— Am I the Only One?

What traveling taught me after I got laid off

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There’s something about traveling that’s so much more than packing, planes, cars, and hotels. It’s a chance to experience something new and step outside of the comfort of your own home. For me, traveling became the escape I used to help process the roller coaster of emotions that come with being laid off from a job.

Starting over has a way of prompting a mixture of unease and excitement as you step into the unknown. Getting laid off was something I had never experienced before; so going through the emotions was initially a challenge for me.

Anyone who has ever been in a similar position can easily relate to the feeling of being lost. Questions cross your mind such as “what should I do next?” or “what’s the best move to make?” I certainly wasn’t sure which way to go after surviving the initial shock of being let go.

After facing much frustration from the lay off and tackling a tough job market, traveling turned out to be the perfect distraction I needed to take a break from it all. Going to visit a new place gave me the ability to have a fresh start – even if it was only going to be for a few days at a time.

I had always been in love with traveling for as long as I could remember. It made me step outside of my comfort zone and pushed me to new limits. Travel offered a change of pace from everyday life and the chance to experience something you sometimes only dreamed of.

Many people have given me the advice to travel while you’re still young because you won’t always get the chance once you get older. As life happens new responsibilities fall into place often times making it difficult to just pack your bags and take off spontaneously.

I decided to utilize this advice and take advantage of the free time I had available while I still could. As I started traveling to a series of new destinations with family and friends, I had no idea what to expect or what I would take away in the end. From New York to New Orleans and Portland to San Diego, each place held the promise of something new and exciting.

Soaking up the local sights and sounds helped clear my head of the frustration I was carrying at the time. As cliché as it might sound, surrounding yourself with a new environment is sometimes one of the best ways to discover a fresh perspective.

I was able to grow closer with the family and friends who became my travel companions. Together we tried new foods, experienced different cultures, met new friends, and explored places I had on my bucket list for years. Traveling sparked a new sense of inspiration in me as I contemplated where I wanted my life to go next. I chose to no longer hold on to the past disappointment I felt and was more than ready to embrace the next opportunity on the horizon.

Looking back on my experiences thus far, I honestly never could have predicted how positively travel would influence my life. I’m truly thankful for all the lessons I’ve learned along the way and look forward to what’s to come in the future.

Whether you’re going on an international excursion or taking a simple day trip, traveling is like a classroom without walls. There is no syllabus or agenda to help you prepare for the infinite amount of lessons you have the potential to take away with you. If you have the time and means to travel, I urge you to not miss out on something that is most likely going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. The question is: where will you go next?

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