Someone wise once told me that the quickest route to self-discovery is to surround yourself with the unknown. The monotony and formulated routine of daily activities – work, eat, sleep – may leave you with a sense of security, but can quickly become lead to personal discontentment.
The ultimate fuel for this ‘unknown’ is travel. It pressures you to make decisions (on bigger issues than which filter to use on Instagram), encourages problem solving skills (how to get by with no foreign money and one change of underwear) and gives you an unrivalled self-satisfaction when you make it through unscathed. Before sampling the ultimate food for the soul, I have created some tips to guide you through the global degustation.
An entrée of enrichment
Visiting another country and failing to venture outside the confines of a resort is like being serenaded with the most beautiful song in the world – without removing your earplugs. Take time to meet locals, their stories are more insightful than any information you can get from a guide book. Study their philosophies, religions and history, and use your learning to make positive changes to the way you think and act.
Food is a great way to connect and many of the most fascinating conversations are had over a meal. Appreciate the flavours of the country and share your fare with others generously and often. Most often you will find that through all the diversity and differences in appearance and lifestyle, there are so many common threads that tie you together.
Me-time for the main
Travel is about relaxation and reconnection, so wherever you go, make sure to leave time to explore the natural surroundings. Embark on a long hike through the jungles, surf the beaches and take a moment to appreciate the small things – the different silhouettes, brilliant colours of the sunrise, the softness of the sand particles on your feet. Push your body physically and test your personal limits with challenging activities before nourishing yourself with fresh local produce.
Something sweet to finish
You are coming towards the end of the adventure and feel like you have had a pretty thorough experience. You’ve met new life-long friends, walked tracks and trails you never thought your body could handle and sampled strange, exotic foods. Your destination offered you pieces of their culture and heritage to you, but have you offered anything in return?
One of the most rewarding aspects of travel is giving back, whether it be in the form of volunteering at a local orphanage, providing labour to build a house or blessing a family with financial aid, as Gandhi wisely stated – The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
As you prepare to return home, remember to self-reflect on the journey you have made. Use a journal to take notes and think about the ways you can implement the lessons you learnt into your everyday life. Appreciate the inner-peace and happiness you have found and whenever you find yourself falling back into the pressures of society, use calming techniques such as yoga and meditation as tools to bring back the perspective you gained from your travels.
– Naomi Ashcroft
Naomi is founder of Salt Retreats, a new all-inclusive tropical sanctuary that combines the untouched beaches and vibrant culture of Indonesia’s Brewa Beach with gourmet, organic meals, daily yoga, surfing, spa treatments and luxury sunset yacht trips.
Find out more at www.saltretreats.com