We often hear of people traveling across the world and experiencing profound life changing epiphanies. Well I’m here to tell you that’s not how it happens.
Sure traveling around the world will change your life, but not exactly in the way you expect it to.
At this time last year my boyfriend Robin and I were just two travelers visiting East Asian countries like China, Korea, and Singapore. We considered ourselves to be independent, non-confirmist souls.
We had all these notions of inner change taking place. Or at least I did.
Nathalie at the great wall of China
When we returned to Canada after our four months of travel, I was hit with a simple truth. We weren’t really all that independent after all.
In fact, we were pretty idealistic about the world and society at large. Even if we had seen a lot of it with our own eyes.
Coming Back to Reality
It took me awhile to adjust to being home again. Call it culture shock, call it moving back in with your parents.
After experiencing the freedom of traveling, making our own decisions about where to go and what to do, it felt strange to be back in a familiar place.
The Profound Life Changing Stuff Happens Close to Home
You know how people seem to experience these life changing shifts when they travel abroad for extended periods of time? Well I think that’s a myth. Or at least it’s not how it happened for me or for those I’ve spoken to about it.
Everything changes, that part is true. But all the decisions and shifts take place when you get back home. When you’re integrating back into that routine.
The shifts happen when you make the decisions that change the course of your life. Not when you’re exploring and visiting new parts of the world.
Honestly, my feet were too worn out and my mind overstimulated by all the sights and sounds to make any decisions about my life.
But as soon as I got home, it was time to chart the course my life would take.
Choosing to Work For Myself
Before setting off on our grand adventure abroad, I made the decision to go into business for myself.
I believe I’ve had the entrepreneurial gene my whole life, but this was the first time I would be making a living entirely through an entrepreneurial venture.
While living with my parents for the summer I began to build the business that would grow to support me and help thousands of people in the process.
All while planting the seeds in our backyard that grew to feed and support us and our health.
It was very symbolic, and the parallels did not escape me. As I worked to grow my audience and fine tune my offerings, I worked the earth and tilled the soil to produce great vegetables.
Although it rained a lot that summer, and it took awhile to get my business going, the process was very important to my personal growth.
Forging a Life Together
Meanwhile, Robin had returned to live with his parents for the summer as well. We were doing the long distance relationship dance, one that we had endured before.
This time we both had one goal in common: forging a life together.
While I was busy planting the seeds and nurturing the processes that would support me, Robin was busy applying for and landing a job.
Soon after he started working we devised a plan to move in together. When the fall came we signed a lease on an apartment where we currently live together.
Now our lives are starting to blend into a routine. Yet there is nothing unsatisfactory about that, quite to the contrary.
We appreciate and love each other and our time together all the more. The adventure and the intruige of the other lands was great. But now we have the mental and physical space to grow from within and to do so together.
This is where the true transformation takes place.
Photo by Andy C