When Plato said, “An unexamined life is not one worth living,” he’d just returned from a cruise to Thessaloniki. OK, probably not, but when we travel, we are in a unique position to examine our mental and physical wellbeing. Senses are heightened. We’re “really living!” Then we return home and poof. That was fun. How many emails did I miss?
Please, don’t let the end of your trip be the end of your journey. Travel of any kind is an investment in oneself. Self reflection is like collecting the dividends. You don’t have to keep a travel journal (though I’ve found it enjoyable), but consider asking yourself these questions when you return.
- What about this trip am I most thankful for?
- Did I shy away from doing anything? How can I address that fear?
- What did people I saw not have that I take for granted?
- Which rituals or activities did I experience that could benefit my daily life, or that of my loved ones?
- Did I meet any people or organizations that would benefit from my assistance, financial or otherwise?
- What, if anything, did I get frustrated with while traveling that was out of my control? (Hint: Take a breath. Let it go.)
- What do I do at home that I didn’t miss while I was away? Can I stop?
- What did I learn from this trip that will help me increase enjoyment of future trips?
Even if reentry comes quickly, taking the time to answer these questions could affect your life and others’ in very meaningful ways. See where it leads. Then plan your next trip!