Travel For Self-Discovery. Zen & The Art Of Metaphysical Maintenance:
So we’ve talked before about the actual, real health benefits of Happiness.
Recently, it’s been shown that people who take regular vacations actually live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
And in one post, we mentioned some of the specific ways you improve the “effectiveness” of a vacation.
But here, The School Of Life raises the surprising, yet philosophical idea of specific types of vacations as a kind-of symbolic “food”,
Or better yet: Nutrition For The Soul…
Just Get Me Outta Here!:
So for many people and their many reasons, a vacation at-all is usually the goal.
And depending on other people involved, there may be other considerations like:
Traditions, Habits, Location Popularity, Spouse/Family/Children’s Desires, Other Social Pressures,
Or even just the old project manager’s iron-triad of: Time, Cost, & Complexity.
All of these can end up taking their collective toll on an ideal concept and turn it into an imperfect set of compromises.
And here’s the thing:
When do all those compromises and external-pressures result in a trip that isn’t really a vacation at-all, but just another type of obligation in some place different from home or work?
A Vitamin-Deficiency Of The Soul:
But there was a clue back in some of the research on optimizing vacations, albeit a vague one:
Some of the most successfully-vacationed subjects in studies were also the people who did nothing.
Let’s help out the idea by assuming one puzzle-piece those researchers probably left out:
The people who did nothing on vacations were the busiest, most harried, and maybe even physically-active.
-So what-if doing nothing Was Exactly What They Needed!
And that’s the idea The School Of Life puts forward here.
The Big Idea Behind Traveling To Find Yourself. Vacation By Diagnosis:
It’s not just to go blindly-along with whatever pressures or constraints you have.
But what-if there is a way to talk to an actual therapist and find out something you Actually Need in your soul?
Instead of just going to the family retreat or the Eiffel Tower again, what if you went somewhere you Needed to go instead of where you were pressured into going?
While a 100% “serious” project vacation might be a little too dreary for most,
And carry a HUGE potential for disappointment if it goes wrong,
What if there’s a way to marry Both what The School Of Life talks about, And Also something along the lines of a traditional vacation or travel?
Go somewhere you -Need- to go, instead of where the crowd insists you should want to go.
The Other Side Of The World:
So one way to do this without a professional therapist is to answer 3 main questions:
1) What do you have too much of?
2) What are your main problems?
3) What do you need most?
3a) (do some actual Mindfulness Meditation on that last one if you have to)
Yes, it’s really simple, but as long as you can find a safe solution, why not try The Opposite of what’s excessively out of balance in your life?
A) Too many worries? -Why not make some therapy sessions or self-help books in a quiet spot as a part of your plan?
B) Feeling too jaded in life or purposeless in your job? -Why not do a partial work vacation where you help build something for people who can’t afford it, in an otherwise interesting place?
C) Too narrow-minded? Try going to the best big cities in 3 completely different foreign countries.
D) Too sluggish and urbane? Try a group adventure-vacation out in the near-wilderness, with a guide suitable to your skill as an outdoorsman.
Etc, etc, etc. Whatever your ills are, try doing the opposite, then add some Fun.
The Beginner’s Mind:
Along with about 11 others, “The Fish Out Of Water”/”Mistaken-Identity” story is one of the classics.
Both the Buddhists and Sandrine Thuret would remind you that when you’re outside your comfort-zone, no matter how that happens, you’re growing.
-And your Brain probably is, too.
Now I’m not suggesting the physical tune-up/oil-change/buff+wax of Spa Days that women seem to enjoy so much are necessarily appropriate for men.
I’m just saying that perhaps The New, or The Different can also end-up being food for your soul also.
But it IS an outside-shot, and given the time and money constraints, anyone could understand why you’d want to take the safest-bet possible.
*But maybe there is room for a Very Small percentage of The New+Different (or even The Out-Of-Character) in your plans.
As a matter-of-fact Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” is a huge fan of just that type of travel.
In this video by Big Think, he talks about pretty-much exactly that part of the School Of Life video, he just doesn’t use their exact terminology of Nutrition for the soul.
And funnily enough The New, Different, & Out-Of-Character are also to next-door neighbors to The Purposefully Lost.
By the way, A Eurail Pass is a GREAT way to do this if you’re not a rugged, vagabonding, itinerant-motorcyclist like Bryan was. (just don’t go to Bratislava)
Reach The Edge Of Sanity, Get Found:
And as we go to seemingly the edge-of-sanity with that idea,
Although there are probably reasonably-safe ways to do it without being a train-hobo,
Bryan’s plan does without diagnosis, what we talked about at the beginning.
And perhaps for some people, that is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Because maybe planning vacations for as long as they advise in the studies from the previous post may land you in a very odd scenario:
-Never getting diagnosed with a tangible imbalance, need, or problem at-all.
(or ones so complex they defy diagnosis & must rely instead on Symbology)
And in that empty, interstellar void,
Perhaps Getting Lost, Wandering, and Eventually Getting Found is the most correct (if Very Risky) play of all.
Caffeinate Your Soul So The Sleeper Can Awaken:
But whatever you do, You are the captain of your soul.
And before you rush out to the same old family cabin, or theme-park, for reasons nobody knows and everyone’s seemed to have forgotten,
Maybe a little diagnosis from Friends, Family, Mentors, Professionals,
And even Yourself,
Could lead you to Travel that is not just some marching-in-place, or another set of ruts in a slightly different road,
But instead: The Best Medicine There Is,
Delivered right to the core of everything you are.
If it was good enough for Duke Leto Atreides’ son Paul (~44sec), it’s good enough for the rest of us!
So get out there and use that self-discovery travel to get your self and your soul both healthy from the inside-out!…
Publicity Movie Still Photo from the movie “North By Northwest”, by Alfred Hitchcock, Ernest Lehman, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
• Source: YT-TSoL-Travel