Travel can be addicting for many reasons but mostly, it just feels really good. We’re often happier even though we’re out of our comfort zone. Why is that?
Practicing the following easy ideas while at home can help to create the happiness and excitement you get while traveling. You may not get the giant rush of actually being in a new place, but the feelings can be longer lasting if you cultivate the feelings so that they’re associated with the area you live in.
1. Look Through New Eyes
One of the most exciting parts of traveling is seeing new things. We have the interest to really look at things when we’re in a new place, to really take everything in, rather than just focusing on what we need to get done that day. It’s energizing, inspiring, exciting and it feels good.
We so often get into a routine at home and stop being interested or impressed with our surroundings. Everything becomes a routine and can be boring and a chore. But what if you were seeing your town or city for the first time? What if you pretended that you’ve never been there before and were seeing things for the first time like when you travel to a new place? What does the architecture look like? What are the sounds and smells? What would you get excited about if it was your first time there?
Practice going through your day seeing everything as new. Conjure up the feelings you had when you visited someplace to help you feel that excitement in your everyday life.
2. Talk to Strangers
So often when we travel, we have to talk to strangers for help, for information, for recommendations. It’s easy to make friends and strike up conversations when we’re outside our familiar area. Talking to strangers helps us to feel connected with people outside our circle of friends and family. It builds a sense of community and helps us to go outside of our comfort zone, which can feel very empowering.
Start talking to shop keepers, waiters, people at the bus stop, anywhere where you might talk to strangers when traveling. Ask them questions about themselves, comment on the weather, ask for restaurant recommendations, directions, and anything else that feels right. Start opening yourself up to step out of your comfort zone of close circle of familiar people and find yourself, slowly but surely, empowering yourself and building up your sense of confidence, sense of community and feel the sense of happiness that comes with doing this.
3. Be a Tourist
Remember how it feels to be a tourist? To see the sights you’ve wanted to see forever? To visit places you’ve only seen in pictures and video?
Capture the excitement and rush you had the last time you were a tourist somewhere and be a tourist wherever you live!
Take a day and be a tourist. Put aside your feelings about tourists and tourist traps where you live and pretend like you’re just there for the day or weekend. If there is an organized tour available, take it. If there is a place you haven’t been yet, go there. Get into the excitement that others are feeling about being there. Send someone a postcard with all the cool things you did and saw and post your photos on Facebook.
4. Study a New Language
Most people learn at least a little bit of a new language when they travel to a foreign country. It’s empowering and inspires most people to want to study the language further.
You don’t have to have travel plans to study another language. If you have the desire, do it now rather than waiting until you have travel plans. Do it because you want to and because it makes you happy. There are a lot of ways to study – online courses, local community colleges or universities, language programs on DVD and CD.
Travel is so inspiring. Being in a new environment is exciting, invigorating and can give us the space to figure out where and how make changes in our lives. It can inspire us to have ideas that might not come to us if we just felt stuck and boxed in our daily lives.
The reality is, you don’t have to go anywhere to find the space and courage to make the changes you want to make in your life. Follow the ideas above and create the feeling of being somewhere else to help the creativity and courage flow. Sit someplace quite and remember how you felt the last time you traveled somewhere and felt that kind of space and inspiration. Pull out your old travel journals, emails, photos, Facebook posts and tweets.
Inspire yourself anyway to can to constantly feed the creative flow you felt then until you find the courage to empower yourself to make the changes you want to make. One of the greatest gifts of travel is that even after we return home, we always have our experiences living inside us.