As someone who is actively building their confidence, I’m aware of the times I am least confident, and the times I am most confident.
I could rattle off dozens of scenarios where I don’t feel confident. At this point, there’s not as many situations where I could say ‘yep, I’m confident’.
As I build my confidence, this list of positively-confident situations is growing. For now, I am still very much learning how to live life to the full – how to live life confidently!
One of the instances where I feel most confident is when I am travelling. Which sounds like an unusual place to feel confident.
Travel brings an unfamiliar environment, it can bring different languages, we don’t necessarily know how to get around with the transport system, and we don’t always know what to expect.
For some reason though, travelling is when I feel most confident.
Where to Next?
I am at the start of a new trip. I’m keen to observe how my behaviour is different while I’m away. Then I want to figure out how I can apply this when I am back in my usual routine.
If there’s lessons I can learn and apply back home, then I am all for it!
Now, I know life is not always as exciting or adventurous as travel. But I am sure if I am more aware of why I am different from one setting to the next, then I can learn something valuable to share – in my life, and perhaps yours too.
Here’s what I enjoy most about travelling…
Meeting New People
When travelling, I enjoy talking with new people. I like to hear their stories, travel advice, and experiences. The conversation flows. We share our travel chronicles – both the highlights and misadventures.
In my usual life, I do not often start conversations, especially with people I do not know. Actually, it is more that I do not start conversations with people I do know.
For example, at work, I sometimes feel intimidated by others. So, I struggle to find the right words to say.
I tend to focus on how I will respond, wanting to say the right thing, rather than truly listening to the conversation. I then come across as awkward or aloof, or worse, incompetent and not understanding what I am talking about.
Travel brings me very much to the moment. I am living my life and enjoying it.
When meeting new people, thoughts about what they think of me do not cross my mind. I will likely never see them again. The interaction will only ever be brief. But it will still be meaningful.
And I get a lot out of it. I am genuinely interested in what I can learn from the other person. I feel like my usual self, not a polished or practiced version of me.
The challenge for me is to work out how I can bring this attitude and approach to my experiences at home.
Trying New Experiences
When I travel, part of what I enjoy the most is seeing new places, and trying new experiences.
I know I am out of my usual routine. Travel is an opportunity to experiment and experience things that may not be part of my day to day life.
But I reckon, if I looked around hard enough, not even that hard, then I would find plenty of new experiences to try at home.
In daily life, I know I take things for granted. For example, I know the beach isn’t that far away, but do I go there? Well, this summer, no I haven’t.
When travelling, I am happy to go out of our way to ensure we get to see something extraordinary.
Like finding the tallest building in the city, going to the bar on the top floor and enjoying a cocktail over sunset.
Or driving to the beach to witness a sunset over the water. As I live on the east coast, west coast sunsets are particularly special, and I will happily travel a bit further to ensure I get to experience this rare opportunity.
At home, I could easily make the time and effort to see the sun rise over the water. I just don’t.
I’d like to apply the same enthusiasm for optimising my experiences in my normal life. Not just live by the same old regular routine and default setting.
At home I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to trying new foods. But when I travel I feel it is all part of the experience.
Trying a local cuisine can be a special experience. It may be that the food has been prepared in a careful way, so there is an element of ritual about it.
Or it may be that the food is locally grown, and there is pride in the industry this delicacy creates.
Or it may just be that the particular café or restaurant is known for their specialty dish, and it is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike, with lines out the door.
Being able to eat, taste and savour new foods while travelling brings connection to the moment. And connection to the place. And it can bring connection to the people serving the food too.
I remember having a lovely conversation with a café owner from Nova Scotia about his life. I was paying the bill, and we got into a big conversation. He then offered me some lemon meringue pie to take on the road with me. On the house. It was an unexpected and thoughtful gesture, and I now have really strong and fond memories of that day. And the pie was delicious!
What’s So Different About Travel?
Why is it that travel brings this adventurous side out in me?
Well, I guess because I am aware that the time is a gift, and I want the most out of it. I have invested time and money to be in the new place. And I want to experience as much as it has to offer.
Living in the moment can bring far more excitement, and enrichment to our lives.
Whether it is eating something new to experience the unfamiliar taste, even if I don’t think I will like it. Or making the effort to see a sunrise every once in a while.
Living in the moment would mean living life to the full. Living life confidently.
And that is what I am all about.