So, you want to see the world! You have your bucket list and you’re ready to go. Bags are packed, destination photos are liked, and bank accounts are at their all-time best. There’s just one more thing left to do: prepare yourself.
Today more than ever, the person is bombarded with “Just Go” op-eds, commercials, slogans, and visual advertisements. Yet, in all this travel discussion, there is one vital conversation that never takes place: the one with ourselves.
You want to see the world and have your eyes opened to the wonders of the globe. But how can you truly perceive if you are not in the right state-of-mind? Your lens may be tainted. A trip is a journey, and if we are not fully prepared then we will not reap all the benefits.
Every journey requires that we put the right mix of necessities into our luggage. A trip’s itinerary or enjoyment could be dampened by the failure to have the right mix or by the burden that comes with having too much. Similar to the suitcase, we have to move forward carefully to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves first, making sure we have the right components inside. We have to evaluate the baggage we are carrying with us. Otherwise, we are weighing down our ability to collect new insights and experiences along the way. A crammed suitcase at the start of a journey provides no space for what we might hope to gain in our travels, no room for the trinkets and tokens we might want to collect from a local market or atop a new height.
There are of course times when we take a leap of faith on a journey because our circumstances at home leave us struggling to breathe. We need wide spaces, new climates, fresh air, or strange faces. These trips are also important, but they should be far and few. The baggage we leave at home will be there greeting us when we return, strewn across our closet floors, waiting for our return.
This is not by any means to say that we should be wary to jump right into the travel-sphere. Adventure and experience can re-invent our lives and purpose. However, we should strive to travel through our own mentality and spirituality before we seek to travel within our externalities. How can we authentically see the world when we cannot even begin to see ourselves? How can we hope to understand the world around us if we do not fully comprehend where we are standing, at what point we are existing? How can we possibly hope to exchange dialogues of culture if we do not recognize what we bring to the table, what we carry inside of our own suitcase? How can we interpret the environmental factors of others when we lack the awareness of our own daily environmental interactions?
It is with deliberate and constant evaluation of who we are and the ways in which we strive for bettering ourselves that we gain our tickets to the greatest shows on earth: viewings of beautifully cultured human existence.