When traveling the world, learning about different cultures, learning about oneself, and pushing limits every day, AH HA! moments are likely to occur. After one month of group travel, it was time for our team to reflect on what we had accomplished during stage 1 of the Expedition Leader Program. A life changing experience of this scale has made all of us come to a few realizations in the first 4 weeks, thus Keri and Jess, our Pure Exploration Program Leaders, asked that we attempt to put these realizations into words. We were tasked with finding at least one moment that either reaffirmed our thoughts on something or got us to completely rethink our perspective on a topic.
After a few days of traveling, giving us lots of time to ponder, we came together at our hostel, Red Lantern House in Beijing, to discuss our thoughts. Quite beautifully, everyone’s AH HA! moments were distinct, well thought out, optimistic and insightful on how the trip has allowed them to understand the world and themselves better.
- Outgrowing people, jobs, places and situations is okay. You should not feel any shame or guilt for leaving toxicity, old patterns, or boredom behind to pursue your own journey to happiness.
- Humans are all connected no matter how drastic the disconnect might seem at first glance. Manners, values, connections, relationships, traditions, songs, history, rituals, and so much more. Similarities can be found cross-cultures in almost every aspect of human life once an effort to understand our differences is made.
- Setting boundaries and expectations for other people is crucial to your well-being and happiness. Learning to say no and taking care of yourself first will help you maintain a sustainable lifestyle.
- Sometimes we need to get out of our comfort zone and leave home to appreciate the life, things and people we have known for years.
- Give yourself the time to think of the moments when you felt most happy in life, and chase that feeling. We have so little time in this world. Focus your energy and attention on these special moments.
- The mind is a powerful thing. In fact, much more powerful than we often believe it to be. When faced with a seemingly impossible challenge, focus your energy on your mental state and allow yourself to accept and push through it. You’ll achieve so much more than you believed yourself to be capable of.
- Traveling allows you to find out whether stability or change is most important to you. The instability and freedom that comes along with the sort of journey we are experiencing whilst on the Expedition Leader Program can help you reflect on what your comfort zone is and what sort of lifestyle you are hoping to have post-travels.
- Being true to your word shows consistency, accountability and growth. Not only does it allow you to build trust with the people around you, but you will also cultivate a better relationship with yourself.
- There is an abundance of kind people in the world. Traveling in countries where you don’t speak the language or have a mild understanding of the culture can sometimes be a challenge, but seeing strangers helping each other, taking care of one another, and being surrounded by a supportive team gives you a strong sense of hope and optimism for the future of humankind.
- Mindset is everything. Continuous longing for a bigger and better life takes away from our ability to appreciate the life we have now. Circumstances are always changing and focusing our attention on those which we believe to be negative will only drag us down and inhibit our ability to see the bright side of things.
To think that we are only one third of the way into our travels and have already come to these realizations almost feels overwhelming. Three months of learning experiences will teach anyone plenty about the world and themselves. We are thankful for the opportunity we have been given, continuously searching for new ways to learn, looking at the future with hopeful eyes, and hoping we can share these AH HA! moments with anyone who crosses our paths.
Chloe is one of eight participants currently on our Expedition Leader Program, which is a Pure Exploration comprehensive overland program designed for those looking to gain experience in leading International Expeditions or are simply looking to grow as individuals, furthering their own self development journey. The program is currently located in Thailand as they come to an end of their second month and are about to fly to Nepal for their final leg of the Expedition Leader Program. If you’d like to find out more information you can contact our team directly here.