a ticket to a “faraway land”, with a comfortable bed already organised and a list of attractions that are worth seeing. But when I think of travel, that’s not what ideas come to my head.

It’s not the Pyramids of Giza that change you as a person. Nor is it Niagara Falls, the ruins of Rome, Petra, or any other such destination that features predominately in your chosen travel guide. The things that change you as a person are the people. The moments. The situations.

The people who have nothing but still manage to smile. The moments of stress that you are made to push on through. The situations that scare you that you manage to survive.

These are the things that force you to re-evaluate your life. I’ve met people for less than 5 minutes who have made lasting impressions on me. I learnt more about myself being angrily confronted by corrupt cops in Guatemala than a lifetime of studies could ever have taught me. And I now know I could comfortably be lost in most strange cities, in any part of the world without my heartbeat raising above its normal rate.

One of the most common travel cliches is that its not about the destination, its the journey that matters. It’s a cliche because it always resonates true amongst dedicated travellers. A week in an all-inclusive resort in Cuba will be relaxing. But sitting on a public bus, off the beaten path, practicing your broken Spanish with a friendly local will make you realise that the world is amazing in so many different ways. The internet can’t direct you to these experiences. You have to go out and search for them yourself.

One day you will return home, and everything you have grown accustomed to will seem foreign. The things that you once laughed at amongst friends will lose their humour. Food will taste bland and work will become more mundane then you can ever imagine. But these aren’t negative results. This is the divine work of travel. The most important thing you can do is to embrace it.

Life isn’t meant to be lived a particular way. Reinventing yourself is something that shouldn’t be forced, but should happen organically. Strange places, people and situations is the most authentic way you can experience this. Walk away from the familiar road. Your soul will thank you that you did.

Jarryd Salem

Jarryd Salem

Jarryd 'Jazza' Salem is a freelance travel writer and chief author of the stories and articles found on NOMADasaurus. Having left his home of Sydney in 2007 to pursue a life on the road, he aims to promote sustainable, community-based travel through his experiences backpacking the world. You can find him in some random country trying hard to quench his thirst for adventure. Follow his journey on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

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16 thoughts on “You Should Travel To Help Reinvent Yourself”

  1. “One day you will return home, and everything you have grown accustomed to will seem foreign.”

    This is so true. I returned home in May 2015 after 3.5 years on the road, away from home, away from my family and away from everything I had known before.
    After 2 years in Australia, 1 in New Zealand and 2 extended trips in Asia, returning “home” felt so alien. I felt more lost there than I ever had in the few years before. I didn’t realize how much I had changed, til I returned to the status quo at home.
    All the wild experiences and scary times paled in comparison and yet all the interactions with strangers on the road resonated and sparkled in my memory much more than any forced, dull conversation with distant relatives at home. My old friends had moved on and the connections were frayed at best.
    Once you’ve experienced travel to that extent, there is no turning back. Home is wherever you can make it, but it’s likely you’ll keep going until the new you finds exactly what you’re looking for.

  2. Viewing your site for a few minutes reminds me memories of my travels. And this post is so accurate in the way how deep a travel can impact your life . Thanks for sharing guys 😉

    • Thank you. We really appreciate your comment. 🙂

  3. A truly wonderful article which resonates with me completely. We think alike my friend. Keep up the great work.

    • Thank you so much Elliot. We are glad you enjoyed it. Take care

  4. So true! I don’t think traveling off the beaten path is for everyone. I know my sister wouldn’t be able to handle it, but my experiences have changed me so much over the last decade. All the people I have met have taught me valuable lessons things that no text book or guide book could have taught me. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi Lesh and Jazza,

    You guys are doing exactly what I dream of doing! I’m so glad I happened upon your site today…another sign pointing me in a direction to which I feel drawn! I traveled quite a bit when I was younger (I’m 47 now) starting with a sailing journey from San Francisco to Mazatlán, Mexico when I was 15 years old. That trip made a great impression on me, and I specifically remember when the trip was over, making a vow to my teenage self that I would somehow, someday continue to travel by alternative means and experience the beautiful and true human connections that can be found with locals and other travelers on the road.

    In my 20s & 30s I continued to develop my love of off-beat travel, journeying throughout Mexico and into Belize and Guatemala, traveling on foot, by panga boat, by train or bus, or sometimes in the back of a beat up pick-up truck with minimal steering or brakes. Those were some of the best, most authentic times of my life. That is not to say that all of the experiences were comfortable and pleasant, but they were nonetheless part of a real journey in which the tribulations were outnumbered by the rewards.

    Now, having settled down in one place in my mid-30s out of a desire to set some roots, I’m finding myself depressed and bored out of my mind with the everyday, go to work, go home, go to sleep routine that has become my life. I want to overcome the fears, doubts and butterflies that have accumulated in my chest over the years in regards to such questions as “Can I afford to do this?”, “Is it safe nowadays?”, “What about my job?”, “How will I support myself?”. I’m looking forward to reading your articles, and hope that I may find in them the inspiration to get myself back out there.

    Thanks and be well, and may your travels be safe and happy,

    • Thanks so much for the comment Nancy. It sounds like you have had an amazing life! Sailing from San Fran to Mazatlan must have been sensational. Especially at 15 years old! We also loved Guatemala, Mexico and Belize. Some of our favourite memories come from there. Hopefully you get the chance to head off again. Perhaps we will see you on the road! Happy travels, and all the best with everything 🙂

  6. Could not of worded it more perfectly 🙂
    love following you guys!

    • Thanks so much Kirsty 😀

  7. I love this post because every word is so true! I find it hard to explain to people that the way I travel (staying in hostels, being spontaneous, travelling overland, volunteering and not planning every bit of the journey or getting a pre arranged trip) is so different from booking a hotel in a city and sightseeing.

    It’s always about the journey, the bumpy bus rides, the people we meet, the locals who invite us home and share meals with us. These are the priceless experiences and when you think about it, it does not even matter how many countries you ‘cover’ in how many years. It’s about being in the world and getting to see a side of it that a holiday won’t let you see.

    • Hey Natasha, thanks so much for reading. Sounds like you and I are on the same wavelength. I love how you say, “It’s about being in the world”. So true! Thanks for stopping by our site.

  8. Exactly how I think bout it, thank you for expressing my thoughts so well.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Helene. Keep living the dream and safe travels!

  9. This is so great. Thank you for sharing. Traveling truly is a remarkable experience full of experiences.

    • Thanks for reading, Natalie. We are huge advocators for travel! Glad you enjoyed the article. =)

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