Four steps on your journey to learn and grow through travel

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

We are never prepared enough however four steps could prevent the outcome and  travel could become a journey to learn and grow

“People are usually afraid of change because they fear the unknown. But the single greatest constant of history is that everything changes.” (Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus, page 78) “

(Photo : Andrew.Banzon.production)

The experience begins when pops up the idea of planning a trip in your mind and doesn’t finish until you come back into a daily routine, in a place called “home”. Sometimes without realizing it or not, the adventure can change you. 

At contrario to what we might think, making the choice to take the path toward international travelling through expatriation, working abroad, a middle term - long term travel, Working Holiday Visa or being an International student is not always easy. The context of the departure, your personal intentions, the reasons behind the choice to move out of your comfort zone and the preparation attached to it will have its influences. Travelers can underestimate the power of those experiences minimising its preparation, its challenges and its impacts on themselves as much as their surroundings. Often the realisation happens in the destination itself or when you go back “home”.

We are never prepared enough however four steps could prevent the outcome and  travel could become a journey to learn and grow

It can be a challenge to prepare a departure facing the uncertainty of what you are going to discover. Depending on your mindset, character and the context of your departure but the first time it is quite rare to be prepared enough for those kind of travels. We don’t anticipate the impacts of those movements on ourselves and minimise the effects when we have to go back “home”, facing the previous daily routine. So, what strategy to adopt  to be prepared to face this challenge and go back smoothly in our daily routine ? 

After few personal attempts, research and conversations I identified four major steps that can be a key to get the most of your adventure :





For now, I am going to quickly explain each step. If you click on this link, you can also access to two questionnaires pre and post travel that will help you to make the most of your travels.  

STEP 1 - REFLECT (Initial mindset).  

Reflecting on the context, the real reasons pushing you to have a change. Take a paper or go for a walk and ask yourself : What do I have today? Why do you want to leave ? What is the purpose of this travel ? What are the intention(s), the reason(s)of this action? Where do you want to go? Why? Why do you travel? Is it to escape from a situation or is it to live my life fully ? Be honest with yourself. In another article, I will explain why this step is one of the most important. For now, you can use some tools that do exist to help this process such as an initial self-awareness map using a personality test

Click here to consult the FREE sample of the questionnaire that will help you to make the most of your travels  


How to organise myself strategically to make this adventure a once in a lifetime experience? Don’t make assumptions, do some research. Be the project manager of your own life. Organise yourself by putting an action plan in place, including for example a timeline, a travel savings account, the length of your experience, the accommodation, the rules and cultures in the destination, etc. Don’t hesitate to talk to people who travelled or live where you want to go to get the tips and tricks. You can even ask some guidance from a professional travel mentor or a travel coach. 


Off you go ! Immersing yourself in a new culture as its challenges and even more if they don’t speak the same language. Be patient and persistent. The first weeks everything is new and can be overwhelming. Sometimes, even if you are really prepared the journey, the cultural shock can occur. Speaking another language, adapt to a new way to live and work, develop a real network, making friends is not that easy. 


Time to reflect again with a post travel mindset. Three choices will appear after you reach your goal. Again, evaluate your situation, the context, your evolution.  

Choice A : Do you want to carry on traveling ? Why? Do you escape a situation or avoid a problem or do I have a real project to learn and grow ? 

Choice B : Do I want to live here in this destination, keep or create a new routine and call it “home”? or do I want to live this travel lifestyle ? 

Choice C : Do I go back “home”, to my initial point of departure ? What did I learn from this journey ? How is it going to change the context before ? How can I keep this travel “spark” there ? What do I do with those memories and experiences ? Coming back home is exciting as you look forward to see the one you love, your family and friends. You might find your comfort zone again, what you know. You are going to eat that meal that you missed that much. However, like some of us, after a little while you might miss this spark found in your experiences, realised that nothing changed except you. You might start to feel a gap between who you became and your surroundings. The urge to buy another plane ticket my occur but ask yourself why? What is the reason this time? Go back to the four steps again. It is why it is important to anticipate this situation or at least to be aware it can happen. Unfortunately sometimes you need to live the process to understand and learn from it but knows that you are not alone to feel that way. Some of us lived this situation, this dilemma. You are not “weird”. Don’t be ashamed to contact one of us. Let us guide you to get that spark into your life.


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