One time I was meeting with a potential client and we started talking about his life’s goals and objectives.I asked about his current and future plans like I always do at length during a first meeting. I remember asking if he had any interest in travelling and what his leisure activities were. His answer surprised me to say the least : “I don’t care about travelling,I don’t want to spend thousand of dollars and have nothing left!”. I have always respected other people’s opinions,but there is no doubt in my mind that travelling is key to living a better life and becoming a better person.In my opinion,thinking “you have nothing left” after a travel experience is just wrong!When you reach the state of self-actualization, a new notion of “way of life” or “lifestyle” comes into play. Guided by our fundamental values, our lifestyles define the way we live and think. This also influences how we use our buying power when we get some more. Some may see travelling as a waste of their buying power, but travel for me is the expression of one of my deepest values: freedom! In the past, some of my friends and acquaintances have mentioned I have a “great life”. Whatever it is, my life has been enriched by all my travels. Some of the best and most enjoyable experiences have occurred while travelling.
Hanging out at home all the time might be safer and less expensive,but it is also quite boring! I would not be as knowledgeable as I am today without my travels. First of all, I have learned new languages, and learning new languages definitely broadens your opportunities in life. I am not just talking business here, as there are great people to meet from all over the world. By learning new languages you can make good friends and even fall in love. I have learned a lot from seeing and learning about new cultures, values, lifestyles, and even new foods and wines. These experiences have helped me widen my perspective and inspired me to create what is now a more balanced life.My life is not defined by the “North American hustle” anymore. My European travels have influenced me to hang out a little longer at the dinner table, to pause and truly celebrate great food and wine instead of just swallowing it in record time .I have discovered old bookstores and lovely cafes. I don’t drive as much anymore. I used to take my car everywhere for everything, but now I prefer long walks through lovely parks on my way to pick up fresh croissants. Travelling can also increase your ability to overcome problems and accept change. Where I am from this is called “Système D”. In French, the D stands for “Débrouillardise”, which is about using your skill set of creativity, improvisation, and resourcefulness to find solutions.I have encountered countless situations where I had to leave my comfort zone and think fast. What does dealing with a Finnish-speaking customs agent in Finland, managing new flight plans in Brazil, or trying to find a Formula One race track in Monza Italy have in common? These situations have helped me get out of my shell, which is key to getting what I want in ANY areas of my life. This is how powerful travelling can be! The disruption from the routine of “normal” life is magical. I only feel like my true self when I travel, and so will you. I promise you will have “something left” to use the words of that potential client. Routine can be deadly. In life we all need some adventure. Embrace the unknown and create your own stories. Be your own little Hollywood movie!
“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”
Saint Augustine-Theologian and philosopher