Sometimes You Need to Travel to Create the Life You Want

April 20, 2016 Katja Presnal

 

Make the travels of your dreams happen

Have you ever dreamed of traveling somewhere far away and then looked at flight prices – or your bank account – and let that dream die almost the moment it was born? I know, me too.

Then there are also those times that I have done anything in my power to make some trips happen. Because I tend to think — sometimes you need to travel to create the life you want.

Have you ever traveled somewhere and you just say to yourself “this, this is what I want?”

Travel is supposed to move you, teach you something, and let you come home somehow changed (hopefully for the better) after the experience.

I’ve done some unbelievable trips in my lifetime, and while I have stories to tell for the rest of my life already now, I think one thing what I came home with very early on was the incurable case of Wanderlust and I know I wanted to create a life that includes traveling. We have lived in five countries and seven different states in the USA in the past 19 years. And in reality we do very little vacationing, and yet our children have visited more countries than most adults ever do. Most of our travels are related to our everyday life — maybe it is visiting family, traveling for my work, or following where my husband’s work takes us. We are masters of long weekend trips, and we move so often that it is somewhat normal to us to live in hotels for extended times (I am talking about months at the time here). We travel to create change in our lives.

I’m encouraging you — make your dream travels happen. Be bold. Be brave. That’s the only kind of travel that teaches you. Teaches you about life, and about yourself. It’s quite ironic that when we learned about something new – we actually learn about ourselves too.

There has also been times in my life when I have taken flights somewhere multiple times in one month, and I admit, all travel isn’t equal. And with that I almost mean the type of travel that feels equal everywhere: hotels feel the same, food tastes the same, the experience is the same, and you don’t really come home all that changed. Now; relaxed, excited, refreshed; I can believe that. But not changed because you didn’t go outside your comfort zone.

Sometimes it is also better to stay home than do traveling that just drains you, but it is the outside of your comfort zone, once in a lifetime kind of travel that tends to change you the most. It is the type of travel where you open yourself for possibilities in life.

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Sometimes you go to places, have new experiences, and you simply can not go back to your life how it was before that experience. It is a good thing. Sometimes you literally need distance to your life to see it is in a need of a change.

I have never written this before, but one of those trips was when I knew I had to leave everything behind me when I was 22-years old, and I literally did not want to live the life I had. I am thankful for being here today, and thankful that I had the guts to take distance (and especially to end a very bad relationship), and create the life I wanted. I don’t think I could have done it by staying still.

I am still on the same journey today, 19 years later, and never went back to the life that was envied by many, but just wasn’t for me, and what did not full-fill me.

But where to travel to change? It doesn’t matter.

When I left my home country Finland, I took the easiest route and moved to Germany, where my aunt lived and I had visited multiple times.

Later on as an adult, there have been multiple more exotic places where I have felt the “change.” One of them was when I went skiing in Utah alone despite the fear of heights. (Ski lifts scare me – not coming down the hill.)

Also Bali in Indonesia is one of that kind of destinations for me. While many can say Bali is a tourist destination, but Bali for me personally represents something mystical, unique, and I love the culture. It is where I’ve felt empowered for traveling that far on my own, and where I have felt ultimate pampering and luxury, and felt yes, I can deserve this too! It is where I have felt zen in the temples – and no intimidation at the yoga classes!

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You shall not judge me for Bali, and you should not judge anyone for their life changing trip. I’ve heard people saying how they think of their only trip to Europe all the time – their honeymoon to Venice 15 years ago. I’ve also heard stories how the childhood trip to DisneyWorld was so memorable they still remember it as an adult.

You know, the destination doesn’t always even matter. To create change and to live outside your comfort zone doesn’t always even have to mean you travel far, or somewhere new.

One of my favorite messages from a Skimbaco-reader was a message I got from a reader who has been reading our site for a long time. She sent me a message thanking me for making their trip extra special – to a location I had never even been to! I was confused and she explained. She told they always go for same comfortable East Coast location every Thanksgiving. It is their family tradition, and they have been going the same place for over ten years. However, they had decided to think of their last trip as an adventure instead of the same old comfortable trip. They looked at the destination with new eyes, ate in new places, visited museums they had never been to, and treated the old destination like a new one. Even though I had never even been to that coastal town, she thanked me for encouraging them to see something old in a new way.

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It is not just an escape – it’s a new life

Sometimes I question it myself — is traveling truly living or is it escaping? I do firmly believe in the saying “travel not to escape life, but for life not escaping you.” My everyday grind is better for the experiences I have gone through on my travels, and the lessons I have brought home. My dream of what I want for my life, for my children and for myself become clearer each time I have guts to travel out of my comfort zone. My life has become better and frankly less scary and stressful, when my comfort zone has widened, and I feel at ease and at home in multiple places around the world.

I see better what I want to escape from, and what I truly want to create.

I hope you too have the guts to travel – even if it just to come back home to appreciate more and see what a wonderful life you already have.

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Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal shows how to live globally inspired life to the fullest and plan your dream life. Katja owns Presnal5 strategic marketing intelligence agency and wants to help marketing professionals to combine a dream career and dream life via freelance work.Katja is an award-winning marketing strategist, and a well-known speaker. Katja has lived in five different countries, and seven states in the USA. Her three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners.She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks.

Comments (3)

  1. This is literally me: “how they think of their only trip to Europe all the time – their honeymoon to Venice 15 years ago.” We are making a bigger effort to travel more, even if just locally and over long weekends. It really does restore your soul!

    • Enjoy Life Oils

      But you got a passport now :) Now you can go back to Europe. I think it pains me every time when we book travel and how much it costs, but I much rather live frugally in other aspects of our life, and just make travels happen.

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