Travel with a conscience ? How to find your purpose on the road.
7 years ago, all I could think was “What am I going to do with my life?”
One thing was for sure : I wanted to travel.
So I did that. I left.
I explored the world, aimlessly, for four life-changing years.
Aimless travel led me to wonderful adventures of discovery. Wandering around was an opportunity to take insight, rest my brain and let myself be surprised by the unknown. I had no schedule, I let myself be guided by the thread of my own fantasies. The experience was perpetually renewed, but it never looked the same.
And then I came back.
And my gut whispered one deeper question that roaming around could never answer for me : now that you know everything is possible, what kind of life will you CHOOSE for yourself ? What if finding your purpose could take you somewhere you’ve never been before? You see, there’s a big difference between not having a schedule and not having a purpose. One gives you freedom, but the other one leaves you restless.
And oh, was I restless.
I was so excited about life, I wanted everything. I wanted a lifestyle built around traveling, in which I could be my own boss and work/live from anywhere, but also in which I could really improve the life of others, make a difference, have an impact.
I didn’t want to feel trapped in an office, with a purposeless job; but I also didn’t want to live the “travel forever” dream without giving back and building meaningful connections.
I wanted to do things differently.
After all, there is only one life to live and it is your job to make it as awesome and meaningful as possible.
Then 2 years ago, I asked myself: How will I go about being the change I think I and the world deserve?
I found out that I would join the tribe of dreamers, wanderers, nomads, lovers, changemakers and seekers whose purpose is to help others and change the world, by traveling. I found out having a positive impact around me was all that really matters.
So 6 months ago, at the age of 26, I joined forces with a like-hearted soul to create the Nomad Traveler project, based on the idea that the most relevant aspects of the freedom we are seeking as humans during our journey are creating meaningful connections, finding purpose and having a positive impact on the road.
I needed to strip everything down to the barest of essentials to find out there was only 4 things I truly needed to create the life I craved to live. I found there was only 4 things I really needed to travel anywhere in the world. That those 4 things could take me somewhere I’ve never been before. And if had those 4 things, I would find that the connection I have with myself, others and my destination would suddenly strengthen.
Only insignificant parts of this world is revealed to our consciousness. For most of us, what has neither been seen nor heard simply does not exists. But there is a true magic that lies within the fabric of all that is. Those of us who are fortunate enough to discover it, might grasp how subtle and fragile is the balance that runs this world. I became conscious of the destructive power I hold as a privileged individual, but also of the fact that I can be who ever I want to be, the best version of myself, a true force for good - the catalyst of a better future, not only for myself, but for others too. I found that the world can provide me anything I need, as long as I make it a point to preserve it and give back. The Nomad Traveler project was one way to do just that.
Traveling is a lot more than a unique expedition. It’s not about going far, it’s about bringing closer together our distant cultural horizons. Our life is not our life alone, it is bound to others. I realized, I was not alone on the path of what can be. We’re already connected, but traveling helps to draw maps between souls. It was said that there was no another way, that my battles were my battles alone to fight. But, connecting with deeper values of being tolerant, respectful, and compassionate, was a game changer. It opened new paths. Freedom lies in being bold. I choose to be bold in my love and make a stand for the betterment of the world and the living. I choose to believe we can pull each other out of the dark and into the impossible. We can lean on the hope of what can be, together.
To me, humility is to let go of your struggles and to put yourself miles away from the modern world turmoil to come to terms with nature and diversity. Humility is to allow ourselves to be vulnerable – to knowingly put our lives in the hands of others who we believe will deliver to us, the kind of experience which enriches our lives. And these experiences, they become part of our unique gift, of who we are and what we will be. I believe we all need a good dose of humility to remember that we are like everyone else: a traveler looking for a path, a person with baggage, a random seat number ; but by being so, that unique gift of yours is part of a movement bigger than yourself that holds the power to truly change the world. The truth is, to be a responsible human being in today’s world, we can’t afford to not be humble in our travels anymore.
You need courage to disconnect, to better reconnect with the things that really matter. Our planet. The living. Your values. I needed courage to affirm my difference, to build trust in myself and to gain trust of others. Courage to live out where I feared to live. Courage to choose nothing else, but the destination; but also to make the transition between a life of aimless travels to a life full of purpose and meaning. Courage to truly engage in building links with different local environment and sharing human creative experiences.
I found out that carrying these 4 things in your backpack can push travel to conform not only with your purpose as an individual, both also with responsibility, fair trade and respect of the human and natural environment. It does work. And this can be applied on a large scale basis, starting with you being the change you think you and the world deserve. After all, traveling with the very strict minimum can only help fully appreciate the marvels of your surroundings.
It’s no secret : traveling can cause a lot of problems that should make us rethink how and why we travel. It has the potential to destroy local cultures and local economies. It can also badly hurt the environment, oceans and wildlife. We can’t afford to ignore these downsides anymore. Long term travel can also make you feel lonely and completely disconnected. Yet these reasons shouldn’t make us stop pursuing our dreams to explore the world. At the end of the day, these negatives come down to personal choice, your personal choice. You can travel the world and not do/experience any of these things. It is possible.
That’s where the idea of conscious travel comes into play.
After all, it’s the encounters and the beauty of nature that give life to our journey. If you stand with your fellow world citizens to protect and preserve, wherever you go, you’ll feel at home and find meaning.
What if finding your purpose could take you somewhere you’ve never been before? What if you were one of us – a dreamer, wanderer, nomad, lover, changemaker and seeker – whose purpose is to help others and change the world, by traveling? What if having a positive impact around you was all that really matters?
- Nomad Traveler