Feeling Lost in Life? 7 Reasons Why You Should Travel Now

Maybe you think you’re in the wrong job, or don’t have one, or having trouble in your love life; perhaps you’re struggling with figuring out your goals. If you’ve hit a wall in life and you’re not sure what needs to change, perhaps you should go traveling.

Read on to find out seven reasons why traveling might help you figure out what’s not right in your life and where you should be headed instead.

Time Out

One of the most freeing parts of traveling is that it’s a clear time out from everyday life. You’re not at home, you’re not going to your job every day, you’re not seeing the same people you always see. In particular, the time you spend kind of “trapped” while you’re traveling, like when you’re on a plane or a train and you have lots of time to just sit and think without too many other options, can be really valuable time.

Freeing yourself from the drudgery of everyday life (no more household chores for a while!) also helps give you time to think through what’s really important to you. For me, a long train journey (think Trans-Siberian, my personal favourite!) is the absolutely perfect way to give yourself the time to reconsider where you are headed in life.

Traveling Open Road, Arizona
Traveling Open Road, Arizona © Kevin Dooley

Fresh Perspective

By allowing you to contrast your own life with those of others in different countries, travel gives you a totally fresh perspective on your own life. If you think you really need a big perspective shift, travel to a country where the culture is completely different from your own. I find that even a place with what I’d expect to be a similar culture is always different enough that I can learn something about my own life. Obviously, visiting a third world country when you’re struggling with several good career paths to go down will put your first world problems very much into perspective, but it doesn’t have to be that extreme.

New Passions

Feeling lost in life can be a sign that you need to find some new interests, something new to be passionate about, whether that’s a career, a person or simply a rewarding hobby.

Travel can help you find your passion in life by introducing you to new ideas and concepts that you’ve never heard of before. It might happen in a museum; it may be a new a language that gives you the spark; or you might even discover (as I did) that travel itself is your passion!

… and New Ideas

It might not necessarily be that you’re in need of a new passion: it might be as simple as needing a good new idea. While you’re traveling you might come across a new area of work that you hadn’t considered or even known about, but is a good fit for your skills. Or you could learn about some new technology, see a different kind of marketing campaign or find a different way to use space in a house or apartment and these kinds of ideas might help you solve some of the problems you have back home. It’s not always a big change that needs to be made to set your life back in order, and you just might find the solution in a new idea you observe on your travels.

Meeting New People, Malaysia
Meeting New People, Malaysia © Kamal Zharif Kamaludin

Meeting People

If you want to meet a large number of varied, interesting new people in a short time, travel is one of the best ways to go about it. Rather than mulling over your problems with the same friends and colleagues again and again, you might find that by talking to new people – especially those with very different life experiences from yours – that you figure out some important things about your life.

I’ve also found with many of the people I’ve met while traveling that you can get down to talking about serious, in-depth topics a lot faster than with a regular friend at home – the normal inhibitions seem to disappear when everyone realises the face-to-face part of your friendship is temporary.

Beyond Your Comfort Zone

It’s not that easy to push yourself beyond your comfort zone when you’re living in the same place, going to the same job and seeing the same people all the time. However, when you find yourself in a completely different country with a completely different daily routine (or no routine at all), it’s a lot easier to imagine yourself doing things that you’d never imagined.

This freedom to recreate yourself and your boundaries is not just a great feeling, it’s applicable to every aspect of your life. I’m sure the reason I feel confident enough to run my own business now is because my experiences while traveling helped me realise I’m capable of things I probably hadn’t expected of myself.

A Whole New Life

And then there’s another possibility of what could happen to you if you take time out of your life and go traveling: you might not come home again! It is not unheard of for people to take off on a trip and decide that the place they end up has more going for it than the one they left, or they fall in love with a local, or find a great job opportunity. The list goes on.

With the whole notion of location independent work gaining momentum thanks to the ease of working over the internet (for many kinds of jobs, though of course not all) it’s much easier to set up life in a new place. Who knows, that might happen to you.

So what are you waiting for – go and take the plunge! I know my life changed in multiple ways when I started to do a lot of traveling (and it wasn’t even that broken to start with) – so much good can come of it, so take the risk and have a go. Happy travels!

14 Responses

  1. Charles Thor

    Great article, I really like the idea of pushing beyond your comfort zone. Travel really helps expand the comfort zone and perspective.

    Reply
  2. Sara Henley

    Thanks for sharing this post. Your site was the first to come up when looking up reasons to travel!!

    Reply
  3. Sarah

    Anyone suggest the best organization to travel and work for? I have heard of Americorps but there had to be so many more out there that may even be more specialized. I graduated college and have been working as an accountant. I absolutely hate it and have no idea what I’m interested in. So I want to travel but I need to do it as a job. All recommendations are welcome.

    Reply
  4. Sarah

    So I desperately need to travel but dont have the money I have heard of Americorp and the Peace Corps, but are there any other programs out there that are recommended?

    Reply
  5. Jhanell

    I totally agree. After a trip to Hong Kong in December, I came back refreshed and energized. I started working on a teen travel blog that I had been putting off for months.

    Reply
  6. Charles Thor

    If you want to travel for work you could always look at being a tour guide or travel writer. However, both are very competitive but can be a great way to interact with people and see different parts of the world.

    Reply
  7. Valtournenche

    It’s true, when you have a regular life you get bored and you don’t realize that there’s more that you can do. Leaving for a trip, short or long, gives you a lot of time to understand what you could improve, to better understand what you need and what you’re missing. Moreover when you’re on a trip you might meet some persons that are often very interesting and stimulating, people who have nothing in common with you and who have totally different experiences from your own ones.

    Reply
  8. oli

    well the way i see it…its all about just break the routine ..we want to appear somewhere else..to do nothing more importand then something uniportand… sometimes not all life events in life give us a sense …but i am sure life is about moving…or traveling…

    Reply
  9. Logan

    Hey I’m from new zealand and really over the slow mundane life here.
    I’m 29 with my own place no real problems lovely family. But I’m so bored…
    Your article really made me think about what’s important so I’m trying to decide weather or not I should leave everything behind here and go to Russia for 6 months and tech English. And see how I feel after that.

    Reply
  10. Michael

    I came across your article… This is fantastic!!! I’m REALLY lost in life right now!! I use to be a flight attendant and traveling really made my life!! It was so much fun!! This is definitely the right thing to do it free’s your mind like you wouldnt believe!!! You feel so free without a care in the world!! Traveling to a defferent place, getting out the same old thing it amazing!!

    Reply
  11. Nathan

    Hmm its very interesting article. I agree with breaking out of the normal routine is probably a great way to clear your mind. I find even going for long walks gives you the same mind clearing that traveling might give. I used to walk/run/hike for hours, 4 or 5 hours a day, and boy, i never thought more clear than i did then.

    My mind was full of thoughts and pondering, and i over all had a very positive and happy view of myself and my world. Now im working constantly, and while i travel for work, it does not give me the same feeling.

    So if traveling isnt possible for you, try walking for a couple hours instead, i mean out in nature. Stop every once and a while and look around you while trekking. Look At the trees, the sky, the mountains, the cactus, whatever. It can be very therapeutic.

    Not around town…Although that might work too in a lesser way.

    Reply

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