09 May The benefits of travel to your mindset
The benefits of travel to your mindset
I had the honour and privilege of being a guest on The Curious Professor podcast with Karen.
Karen and I discussed life’s journeys and the benefits of travel to your mindset.
Karen: You’ve travelled to 45 US states and a number of countries around the world, what were some of the most interesting places you visited?
I’ve travelled to 45 states of the USA on a big road trip.
I have a passion and love for places in Italy – Lake Como, Venice, Rome, Florence, Tuscany.
Karen: What experience had the biggest impact on you?
Moving to California, something that I had wanted to do for a long time. I felt at peace and at home, it was a very spiritual journey.
While the journey didn’t work out as we had hoped, if I wouldn’t have done it, I would have always regretted it.
Karen: Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” What are some ways that travel has broadened your mind?
Travel does broaden the mind. It brings you in touch with other people, ways of living, culture, you can learn so much.
If people were to travel more there would probably be a greater understanding from people to people and realizing that we are all trying to get ahead.
Living in southern California I didn’t realize the extent of the Spanish influence.
Travelling across the country, you realize the differences between people living in California to New York City to someone living in the middle of Nebraska.
Karen: The European Society of Cardiologists collected data over a 40-year period and their study showed that people were 37% more likely to die prematurely if they took less than three weeks off per year. So, there are obvious health benefits to travel. What are some of the other benefits of travel: mental, emotional and spiritual?
Spiritually if you go to places with a deep spiritual impact in terms of their culture The Pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge in the UK, Machu Picchu in Peru, that is going to have a greater spiritual impact than say going to a big city.
In terms of the mental or emotional connection, you may have a connection or an affinity to a place even if you have never been there before, at least in this lifetime.
You get that amazing AhhA feeling when you go somewhere and get that.
Karen: There’s a saying that “nobody comes back from a journey the way they started.” What are some ways in you’ve changed and grown as a result of your travels?
I think back to growing up in Germany, coming to Australia, Australia had a huge impact on me, meeting my now husband, is such an expansive experience.
It changes how you look at people, in a good way, it broadens your mindset, and it gives you a greater understanding.
After the first big trip to the USA, I came back to Australia, wanting to go again. A part of me just wanted to take off again.
Karen: How has this expansiveness expanded your work as a coach?
I want to learn and understand what is going on with somebody and because of that knowledge, I am curious. I ask questions.
You come to understand that people are not that different in terms of who they are.
We all want a family, a roof over our head, a happy relationship. Travel changes the way you perceive people as a whole.
But when you see it on the news and there’s, for example, a war going on, say in the Middle East, you don’t see it that way, you only see it the way the media portrays it. When you’ve actually been there you can say, hold on a minute, that’s not my experience. I’ve been there, I’ve met the people, I’ve spoken to them and what you are portraying is not always what’s real.
Karen: We have, as human beings, we have a connection to the human experience and what maybe separates us is our language and our culture and our experiences as part of a society.
As a whole though we have more in common with each other than we have those external differences.
Having said that, having stopped over a couple of times in the Middle East that is definitely different than the western world.
My husband and I have stopped over a couple of times in Dubai (twice) and you are not allowed to touch, even though you are husband and wife and my husband and, we naturally hold hands, and it was like, “Ooohh, no stop, can’t hold hands.“
And I found myself naturally walking behind him and that’s not me. I consider myself his equal in every way. There was something in the air, that you could feel, that was different. Again it broadens your mind to other people’s experiences.
Karen: If we open ourselves up to those experiences we might have a world that is kinder and more compassionate.
Actor Danny Kaye once said, “To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” In what ways do you understand yourself better as a result of your travel experiences?
I guess I would say that I realize that I have visited many places, and not just in this lifetime and I definitely believe that we’ve had many lifetimes and that is part of the work that I have done in the past with past life regression as well.
When you realize that that is part of your existence, then travel can really help you understand something about who you are and who you may have also been.
You realize you are not just where you are living. You also realize that you are part of a great big world and you are almost insignificant to this big wide world and all the people in it.
You stated that, “Home is more than the town where we live or even the country in which we reside. Home is the world and our planet. We are all interconnected.” Do you feel like you’ve been searching for a connection to a place? Or looking for a place where you fit in or a place where you belong?
Yes, I think that is a fair statement. I guess it was my parents’ choice to move us from Germany to Australia and in some ways I have always felt a bit of a foreigner in Australia. It hasn’t resonated with me like perhaps some other places in the world have.
From that perspective, it is about finding a place where you do fit in, a place where you do feel at ‘home’.
Because home isn’t just your home. When we were leaving California, we drove across the country from LA to Boston, and it was a very unusual experience, we put all of our things in storage and we only had the bare minimum of our things in this big Ford Edge and we had our cat in there as well and I remember saying to my husband, “Everything that is near and dear to me right now is right here in this car.”
The most important things to me were right there – my husband, my cat and the few things that we did have and everything else was attainable but what we had, that was it.
In a way that is a really liberating feeling, that you don’t need so much stuff.
Karen: Do you feel that the pandemic has brought that lesson to the forefront, that perhaps we don’t need as much, as we thought we did, being so socially isolated and distanced?
I would like to say yes to a lot of the people that I have spoken to. I definitely say no to all those silly people who were hoarding toilet paper, they definitely didn’t get that lesson, it’s like “You’re hoarding toilet paper, what for, for goodness sake, what’s wrong with you?”
There were people who were hoarding hand sanitiser and stuff like that. That’s not the mentality of sharing and being kind to others. That’s actually really selfish in my opinion. A lot of people did get it, but some didn’t.
Karen: I like the quote of yours, “If you always play it safe, you don’t experience the fullness that is life.”
Would you tell us about a time that you took a travel risk and it payed off in a big way?
I would say the biggest travel risk was coming to the USA and coming to live there, starting a business in a country you’ve visited many times, but living somewhere is always different than going there on vacation and it was a big risk because we had a business visa. That meant we couldn’t get a job and there were certain restrictions on that visa and that’s one of the reasons it was ‘make or break’ and that was why it was a big risk.
I would never ever take it back because, to play it safe would have meant that I would have missed out on an absolutely amazing experience.
Karen: What do you think is the biggest lesson you learned as a result of that experience?
Sometimes, you have to take a calculated risk and that is where one of my philosophies, or mottos comes in, life is about taking action, it’s to take action, and to get results you do have to take calculated risks. Playing safe, never leaving our home, or our city, look at what you could potentially be missing out on by not stepping outside your front door.
Karen: How do you integrate that into your coaching?
When people come to me, often, they are plain and simply stuck.
They get caught up in life and, a lot of the time, the goals, the dreams, the aspirations they had for their life have gone on the back burner.
So when we’re looking at their values, and where they’re at and where they want to be, I do incorporate some of those philosophies into my coaching.
I say to my clients, “Isn’t it worth taking a little bit of a risk? You’re not doing something that is absolutely outrageous, something that is dangerous, but you are stepping out of your comfort zone and stepping out of your comfort zone is a great thing.”
Sometimes in the coaching world, we have to get over people’s limiting beliefs, we have to help them get through their fears, and they’re all factors that you have to take in, but they’re the things that we work through, as you are working with the client.
Karen: As the pandemic, we’re starting to see the end of the tunnel here, and I wanted to talk about some upcoming trips that you may have in the future.
A study by Cornell University states that anticipation of a trip can increase one’s happiness, sometimes even more than the trip itself. What trips are you looking forward to in the future?
Well there’s a big question mark over this trip, but we had booked a trip to Greece and it made us really look forward to the trip.
When you book something, you get really excited, and you look forward to taking that trip.
Karen: Anything else that you would like our listeners to know?
Yes, I would like to let them know if they’re feeling stuck, unsure of where their own journey is taking them, contact me and let’s have a discovery session to see if I can help you, if we’re a good fit, if I’m someone they want to work with because that is so important to make sure that we click, that we resonate, that you really feel comfortable with me.
Having worked and lived on 3 continents has enabled me to work with a diverse variety of professional women and through that I developed the Breakthrough Break Free Road Map. You too can work with me and discover how the Breakthrough Break Free Road Map can benefit you.
I hope that you have enjoyed my blog on The Benefits of travel to your Mindset.
Check out the full podcast episode here: The Curious Professor
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