How Traveling Can Supercharge Your Best Qualities for You 2.0

How Traveling Can Supercharge Your Best Qualities for You 2.0

Live your best life in 2024

Away from the familiar, you can be a different breed of awesome.

When you’re navigating the bustling bazaars of Marrakech or swapping stories with a Mongol in the Gobi, you’ve already shed routine. You step into the shoes of the person you want to be when no one is looking.

And guess what? No one notices you when you travel. It’s your chance to show off your best in every sense.

// Travel as Catalyst

Every time you travel, you realize that it isn’t about sightseeing. For the first few times, it is perhaps a way to discover your love for the unfamiliar. Over time, it is what you seek and what drives you to faraway lands.

Travel becomes an inward-looking expedition where you discover strengths you never knew you had. And also the quirks that make you, well, you.

Travel puts you in a zone — before, during and after.

You plan the trip months in advance, the anticipation building as the date to fly comes closer. All the packing, booking and documenting make you want to leave on the next available flight, but you go through it somehow.

And then you are there.

Living the dream, you want it to be perfect. You want to be at your best, least fortune frown on the best-laid plans.

And when it’s all done, the experience stays with you.

Do you notice that your manner still reflects who you were back there? That you continue to act like you never came back?

That’s growth achieved differently.

// Unpacking Your Best

The best way to uncover your essence is to land in zones of discomfort. Meet unfamiliar smells, tastes and languages. Cultures that are completely different from our own is one of the best ways to get at that hidden gold inside.

Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, has become the flavour of the month for international travel this season. When I went there 7 years ago, it was a country few in India knew about.

Right away, on landing, I realized they had left my bag behind. I had no choice but to shop for clothes even before I looked for accommodation. Ugh, not a good start.

As soon as the stores opened, I walked in and browsed clothes. A surprised store clerk used sign language and some English to understand my predicament. She put her network to use right away and helped me land a room in a nice hostel nearby.

All I had to do was speak nicely. The real magic happens in the most routine interactions.

Would I have asked a store clerk for help in my home country? Perhaps not, but I could.

Help can come from any quarter, build those bridges.

// Judge Me Not

I said yes before he even asked to my third glass of a frothy of beer to go with the stories being told.

Seated at a bar in Sydney, Australia, with a bunch of complete strangers, I chugged a beer as I listened to their life stories. As one guy regaled the rest about his past, I realized none of us were quick to judge him about the choices he made.

Upon deeper thought, I discovered how we do this judging selectively. When it is us, our close friends or relatives, we draw bouquets or brickbats out fast. We hardly pause before firing a salvo.

Curiosity kept me wanting to listen to more stories that night, even though I had heard them all before. Of different people in different cultures and circumstances. But behaving exactly like they should — like human beings.

The difference was I could hold back the judgement. If it was possible in Sydney, why was it difficult to do back here?

// Ask Yourself the Right Questions

It is easiest talking to strangers when you are in a strange land yourself. You don’t know the customs or the traditions. It is easy to be forgiven. This knowledge alone makes you braver than you would be back home.

To be the best version of you, ask that tough question — “Why am I scared of trying this at home?” “What’s holding me back from talking to strangers at home?”

Digging deep uncovers your fears, and — spoiler alert- facing them is where the growth happens.

// Travel to Discover

I discovered travel was one of the best ways to be myself and be with myself. My first trips were all with family, which were always planned to fit holidays and time off from work. With friends, travel was full of impromptu plans and offbeat experiences.

Finally, when I was confident to travel by myself, it was the most liberating feeling. It was like someone flipped a switch, and suddenly, a braver and curious version of me stepped into the light.

Every time I travel to a new destination, I get a new set of problems to solve — language, transport, safety, and food are the first that need to be tackled.

A lot of travellers I know have realized their knack for storytelling or planning or their ability to pick up new languages as they bonded with other nomads on foreign shores.

Everyone’s got a story, and within those tales lie the breadcrumbs to your own discoveries.

Travel is an experimental lab to discover who you are and who you can be. It is a chance to supercharge your powers of awesomeness.

// Lastly, the DIY


Step One: Say yes to something you’d usually decline. No one is watching.

Step Two: Strike up a conversation with a local. You are forgiven easily, remember?

Step Three: Do something that scares you and find hidden skills.

Rinse and repeat.

Pack your bags with an insatiable hunger for self-discovery. Travel isn’t just about where you go; it’s about who you become along the way.

Ask the hard questions, and soon, you’ll find yourself levelling up faster than Mario on a mission.

Happy travels, and here’s to unlocking the superhero within!

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