One of my least favorite cliches about travelling is the idea that when you travel you will automatically “find yourself”. I hate to break it to anyone out there who thought it worked like this—it doesn't. You don't just go to a new country or a new school and automatically figure out who you are or what you want to do in life. -
Traveling is hard. It challenges your very being and everything you've known since you were a child. It puts you in new situations that you have to navigate based off of your personal belief system. -
Travel doesn't automatically help you find yourself or make you a new person. It does, however, put you in situations in which you have the opportunity to change yourself. Traveling challenges who you are and where you come from and it is up to YOU to put in the WORK to understand these cultures and other people's points of view. It is when you make the effort to embrace change and accept things that challenge your core beliefs that you will come home and realize that you are a different person, or a new version of yourself, or discover you have found your path in life. -
This is what travel has done for me. After this year, I feel like I finally have an understanding of who I am. After looking at myself and my identity through multiple cultural lenses, letting go of the things that I didn't like, and picking up a few things that I did, I started to mold myself into the person that I’ve always wanted to be. By putting myself in situations that challenged me, I strengthened the things from my background and from my personality that I felt strongly about and had the courage to let go of the things that I didn't. Through travel, I didn't find myself, I created a version of myself that I am proud to share with the world.