I’m taking a different direction on the blog today, as I share some life reflections.
If you’re new to the blog, we dive deep into travelers’ personal stories through cultural immersion on Culture with Travel. We focus on these life experiences, because they reveal a willingness to immerse ourselves in something different. Something that is perhaps out of our comfort zone, or something that may not always be perfect, but which simply feels right. Travel affords us these experiences – the good coupled with the bad – that enable us to appreciate certain journeys, but also overcome unexpected barriers. The beauty of travel, in and of itself, is that it has this intense power to teach us not only about others, but also about ourselves.
Life Reflections through Travel
As much as we aspire to grow through travel, it’s equally important to reflect on what we’ve already learned, and where we are today (no matter where that is). Are we living in the moment? What do we envision for the (immediate) future? Which lessons have we gleaned from the past? We can lead hectic lives that often take us from one place to another – occasionally without ample opportunity for reflections. If we’re not careful, we can spend hours glued to our screens. And, if we’re not responsive, we feel guilty or may even fear that we’re missing out. But, there is immense value in disconnecting from it all to “reconnect” with ourselves, every once in a while. There’s a great sense of accomplishment and happiness from letting ourselves enjoy moments – no matter how triumphant or small. It’s okay to take time for ourselves, and not feel selfish about it.
So, today I ask you, to disconnect for a moment and look at your life. Think about all that you’ve set out to do, and all that you have accomplished. Be proud of these life moments. Celebrate your successes and hard work.
Are you doing what you set out to do? Are you working on something you love? If not, are you looking to take a leap and start fresh? Consider these reflections. Take in the moments of sheer bliss and carelessness, but don’t forget the hardships and how you’ve overcome them. Difficult days are equally valuable in teaching us about persistence. We all cope with occasionally unmotivated days of boredom. Our attitudes matter a great deal in overcoming these days, and pushing ourselves toward fulfilling what’s meaningful to us.
Search for meaning
I’ve started to think about my life more in the past few days in these terms. I’ve evaluated successes and hardships, and attached meaning to various experiences. It’s how I felt after reading Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. Have you ever read a book that transforms how you think – and feel – about life? The type of book that is so gripping, so chock-full of genuine emotion, and so powerful that it offers you new perspectives? That’s the impact that Man’s Search for Meaning had on me. In the book, Frankl talks about overcoming extreme hardships as a Nazi concentration camp survivor, by looking at this from an existential lens – all in the search for a bigger purpose in life.
Life’s meaning can come from different sources. It can come from love, having a passion for one’s work, and persistence in light of difficult conditions.
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. – Viktor Frankl
I hope you’ll reflect on life for a few minutes today. Consider what you’re grateful for, and what you wish you could change, and remember Frankl’s words. If you haven’t read the book, I strongly encourage you to do so. It’s an eye-opening, powerful read.
Have a story to tell? Additional perspectives to share? Comment below with your thoughts.