10 Ways Travel Helps Create Change
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10 Ways Travel Can Help Create Change

So what is it about a new environment that helps us to create change?

To explore this we need to go back a few million years and look at how we evolved to change. In basic terms we adapted to new surroundings and as the planet changed so did all the species within it, including us. Giraffes grew taller necks, birds grew different shaped beaks and we learned to stand on two feet.

Travel & Change

So what happens when you don't move?

It’s quite simple really - you don’t change.

Now, if you're happy with the way everything is, that's completely fine, and hats off to you. But unfortunately, there are a lot of people that aren’t and do want change in certain aspects of their lives, be it their jobs, their lifestyle, their diet, their health, their relationships, their thoughts or their behaviors. Now I can’t help you grow taller necks or change the shape of your beak but I can help you stand on your own two feet 😉

We’ve all been there at some point:

  • Feeling stuck
  • Procrastinate on big (or small) decisions
  • Don’t know where to start
  • Don't know what we want
  • Don’t know how to get there
  • But, we want something to change.

Now doing that in the same environment, as we’ve already learned is going to be extremely difficult. We adapt to our surroundings so if there is no change in these environmental factors it’s going to be very difficult to instigate change.

A change in your environment usually means a change in schedule and a change in schedule means a change in lifestyle, which results in all other kinds of change: food, sleep, language, experiences, people, and relationships (including platonic). This has a tremendous knock-on effect on our behaviors and habits.

The problem is if we’re not prepared to change or embrace change it can cause even more problems as ‘the only constant in life is change’ (Heraclitus). We sure as hell better be ready for it if we don’t instigate it.

This is where new experiences, new challenges, and new environments can you give you the skills and tools that you need to be ready for any unexpected changes. Like I mentioned previously going outside of our comfort zone pushes boundaries and whilst it may be scary its growth and we need to learn to ‘become comfortable with being uncomfortable’.

So why do I think travel helps create change:

  1. A different schedule: this encourages all kinds of different behaviours and daily patterns.
  2. New perspectives: we often see things that we’re not usually exposed to and this can help us appreciate what we do have or take note of what we don’t.
  3. Nature connection: we generally spend more time in nature, which as I discussed previously, has all kinds of benefits to our health and wellbeing. This might be the environment we need to give us the space and time to think or just play.
  4. Relationships: we meet new like-minded people with shared values and who knows what can come from these incredible, often deeper, connections.
  5. Time: we quite often have more time to think and plan.
  6. Attributes: if we try new things and push boundaries we’ll develop vital skills that will help when change does come around, even if we don’t instigate it.
  7. Habits: due to new triggers (stimuli) we develop new behaviours and that results in different rewards. This is the start of forming new habits.
  8. Space: having the physical space as well as mental space gives us a chance to think differently.
  9. Adventure: we were born explorers and for many of us we need to fulfil this need, and maybe just a short term change was all you needed.
  10. Play: we forget how important this is and don’t do it enough. Travel can give us the permission to play (again) in new and wonderful places.

Ultimately we can all create change but it’s having the courage and willpower to make it happen. We get comfortable in our usual patterns and environments and going outside of these comfort zones is scary. However, fear is an important part of that change as we’re going into the unknown but developing important skills and growing as a result of it.

The other issue with creating change is that we tend to be very goal-focused as opposed to journey focused. This means we constantly think about the big picture without breaking it down into smaller steps. This can become overwhelming and as a result, we fall back into those usual behaviours of making excuses, building barriers, procrastinating and feeling stuck.

Travel can help us create change as we begin to see things differently. We appreciate the smaller things, the simple things and this can help us break down those stages into much more manageable, bitesize chunks.

It’s great to have ambition and big goals but create realistic and achievable milestones to get there.

It takes a lot of willpower, determination, failure, tenacity and courage to create change but remember, it’s a personal journey and the challenges and obstacles are different for each and everyone one of us.

This is why Project Change was created, to help people transition through this change. The idea was to help people discover what it was they wanted to change (as quite often people aren’t sure of the root cause of the issue). The second phase is to help them realize and appreciate the skills and attributes that they have and most importantly enjoy. And, finally, empower them with the tools and resources to transition:

  • Discover: we want to find out why people are there and what they want to change
  • Develop: work on the skills and attributes to help drive this change
  • Change: empower people with the confidence and strategies in place for change to occur.

As well as it being a psychological journey, we believe that the physical journey is just as important. Therefore by creating the right environmental conditions we can ensure that travel can be a huge facilitator to create change, whilst exploring new places with incredible people. Not to mention traveling sustainably with purpose and impact.

If you’re interested in travel and change come and join us for our first event on Wednesday 29th January at Essex House, 29-31 Essex Road, Angel, London, N1 2SA. The guys at Essex House have also kindly offered us a beer and pizza at just £10 - worth coming just for that 🙂

This post originally appeared on flogglebinder on the 13th January 2020 and is republished with the author's kind permission.

Brad Frankel is founder of Flooglebinder, a BCorp organisation and Gold approved activity provider for Duke of Edinburgh, who are dedicated to conservation and sustainability, and value the importance of education and development through travel. His love of travel and education started with a degree in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography. He feels that as an organisation […]
Main Photo @davidmarcu on Unsplash
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