What does a great journey change in us?

Does the journey really change us? What is this famous journey that “changed my life, your life or his life”? Beyond hopes and disillusions, here are some elements of the answer

Everybody has his own reason to go on a journey. But what does travel really change in us? Traveling is (unfortunately) not a teleportation into another dimension where we suddenly start to be happy, relaxed and super positive. But! Travel brings us many things, and it is up to each of us to use it wisely.
Before we rush with flights to an exotic destination, there is one thing we should be sure of: Traveling changes nothing, it is the traveler who changes. He must be an actor in his own development, and as we will see, this is not always obvious.
Important precision, I am not talking about a journey that aims at resting for 15 days in all inclusive between the beach, the all-you-can-eat buffet and the air-conditioned room, but about a long journey, an exploration of unknown territory…

The journey pushes us out of our control zone: it makes us… a philosopher

In the case of travel, it is mandatory to hand over the control. trains do not always arrive on time, the service is poorly organised or simply non-existent, nobody respects the traffic laws, in short, it’s chaos!
Most of us are used to controlling the way events have to take place and organising the schedule to the minute. If something goes wrong, we are overwhelmed by frustration and a very unpleasant feeling of helplessness. Instead of finding a positive side to this situation, which, I admit to you, is sometimes hard to find, we will fight to ensure that it happens as planned. It is this resistance that makes us tired, frustrated and blind.
30 minutes late at the Gare de Lyon, France, and it turns into a revolution. Passengers complain, shout out loudly according to the employees and condemn the railway company to hell.
If this happens at the New Delhi station in India, the consequences of the delay will be very different. You will have no choice but to be patient and approach your fellow passengers who, as you will see, take a very philosophical view of the matter. Must they put themselves in terrible conditions and say terrible things? And be thrown into hell afterwards? Does the world stop turning? Of course it does not. They’ll be patient and wait for the train. 
They know that insults and scandals are useless. They save their energy for something else. What does it really mean, “arrive on time”? They will arrive when they will arrive, and it will always be the right time, because the most important thing is to arrive at their destination.
Here, little control, little trouble!
This is one of the masterful lessons that travel teaches us. Realize that the struggle for control is exhausting and in many ways toxic, a source of sadness and discouragement.
Of course, this control allows you to live in an organized, comfortable and safe society, but it has its limits.
Whenever I have to deal with an event that does not go as planned, I always try to find a positive aspect: to have more time to think, to discover something new or to have a nice encounter.

If you think that travel is dangerous, avoid the routine, it is fatal!

The journey makes us positive, we appreciate more what we have


If you insist on blaming others for slow service, a broken kettle or lack of public transportation while traveling, your trip will become a nightmare.
Like it or not, you will soon be forced to update your priorities, and that will certainly be a very good thing. Because why are you so far away from your sofa and remote control, if not to be disoriented, surprised; to test your skills in the face of the unexpected? 

You will soon realize that these disturbances can bring something positive: the satisfaction of being able to deal with problems, discovering yourself as flexible and resourceful.
Those hard times often occupy the best places in our memory because they have been defeated, dissolved. They are transformed into a positive charge that gives strength and confidence.
After testing the system in an African or Asian country, you will not see your country in the same light. You will find it nice, clean and not so bad!

The travel takes us out of our comfort zone and into an effort zone (and that makes us stronger!)


In a comfort zone you control everything, you know what to expect. No secrets, no fantasies, everything is there to satisfy every need. The same street, the same supermarket, the same restaurant, the same friends.
But the comfort zone is also a prison surrounded by barbed wire, knitted of doubts, fears, paralysis, anxieties and preconceived ideas.
Beyond this barrier lie newly gained self-confidence, self-realization or fulfillment of one’s projects, simple pleasures and a fabulous vehicle called “evolution”. 
Of course, there are many other ways to get out of your comfort zone than travelling to the end of the world, but travelling is the most beautiful tool!

It forces you to be patient, to improvise, to be open to others. When you are far away from everything, human relationships become fundamental, and adaptability is at its peak because everything around you is constantly changing. And all this increases your happiness hormones, which explode like fireworks and make you alive and happy.

What is the spirit of a champion? 

Once upon a time, on the roads to the Himalayas…
I meet Anja and Daniel, a young German couple. For Anja, every day of walking is an ordeal. She suffers, she struggles, she walks painfully. I should point out that Anna has a small handicap, she has no right forearm. We meet several times in the lodges, in the evenings when the backpacks are empty, the stomachs fill up and tongues are happily loosened. 
She tells me: “How do you do it, Christine, all alone, loaded like a mule! It’s hard, it’s so hard! »
I said: “No, it’s not difficult, Anya, because I’m here now. The day is over and everything went well. Every day I am victorious. How do I do that?  Uh… Every day I have nothing else to do but put one foot in front of the other and admire one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, so it’s not difficult. »
I also tell him with all the sincerity of the world how much I admire her. Because when we walk with sticks, we save about 30% of the effort, and sticks Anja can only use one. But I admire her above all for her determination, she continues on this path despite the discouragement she feels!
She freezes as if under the effect of an electric shock. After a few seconds she says: “But it’s true…” and she is very moved.
When we meet again much later on any street in Kathmandu, our reunion is full of tenderness and joy. This adventure urged her to surpass herself, to no longer see the difficulty of the road and to replace it with the happiness of being there. This trek in Nepal has changed their definition of the word difficult!

Traveling helps us to gain self-confidence

Our social system is very much based on frustration. You have to earn a lot of good points to integrate successfully and we don’t all leave with the same opportunities.
Often there is someone who denigrates, criticizes, degrades, devalues your work or what you are with these destructive words: too much and too little. Too small, too far away, too expensive, too big, not qualified enough, not productive enough…

Of course, travel does not magically heal an injured ego or low self-esteem, but sometimes it is enough to take a little trip around the world and realize that we are not so bad!

The “others” find you nice, they appreciate your presence, your know-how and are curious about you! They show affection and respect, and you suddenly realize that you are worthy of consideration despite your appearance or lack of diploma. So what is wrong with you? Are these locals all so blind that they show you kindness and smile at you? No, they are not stupid. They don’t judge you, they just see you trough. Perhaps that is what the journey can change in you: To accept you as you are.
They don’t care about your wrinkles, your cellulite, your mastery of dioptric or quantum theory, or your inability to dance the tango: what matters is the person you are.
The most important thing is the energy you release, whether you are a good person or not.
Maybe it is time to stop blaming yourself, stop dreaming of performance and start questioning the way your system works. What if the journey is about learning to love the person you are and forgive yourself for not being perfect?
Travel can also teach self-confidence. It teaches us that whoever the person is, they have all the resources to be happy.

Travel can help us get to know ourselves better and discover who we really are

When travelling, the contrast with other societies of the world is conducive to rethinking one’s own life.
The priorities, life choices, strengths and weaknesses that drive us are coming to the fore. The journey reveals our convictions, our deep values and the foundations of our personality.
Answering the same question all the time: “Who are you – where are you from – where are you going?” Is sobering. It allows us to redefine ourselves and put our lives in perspective. It helps to realize how far we have come and how far we still want to go.
Observation and curiosity about the other cultures we visit highlight our “real” priorities and allow us to change them.

Travel is also about discovering ourselves and becoming aware of our qualities and defaults

It is far from benchmarks, references that questioning is least difficult. By looking at other men and women in this world, we can better define ourselves. Does the traveler discover himself to be cantankerous, impatient, and complaining? After this awareness, it will be easier for him to change.
Conversely, he sometimes realizes that he is perfectly at ease in complicated situations and discovers unsuspected resources!

On this occasion we often hear the famous sentence: “This journey has changed my life”

To discover the world also means to find yourself and who knows, to realize that you are quite capable of realizing your dreams.

Deep down, every one of us is a champion!

On the way to Sri Lanka, when we set out to conquer Adams Peak (5500 steps that have to be climbed at night to reach the summit and watch the sunrise).

I see Jean-claude, 34 years old, communication agent of the Emergency Hotline (he is the one who picks up the phone when you call for help). He is drenched in sweat, out of breath and in complete confusion. I can feel his panic from afar. He can’t keep up with his friends (who are in top shape), but he keeps running. He collapses every 50 m, frustrated and unhappy. In him the battle is raging, the giving up the climb (ouch! shame) or the persistence (ouch! painful effort).

I allow myself to apostrophize him. I tell him that it is vain to run in such a way that he must walk slowly, at his rhythm, in his steps. That he must not insist on following others. He gently tells me to mind my own business… but there’s still a long way to go. 

200 steps later, Jean-Claude is in agony. I come back to him: “Walk with me, I am a turtle! If you walk slowly, you will reach the top“. He is still stubborn, but I start a conversation about his job (which he does with passion). I ask him many questions, to which he answers with enthusiasm. And by looking at nothing, his attention is diverted from the effort, and the steps follow one by one almost effortlessly to the summit.

The first shock for Jean-Claude was that he made it without being aware of it. Once up there, he goes to his group of athletes. After sweating under the effort, we tremble like leaves in the icy wind. Closely huddled in front of the great spectacle of the rising sun, we all keep smiling… well, almost all of us. I see Jean-Claude pass by, whom I congratulate with joy. He immediately replies: “Yes, but it’s super cold!”. 

And then the second shock: he looks at me with awe and says: “But I can’t stop whining!”
I nod.
As we go back downstairs, Jean-Claude confides in me that walking with me motivated him well: “I said to myself that if this woman (50 years old, not trained, not super young, no competitive spirit, winning spirit) can do it, I must do it. I have to do it better than her, otherwise it is a shame“.
In other words, for him my performance potential is lower than the sea level. He thinks I am weak, old, extinct.
I answer: “Do you always judge others by their appearance? What do you do with what they are inside? “Do you know those hidden strengths like determination, trust, kindness…

The third shock, he exclaims: “But I’m such a fool!”
I nod.
I moderate. “It’s good to realize that, don’t worry”. I’m used to it. I’ll settle for the fact that our meeting helped change your point of view“. I could, but I won’t add, “that makes one less fool” because to be honest, Jean-Claude was anything but a fool. He was a nice and honest boy, just a little too… formatted.

Lesson: traveling requires changing filters and glasses. Use all the lessons he gives you to grow up, to be happy and to make others happy at the same time: The sun does not shine for just one person.

A long travel allows to regain the guidance of his life

When you travel, you decide over your schedule, your itinerary. No one (well, in principle) is there to force you to do this or that (if this is the case, it is not a trip, but a summer camp). 
Free to decide where and when to go, this unique exercise can eventually become a real philosophy of life. 

This innocent teaching underlines the fact that we only do what others expect of us and that we stick to rhythms and commitments that have no value. In some more extreme cases the consciousness is violent. Realizing that the circle to which we want to belong at all costs prevents us from being free, independent and fulfilled is hard, but it moves us forward!

The journey is the departure, but also the return

There is a thousand and one journeys. The reasons that urge the adventurer to go far and farther are different for each of us. Some go happily, adventurously, full of energy, full of plans.  
For others, journey is an escape. These travelers evacuate the battlefield to stay alive, to suffer less. They are no longer able to absorb the shocks of their lives: death, divorce, bankruptcy…  Traveling is then the time to take the necessary distance to regain  strength, to rebuild far away from the noise and to return calm and strengthened.

Traveling is good, but you also have to think about returning!


You are already travelling, that is good, but have you thought about returning? It is one of the most difficult moments of the adventure! Here are some tips to make sure everything goes smoothly.

The journey alone does not change anything, one must be prepared to question oneself


I know many people who tackle personal development processes without travelling and who achieve the same results as those who travel around the world. Sometimes those who return from a journey are as worried as when they left. 

For those who think arrogantly and believe in preconceived ideas, the trip will not change their way of seeing the world. They will continue to judge “others” with the certainty that they hold the universal truth. They will seek (and find) confirmation of their beliefs and myths on the journey.

But for those who want to open up, discover themselves, the journey will be a revelation of who they really are, allowing them, if they wish, to continue to blossom and enrich their soul.

To read if you think it is impossible to travel the world

Many dream of traveling, but few realize it

Why is it so difficult to break away from your everyday life to start an adventure? It’s not always about means, but more about getting out of your comfort zone and letting go of safety, even if it is suffocating …

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