I’ve been thinking a bit lately about travel. I love traveling.
There’s something so inspiring about seeing new places and cultures, being out of your ordinary routine and, sometimes, out of your comfort zone.
Whenever I travel, I learn so much about myself simply from being in new environments and out of my normal realm. In fact, there’s this fantastic quote by Danny Kaye:
To travel is to take a journey into yourself.
This is so very true. When I explored Europe and parts of North America last year, I returned to my home country of little old New Zealand as a different person. I had a stronger sense of who I was, a greater confidence in myself, and I was bursting at the seams with inspiration and creative ideas.
Looking back on my travel journal, I can see the growth I experienced as I ventured out into the big wide world. Once back home though, it wasn’t long before my feet were itching to get back on a plane and off to a new location.
Unfortunately, traveling far and wide as often as we might like is not always possible. But do we need to? Rilke said,
The only journey is the one within.
I can’t help but wonder if that is true. As much as I love seeing new places and exploring the world, the things that are most truly valuable for me from traveling are the lessons I learn about myself, the growth I experience and the inspiration that fills me.
What if I could capture even a fraction of that, without stepping foot in an airport?
That is exactly what journaling gives me. Now – let’s be honest – it doesn’t give me quite the same rush of excitement as boarding a plane and landing somewhere new, but it does allow me to journey inwards and learn more about myself.
There exists inside us a wild and undiscovered realm, an untouched landscape, a history waiting to be explored. We have within us whole worlds, both new and familiar. We are rich and layered beings with stories of our own to share. There is so much to be explored when we journey within.
I find that every day when I sit down to journal, I venture further into myself. I don’t always like what I find and I don’t always unearth treasures. If I get stuck I use journal prompts or switch over to my art journal. But I keep exploring and learning, and that is what’s important. Because, at the end of the day, the main reason I venture out into the world is, really, to venture into myself.
And that should keep me happy until I can next board a plane.
How does your journaling help you venture within?