Changed by Travel, IRL

by Editor
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Getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing something new is the best way to change the way you feel.

Wellness travel company Pravassa recently ran an Instagram campaign called #ChangedByTravel that asked visitors to explain how travel had changed them. Here are some of our favourite responses!

The trip that brought me the most personal transformation…without a doubt, #costarica w/ @pravassa. The trip coincided with a tremendous milestone in my life. I arrived feeling broken; I left feeling grounded, light, accomplished, optimistic, and, above all, loved. The people, the surroundings, the food, the #yoga, and, yes, the #surfing nourished my soul and forever #changed my view of myself and my place in the world.

Showing the folks a piece of the world. I always claim I’m independent and I did this all on my own, but in all actuality…. there is no way I could have done this without their love and support. Love you momma and daddy

In every new city, I try to find a high point in the area to climb and make a short easy workout of it, then by the end I have the benefit of an amazing view, like this one from the bell tower in Florence. Two birds, one stone!

Every trip is a portal to a new world of culture + friends. One of my fav things to do is sit at a cafe, church, square or park + just watch folks carry out their lives. I have colourful memories from these Havana streets of musicians + chess players + school kids walking home; it seems so many places have these memories sealed in my heart: the quiet moments before 7 am when shop keepers prepare for opening or fishermen bring in their daily catch…then again at 4 pm when school kids walk home together. Every culture has its own rhythm, its own routine + yet there’s a similarity weaved in there that’s so special. Nothing I love more than witnessing these everyday moments of humanity + culture.

I change with each trip I take, but one that was significant for me was my solo New Year’s Eve trip to Barcelona. I didn’t intend to go alone, but it wound up being exactly what my soul needed. I got to spend quality time with myself and even though the streets were crowded with strangers celebrating the holidays, I never once felt lonely.

This photo is significant to me because it was my very first time traveling to the other side of the world alone to live for 6 months. I took this photo in 2002 at Piha Beach in New Zealand within hours of arriving into the country. This was right before the rain started pouring like I’d never experienced before and my new friend, Haley, decided would be the most perfect time to paddle out for a surf. I think back to that time and laugh at how jetlag never held me back, excuses didn’t occur to me, everything was all so new and exciting and I was constantly running on pure adrenaline. I also laugh at the fact of how out of my comfort zone I was at that time and how much I’ve changed since. This moment here was pivotal for me because it was the first time I truly jumped out of my comfort zone in not knowing anyone, but also knowing that I wasn’t alone. Myself, my surfboard and my big backpack travelled all around the north island meeting new and interesting people, eating different and delicious foods and learning how to go with the flow despite the differences between the ways I was raised and the ways other people did things. After this trip to New Zealand, I went to Australia for half of a year….then Western Samoa…and the list goes on from there. My eyes were opened to a whole new world of adventure and life…and in my own way living life I believe it is meant to be lived….real and raw…constantly being stretched, constantly growing and learning how to both give and receive. This trip forever changed me.

When I left Ottawa to relocate to Australia, I decided to live in Western Canada for a few months first. I knew I wanted to see more of my own country before flying to the other side of the world for an indefinite length of time. This was the first time I had spent more than a week or two in one place besides my hometown of Ottawa and the first step of a grand adventure that took me to many different countries. The intentional space I created for myself when I made the move allowed me to change my life in so many ways. I learned how to take care of my body, mind and soul. My awareness increased on so many levels. I reconnected with my aunts and cousins and made some other great friends. I also soaked up the breathtaking beauty of the very different landscape out west, and for the first time really felt like I was living day-to-day as a part of nature and in the flow of life. It was hard not to feel that way with these mountains always in the distance.

The trip to Cairns, Australia was a personal transformation, my friend and I separated and I went off on my own in a different country for the first time. I always thought I would have a horrible time going solo while traveling but I actually had an amazing time! I met new people, and I was ok that I was off on my own! It was so new to me and I was enjoying it! It transformed me by letting me know it’s ok to be alone. I’ve always been scared being alone but after the experience I have a new outlook on traveling alone.

Choose awareness, for crossing the threshold of fear is the journey of spiritual evolution. My dear, what awaits on the other side is the innate flow of happiness that lives within moment-to-moment.

Pravassa is a Sanskrit word that means a journey or dwelling abroad. It’s the perfect name for a company that was created to provide easy, one-stop travel for people looking to create space, break habits and have a unique and renewing travel experience. To be truly changed by travel.

Pravassa has been at the forefront of the wellness travel movement since 2009, offering complete life experiences to address whole-body wellbeing. Check out Pravassa on Instagram #changedbytravel to see all the amazing photos travellers shared!

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