We travel to see things, places, people and ourselves with new eyes. Travel gives us fresh perspective and deeper gratitude for the world we live in. And we cannot get enough of travel because we fall back in love with life every time we go.
We live to travel. Every day we live is a travel day, even in our normal routines and daily schedules.
Lately I've been training for a marathon. Each morning run is different as I run wherever my feet take me, whether it be north, south, east, or west. I see my neighborhood with new eyes every time I run. My feet take me past houses, parks, schools and shops that I have never seen before.
I see the horses at the nearby ranch. I see the birds soar through the air above me. I see the cows grazing the hills. I see people walking their dogs. I see small groups of elderly people walking around the park.
I pass by other walkers, runners and bicyclists and wave and say, "good morning." Similar to my experiences of traveling in third world countries, I feel the shared connection of smiling, saying "hi," and being aware of others around me.
Toward the end of the runs, I see the sun rise above the hills. Sometimes the sun's glow is muted by a foggy day, sometimes it beams its yellow and orange rays to illuminate the morning sky, and sometimes it rises with shades of red and pink. Every day's sunrise is different.
Running puts me into the world, even if it is the one I live in, to see it with new eyes, each and every day. Every day I run, I become more aware of myself and my place in it. I fall back in love with life again.
"And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it's a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end."
-- Pico Iyer, "Why We Travel"
How do you make every day a travel day?
- Do something out of the ordinary: Walk the kids to school, rather than drive. Ride your bike to work. Cook dinner for your family, rather than going to a restaurant.
- Connect with people outside your social circles: Go to your church's small group meeting. Help out at a food pantry. Invite a stranger over for dinner. Strike up a conversation with your neighbor that you've never talked to.
- Exercise: Walk. Run. Go to pilates or yoga class. Do crossfit. Play basketball. Do something.
- Break bad habits: Don't watch TV or news. Cut out sodas. Don't drink that extra cup of coffee in the afternoon. Stop checking Facebook every hour.
- Set good habits: Go to sleep earlier. Wake up earlier. Eat healthier. Exercise. Meditate. Pray. Use your creativity (writing, drawing, music, etc).
Travel is all about getting out of our comfort zones so we can grow to be better versions of ourselves. Travel is a mindset and a lifestyle.
Fall back in love with your life by getting out of your bubble. Make every day a travel day.
Originally appeared on LiveFamilyTravel.com. Images courtesy of author.
Cliff Hsia is a father who is determined to live a better than normal life by traveling the world, slowly and purposefully, with his wife and two young daughters. He writes about travel, family, love, happiness, faith, and everything else that life throws at him.