Traveling Is My Muse
I am privileged to be in a generation where traveling is becoming the norm. I find that on my travels, I get to face new challenges and meet amazing people that I would have never had the opportunity of meeting before. As I write this, I am airborne, about 34,000 ft. above just reflecting on the amazing trip to the UK that I just had. The foods I tasted, the unique personalities I encountered and the unspeakable joy that grew inside of me each day of the trip. Without a doubt, traveling is my muse. I believe that when we stay put in our comfort zones and do not push ourselves to travel, it limits our understanding of the world we live in. Many people have global ambition, but local exposure. Your desire to make an imprint on your generation, starts with your willingness to understand your generation. No matter how many articles you read, or destinations you Pinterest, if you do not commit to travel, your level of impact will inevitably be limited.
Reasons why traveling is my muse:
1. Because sometimes you need a sabbatical from your life
This reason has to be one of the lessons I recently learned on this last trip. Life can get really overwhelming and tiresome. Being locked into a routine can initially have its benefits as it provides stability, predictability and productivity. Routines may even be good to help develop great habits, like babies needing a sleeping schedule and developing a more regular work out routine. BUT, soon enough it is easy to go through days, months and years mindlessly because our brains are used to what is next. I also started to become short tempered and easily irritated, as I felt cyclical in my conversations with people around me. To say I needed a sabbatical is an understatement. I am so blessed that I took the advice from my SO and vacated from my life.
2. Because your network is equivalent to your net worth
Can I keep it you 100 with you all? You can pull up your boot straps all day, garner several degrees and even have 20K followers on Instagram, but have 0 net worth. When I say net worth, I do not just mean fiscal net worth, but moral and intellectual net worth. If you ever took a trip to the career office in college, you would know that there is value in networking. I never really took advantage of this until I completed school. I have learned in my travels that relationships will do more for you than any robust resume or GPA. It is all about who you know, and who the people you know, know. It is through networking that I was able to return to London a year later and landed opportunities I would have never had if I did not nurture relationships.
3. Because you are more than your 9-5 job
I know that sounded super millennial of me, but hear me out. Similar to taking a sabbatical from my life, I realize that traveling reaffirms to me that there is more to life than college, getting a job, paying a mortgage and living of a menial retirement. The human brain is exquisite and is severely underutilized. When I travel, I begin rediscover certain aspects of my identity that I often forget I have. It also helps me discover talents and opportunities that I never knew I had in me. Maybe it is the Nigerian in me, but I do not see wealth being built out of a single income. I see that when once invests in self, we can then explore several avenues of building wealth and building lasting financial success for generations to come.
4. Because I always grow spiritually
Perhaps it is being far from home, and not sleeping in my own bed. Maybe it is the fact that I have to have Wi-Fi to speak to any family member or feel connected to the rest of the world, but something about traveling makes me more dependent on God. I feel like every time I travel; I have a “Joseph” experience--except for the part where my siblings sell me into slavery. I digress--- I feel like because I am on foreign soil, even when traveling within the states, I need God’s navigation more than ever before. When I was in Wales, I discovered what it truly felt like to be far away from home and faced with my fears, doubts and insecurities. This level of discomfort perfectly approximates me to thirst for God’s presence in my life. I tend to pray more continuously—especially when I am lost in central London and do not have cellular service! Or perhaps sleeping in a creepy castle-like building that was probably built during the Napoléon area. All these circumstances are intricately placed in my life to position me to remain in God’s presence.
5. Because I become more adventurous
I am the girl who hates roller coasters and did not play in the rocks during recess because I feared scraping my knee. I am also the girl who orders the chicken instead of the lamb, and has personal tea parties on Friday nights instead of heading out on the town. I can confidently say, that for most of my life I have lived a safe and cautious life. Even whilst in college and grad school, I was over a thousand miles away from home but had my own curfew and house rules. These are great in the fact that I am now an incredibly accountable person, BUT it is entirely self limiting. When I travel, I am forced to face adventure and accept the challenges that come with it. I intentionally say “yes” and sometimes jeopardize my stomach to trying new things—but is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY. Because I accept adventure when I travel, I am becoming less of the “I hate this or that” girl. It is making me more tolerable to different cultures and more understanding of different personalities.
This year I planned to travel every other month OR to 6-8 destinations. So far, here is how I am doing so far:
- February: Tulsa
- April: Atlanta, D.C.
- May: Denver
- July: Houston
- August: London