I started this article with the intention of applying the tried and true blogging framework of five digestible points within your readership (entrepreneurs). I quickly got off track and, probably, too ambitious. Many writers have attempted to encapsulate what it means to travel and missed the mark in a preachy tirade of how to ‘better yourself’. I hope this doesn’t fall into that category but just know that if it does tilt that way it stems from my inability to write about something I only partially understand and not from some misguided sense of importance.
In actuality, real travel is soul tickling, and pretention and preaching have no place in a world where equality is a given and friendships are only as old as your latest bus stop. The old adage about travel is that it is the only expense that makes you richer. A fairly succinct summary to be sure but it doesn’t do much in terms of explaining why, or how, it impacts us. Even when you do start to appreciate how it has shaped you, it is rarely understood and certainly difficult to articulate.
Travel, like any passion, becomes a form of expression. Travel puts your environment in a lovable flux of people, culture, food, beds and weather. Through this process you start to realize, almost subconsciously, what is important to you. You naturally gravitate towards it and before long, begin to see patterns which help you understand why. This is how we learn about ourselves when we travel and it only exists as honesty.
Travel forces us to define what is important to us. It connects us with thousands of people from hundreds of places and during that process you become the fortunate recipient of a steady stream of epiphanies. The majority teach us that we are not so different, that the things we are taught to matter generally don’t and that adventure is one of few pure things left to us. The remaining minority teach us what makes us different. They teach us what matters to us and, if we are lucky, why it does.
Okay, it is probably time to wind this back to the entrepreneurs. Watch as I tie this in with all the grace of one of India’s Tea Train Salesman (they make a mean Chai, (Chai, Chai)). Travel teaches us about ourselves in a way few things can. It teaches us what we care about and what we don’t. It teaches us how to be out of control and be confident in the chaos. Spend any time with the talented entrepreneurs around us and you realize it is their passion, not their intelligence or skill, which makes them unique. They have discovered, identified and pursued something they care about. From the outside, it is perceived as confidence but in reality it’s just clarity of purpose. While travelling is not the only source of this understanding, it is one of few certain means of acquiring it. The ability to comfortably out of control and confidently scramble is the hardest part about pretending you know where you’re going. If you’re prepared for it, it is also the funnest.
Featured image photo credit; iBoomer
Article written by Daniel Eberhard. Connect with me on Twitter at @danno_go or check out my personal page Urban Sherpa.