Journey to Personal Growth without Travel

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sunset in Narrabeen Rockpool, Sydney

Sunset in Narrabeen Rockpool, Sydney
Narrabean Beach, Sydney
Baha'i Temple, SydneyBaha'i Temple, SydneyGirl reading a book in bedroomThe Afghan Girl Coffee Book

In recent times, the world has certainly witnessed a growth in travelling as more and more people jump on board the ‘wanderlust’ brigade. So let’s play a game. Take a shot for every time you’ve seen the words ‘globetrotter’, ‘traveller’ or ‘wanderer’ pop up on someone’s Instagram or Twitter bio. Now take another one for every travel blog or quote you’ve scrolled past today. Yeah, you get the gist.  

But in a world where this message of travel being the only way of experiencing life is constantly fed to you, you can’t help but feel a little frustrated. Not at your own lack of exposure but rather at this one-dimension approach to self-love and personal growth. Sitting in a plane and flying out to foreign lands has a magic we can’t explain. It feeds the escapist in us, squeezes out the wear-and-tear of our daily grind and helps us connect with new people and places. However, while we agree with all of this, we also don’t believe in limiting personal growth to this one and only parameter.

No matter what social media may have you believe, ultimately none of us have to be in a race to tick the most countries off our bucket list. Visit what you can, regardless of whether it is more or less than the person sitting next to you on the Qantas flight. They are never going to have the same experiences as you or meet the same people or feel the same way, so why compare apples and oranges? Why not appreciate both?

Whether it’s your finances, responsibilities, lack of time or simply a lack of interest, it is okay for travel to not be your number one priority, as long as bettering yourself is. We, by all means are a work in progress, but for the times when we can’t afford to fly out to another country or simply don’t want to, here are some things we do to keep us happy, healthy and feeling liberated.

Read and then read some more. Our appetite for adventure transfers smoothly into our habits as readers and we're happy to say that we’ve allowed ourselves to read a number of different genres in our life so far. We talked earlier about travel allowing you to connect to different people and places but the fact is that for those of us who are introverted, it can also be confronting. Books are your window into different time periods, generations, cultures, religions, politics, you name it. If you’re too afraid to go find out about Hinduism from the priest who doesn’t know English in rural India, read about it instead. And then read about it from another perspective and then maybe another one. I’m a big supporter of Nietzsche’s philosophy of perspectivism and encourage you to read as many different accounts of history, religion and politics as you can.

For the times when you’re wanting to step away from ‘me time’ and engage with others in your community or perhaps out of it, we recommend taking a class. We’ve recently joined a Yoga class and a functional training group where the demographic consists of people of all ages and skill levels. More importantly, these groups of people are ones we would unlikely be a part of in a social setting, so this is our chance to get to know them. It doesn’t have to be fitness, it can be art, cooking, sport, books or whatever else suits you and your interests.

Flowing on from our point about stepping out of your comfort zone, why not learn a new language? We have been lucky enough to be raised bi-lingual but there is always room to learn more. Our personal goal is to be at least semi-decent in Spanish. While group classes are great for the reasons mentioned above, you can also try finding a one-on-one tutor who can offer the opportunity of a new friend, allowing you to learn about the language as well as the culture behind it. Why not utilise websites like Gumtree to find a native speaker who may not have the principles of tutoring down pat, but will offer you a much more authentic and organic experience.

Now for our personal favourite – eat! As Aanchal's Instagram would indicate, we are big foodies and incredibly lucky to be living in a multicultural society like Australia where ‘ethnic hubs’ are common. Craving Indian? Harris Park is for you. Italian? Go to Leichhardt. What about Greek? There’s Brighton Le Sands! And about half a dozen more examples. Our mantra for following this step to personal growth is: Eat it, find a recipe and cook it yourself. And why limit it just to the food? Visiting places like these also gives you the opportunity to shatter any of your preconceived notions about the culture. We always assumed that Vietnam was a predominantly meat-eating culture and in fact were shocked when we met a vegetarian of Vietnamese background. However, on our trip to Cabramatta, we soon realised the abundance of all-vegetarian restaurants around.

Another thing to keep in mind when beginning your conquest of learning sans travel is that cultural differences are just one of the many barometers of diversity. Economic disparity, geographic factors, upbringing and access to education all contribute to someone's identity. If you really want to walk in someone else’s shoes, try to meet people who are different to you in as many of these factors as possible. Some ways include signing up for a rural work placement if you’re in university or volunteering at a refuge or support group.

Travel definitely changes us, gives us exposure to the people and places we never knew about but you don’t have to feel left behind if you cannot afford to take a year off work to travel. You don’t have to feel boring or ordinary if you love your job too much to sacrifice a year away. The essence is to push yourself and learn more about the world, open your eyes to other cultures and just be that little bit more compassionate and accepting. We can all live a life less ordinary, we just have to try.

Links à la Mode, April 27th

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  1. I really like this post! It's true, sometimes social media can make you feel like it's a race right, but it's not! <3 Thanks for sharing!

    1. Great to see that other people feel the same ! Sometimes the noise on social media can be too much!

  2. Oh and I agree that not everyone can make travel their top priority and that's okay! Love this post!

    Sheena Gonzales

  3. Great post, " Eat it, find a recipe and cook it yourself" this is my Favourite part, my Mother always says and lives by this. She has this ability to taste something and is then able to recreate it without consulting a recipe.

    1. I don't know how our mums and aunties are able to do that !! I can atmost tell apart the herbs and spices but need google before cooking for sure !!

  4. What a great post! beautiful photos tho
    gros bisous

  5. This is such a great post! It can be hard not to get jealous when everyone seems to be travelling all the time. I think that both reading and learning a new language would be amazing for personal growth

    Rachel xx

  6. I really enjoyed reading this post because it is important to do this in your life and you wrote this perfectly :)

  7. What an incredible post!
    Have a nice weekend,

  8. I love traveling!
    Great post darling!
    Kisses, Paola.

  9. WoW!!! beautifull.
    invite visit:

  10. Thank you for this great read. Yes, most people love to travel but unfortunately may not always have the luxury or the right circumstances to do so. However, instead of missing out one just has to be creative. I travel through food :) I like trying out cuisines from different countries and I do love to read as well. A change in latitude can change your attitude but sometimes staying grounded can do that to :)

    Have a great weekend.


  11. OMG I love these beautiful pictures
    Maggie Dallospedale

  12. wow! so stunning!! :)

    you have such a cool blog! i'm following! I invite you to visit my blog and to follow it too ^^
    TheNotSoGirlyGirl // Instagram // Facebook

  13. I completely agree with all this. Travel is wonderful, but it's just one of many ways in which you can broaden your horizons and your mind. Beautiful photos too! x

    Kate Louise Blogs

  14. Love these "travel tips". I would love to give them a try.

  15. These photos are so beautiful and perfect for this post! Great tips!

  16. You are so right, thanks for this wonderful post!
    Many thanks for your kind comment on my blog. Do you want to follow each other?
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  17. Personally, my personal growth comes from reading the self-improvement book as well! I mean, the authors are even better than my teachers from high school or uni lol

  18. Such a good point that one can grow and experience the world without travel. I think it takes more effort which is harder but worth it!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  19. This is such a lovely post,
    I totaly understand - not everybody can make traveling their top priority.
    lovely Pictures :D

    with love your AMELY ROSE

  20. What a great post on some ways we can get in a little culture without necessarily having to travel abroad to experience it! My personal favorite is to try different kinds of food. It's funny you mentioned Indian because it's one of my personal favorites! Thanks so much for sharing, girl, and I hope you have a great week!



  21. I don't really cook, so I think my journey through personal growth is through art :) And btw, your photos are amazing!

    ❤️ Alyssa // STYLE VANITY // Instagram

  22. I love your photos so much :)

  23. I love travelling myself and these are great ideas. You take gorgeous pictures by the way :)

  24. This is such a great post! I definitely agree that even if you can't travel, doesn't mean you can't enjoy life! I think it is all about your personal experiences!