The more I travel, the more I realize how similar travel is to exercise. Think about it. Both can give you greater clarity on your thoughts, reduce stress, and increase your productivity. Not sure? Okay, I’ll explain.
Lately, I’ve been doing a 30 day trial of running a couple miles every morning, 7 days a week. The effect of this has been nothing short of transformational. Not only have my stress levels reduced, but I’ve gotten a lot more done in a shorter period of time, too. I’ve exercised daily in the past, but never so consistently. Never 10+ days in a row without fail, that’s for sure. As a result, I’ve had a greater sense of clarity of mind, the like of which I haven’t felt in a long time.
Now let’s consider the act of travel. Not only does it push you out of your comfort zone (thus stimulating the creation of new connections in your brain), but it also provides a multitude of opportunities for you to shift your perspective. Powerfully.
Jump while It’s Hot
For instance, when I was in California I was very motivated to explore as much as possible within a few weeks because I was waiting for a carpool opportunity to manifest via craigslist. And I had to admit that I didn’t know how long it would take to find a ride onward to my next destination. I had to be ready to leave on any day.
Yet because of this uncertainty, I noticed I was more likely to jump on good opportunities to explore instead of overanalyzing them. And in the process, I saw the Googleplex, Apple Campus, Intel’s Museum, and the Computer History Museum all in the same day. And the very next day I explored San Francisco on foot, seeing Coit Tower, Lombard Street, and Fort Point, taking a multitude of photos in the process which have now found their way into many articles.
The point being, these experiences came in waves, and I rode each wave to its fullest potential. I realized that, when I fully embraced the flow of travel, I was able to tune into my own motivation much more easily than when I was staying still. It was as if the constantly changing environment spurred me on to get clearer about how I wanted to spend my limited time in California, and on a more profound level, my finite time on this Earth.
Riding the Waves of Opportunity
The upshot of this was that, during my grand West Coast journey, I packed a lot into the month of September. I was incredibly productive because I was riding the waves of opportunity, I felt amazing, and I was absolutely loving what I was doing. My needs were being met. I was getting plenty of exercise, my mind was engaged, and my spirit was enthralled. Now, perhaps you’re thinking: “It’s easy to be productive when you love what you’re doing right? But in other areas of life, what if you can’t do what you love?”
The answer is that the question is flawed. You can always do what you love. As Merlin Mann so eloquently says again and again, it’s a matter of care and sacrifice. If you care enough about the thing you love to let other things fade away, then you will be able to spend time on whatever you love. But until you make that choice you have not told the world, or the universe, what you really want. You haven’t committed to it…
But when you do, truly magical things can happen.
After all, your time is going to pass anyway. Nothing stops the hours, so why not do everything you can with that limited time to go after your life’s dream? Don’t fool yourself. There is never going to be a perfect day to take a risk, but isn’t it time you started living like the courageous being that you truly are? Travel asks us this question within each adventure, and our ability to say Yes is directly related to how each adventure turns out. Travel is always giving us opportunities to reignite our spirit and become more congruent on our path.
Rediscover the Melody of You
Travel can help you rediscover who you are. It can cause you to completely reassess your self-image for the better, especially if you go far out of your comfort zone. It may seem uncomfortable at first, but that feeling will transform itself into exhilaration.
The question you have to ask yourself is, how much longer are you going to wait before you start moving toward what you want? Are you living your life merely trying to live up to other’s expectations? Is that how a truly intelligent, loving, and powerful person would behave? Unless you want a pile of regrets and “what ifs” to examine as you lie on your deathbed, take your life for all its worth. While you may even feel you have plenty of time, this is an illusion. None of us know how much time we have left, so don’t waste any more time. Play the melody of you.
After all, this is your universe, too.