This article is for anyone who ever felt stuck, depressed or alone. Anyone who ever felt like they wanted to give up, like their life was not going anywhere and they would never achieve anything. This article is for the people who do not feel confident, who want to change and are actually willing to make amends. This article is for you, as you are the one who may change your life by travelling.
For years I felt stuck. Something was keeping me right where I was and this made me feel weak. I felt like I did not belong anywhere. I just wanted to take some clothes and go. For years, I had been struggling with depression and every time I felt a little better, my surroundings reminded me of who I used to be, making me feel even worse.
My mom used to tell me I just had to get out of the town for a while, just travel and see the world. However, for a long time I ignored her advice as I felt like I had to get an education and become successful before I could allow myself to live a little. Only now I know this was the biggest lie I could have told myself.
How travelling changed me.
In the summer of 2015 I decided it was time to change. I chose to live and moved to the Czech Republic to work for a company called Monster Worldwide. Once I arrived I felt a moment of panic: I was all alone, what if something went wrong? What if I had made a huge mistake? Soon I noticed I was just making a mountain out of the mole hill. I sighed and finally I noticed how great the sun felt on my skin, I felt free.
I looked around and suddenly saw the beauty of the city. Unlike the Netherlands, every building had its own colors and figures. It felt like all buildings had their own character, giving the city so much life. Even though the streets were empty, I still felt like I was surrounded by the soul of the city itself. I suddenly did not feel alone anymore, I felt home.
For the first time in a long time, I actually noticed the small things around me. I learned again how to enjoy every moment and to see every experience as a new one. I think this was one of the main reasons I can now finally say I am truly and utterly happy.
Can travelling actually change you?
There are many reasons why I think travelling (or moving) will change your life. For example the fun of travelling itself, and the discovery of new cultures. However these are just small things; memories to keep. Since I moved here, I noticed only a few things have actually changed and improved my life and I know for sure, they will change yours:
1. Improvement of your brain.
While living in the Netherlands, every day seemed the same. I saw the same buildings, walked the same roads and even met the same people day after day. It felt like I was part of the Truman Show and there was no way out. I noticed that every time I travelled, even if it was just to another city, I felt more alive.
According to a study, this feeling I had is actually caused by my brain forming new connections, as it would when I would take up a new hobby or learn a new language. This basically means, your brain is growing and constantly active, making you more aware of everything around you.
2. Developing a more outgoing personality.
Something that keeps a lot people from travelling, or like me, even moving abroad, is insecurity and anxiety of the unknown. People often feel like they are safe when they are in a known place and therefore fear to leave.
As mentioned before, I was struggling with personal issues before I moved and I as well was affraid my problems would escalate when I
moved out of the country. But, the exact opposite happened. Of course my problems did not just disappear. However when I came to this city and got the chance to meet people from all over the world, I noticed it became easier and easier to interact. I started to talk to anyone, wanted to share my experiences and noticed I finally came out of my comfort zone. When I noticed peoples’ reactions to my new attitude were very positive, this also helped me a lot to gain confidence. The key is to just go out there, keep breathing and do whatever you feel like doing. Even though I do not like this saying, I will say it anyway: you only live once!
3. A change of perception on life and your surroundings.
When you use the same perfume for a long time, you will stop smelling it eventually, as your body gets used to the scent and
absorbs it as one of its own. By switching between perfumes, you can prevent this. The same counts for your surroundings.
While living in the Netherlands, I never really noticed the falling leaves, the singing birds or the great feeling of the sun finally shining after all those days of rain. However, when I moved to Brno all those small things seemed new and exciting. I finally looked around and noticed new things: I felt alive, free and happy.
My advice on successful travelling.
Something people seem to forget is that travelling does not mean you have to go across the borders of your country. I changed my life by moving to another country, but the thing about travelling is that the word itself basically means leaving your house to explore the world. However, this does not mean you have to go far away. If you don’t have to money or time to go to another country, just drag yourself to another city. Explore your own country and widen your world.
How to keep yourself satisfied.
One thing I wondered since the day I arrived is if Brno will keep me satisfied forever. Although I would love to believe this, I fear this is not the truth. As mentioned before, your body will get used to the surrounding, making you incapable of seeing it’s beauty. However, there are always new experiences waiting to be found. I truly believe that as long as you are willing to learn, you will live.
“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin