October 25, 2013

The way travel changes you - Casey from We took the road less travelled

Today I have the lovely Casey from We took the road less travelled chatting about the ways her travel experiences have changed here. Casey is currently living in Germany with her wonderful army husband. I love hearing all about their many adventures and life living as an expat in Germany.

In what ways has traveling the world fundamentally changed me? Or has it at all? Sure, coming home from a fabulous weekend exploring France can alter your perspective for a while, but does a trip like that really change who I am? Or is that spark just the feel-good glow of a weekend exploring Paris? I've spent a lot of time thinking about my life in Germanyand all the traveling I've done since moving here just 2 short years ago. While reminiscing, I've gleaned that I have, indeed, changed because of travel. In some ways, monumentally, in others, just a fraction...but all in all I suppose travel has made me a better, well-rounded individual.
And here's why

1| Travel challenges your attachment to things. 
After spending two weeks living out of a suitcase, rotating through the same 2 pairs of shoes and blue jeans, you realize you're capable of living differently. Most of the time with less that you're used to. Suddenly, that fancy coffee maker you impatiently hover over each morning doesn't seem to matter as much. You adapt, you change, and you learn to love coffee from the hotel lobby or the quirky coffee shop down the street in whatever city you find yourself in that day. While the want for luxuries will still be there (we are only human, after all), with travel you can find happiness in simplicity and are often intrigued by the challenge of making due with a more minimalistic lifestyle. Or a Starbucks-less existence.

2| Travel cultivates a sense of wonder and curiosity. 
There's something about submerging yourself in a unfamiliar place that evokes a curious nature within yourself. Instead of gravitating towards the usual, you find yourself drawn to the unusual...the things you don't often see or experience. Curiosity "kills the cat," as they say, but with travel, it's different. Marveling at the world through curious eyes tends to breed bravery. Bravery to dance in the streets of Barcelona, daringness to try new foods in Thailand, or even courage to ride a donkey up the cobblestone hills of Santorini. Whatever the case may be, traveling gives way to wonder and investigation, and often produces some of the most memorable traveling adventures of your life.

3| Travel tests your relationships. 
There is no truer test of compatibility than traveling with a loved one. Sharing tight quarters and raggedy suitcases, deciding where to eat between two differing palates, deciphering city maps while simultaneously pulling your hair out...all these things not only contribute to learning what kind of person you are, but what kind of person you enjoy being around in the midst of stressful situations. I think all newly engaged couples should embark on a 2 week traveling adventure to really test the bonds of love. I imagine we'd have fewer divorces this way! Luckily, my husband has proved to be the best travel companion in the world, and traveling without him is utterly unbearable at times. It's true what they say, experiencing the world with someone you love, who balances you, just adds to the wonder of traveling.

4| Travel can humble you. 
Recently, I've noticed that there are very few situations in life that are truly awe-inspiring. When I sit down and think about those specific moments in my own life, I realize how lucky I really am. At 26-years-old, I've experienced more while traveling than most people do in their entire lives. I can still remember how small I felt while standing underneath the Eiffel Tower...the overflowing joy I experienced while watching the New Year's Eve fireworks explode over Germany...or how insignificant my problems seemed while standing before the concentration camp gates of Dachau. All of these experiences combined in one giant piece of humble pie make me grateful for the life God has blessed me with.

5| Travel can renew your faith in humanity. 
I had a really crummy job back when I was living stateside. I worked for the government, in a program closely related to welfare, and it jaded me. Watching greedy, apathetic people ride the system, gleaning money away from hardworking taxpayers day in and day out left me with a skewed view of society...one that took moving to a foreign country and experiencing other cultures to realign again. Traveling around the world has opened my eyes to see that people are inherently good. While some don't always make great choices in the life they're living, others can't help the hand they've been dealt. Those that are humble, good-natured, and kind always seem to make themselves known to me while traveling, taking me aback and reminding me that the good and hardworking infinitely outweigh the evil and lackadaisical. Instead of always noticing the negative in people, I've learned to accentuate the positive and love everyone unconditionally.
Never wonder if travel is worth it. 

  Go, see, and explore, my friends. Let the world change you. 


  1. Love Casey and love this post. Travel has definitely changed me in some of the same ways!

  2. LOVE Casey! And so, so happy to have found your sweet blog, gorgeous! xx


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