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The Psychology Of The Destination


If we are lucky enough to travel beyond the borders of our every day life, do we ever actually pause to think about the qualities of our destination?

Each place we travel to has virtues that we are looking for that we think are lacking in our own lives - some places help us think about how lucky we are to have won the lottery of life, other's might help us confront our anxiety or shyness. In my recent travels, I think the destination maybe offered me some much needed peace and serenity.⠀⠀

No matter what we seek in our destinations, we believe that these qualities are actually buried deep inside us... our journey then is in two parts - the first to find the place, the second to recover the qualities we ascribe to it that are inherently within us all along. Dorothy's journey all the way to the Emerald City ended in her realization she had everything she needed: ⠀⠀

“Everything you were looking for was right there with you all along.”

Traveling can be a transformative experience. For many, it’s an escape from the mundane, a break from daily routine, and a chance to explore new horizons. But have you ever paused in your packing, in the midst of your itinerary planning, to consider what truly draws you to your chosen destination?

When we decide to journey beyond the familiar surroundings of our everyday life, there’s usually an inner pull, an unspoken reason that guides our choices. This could be the allure of pristine beaches, the magic of ancient ruins, or even the simple desire to taste authentic dishes. But these surface attractions often mask deeper psychological motivations.

Each place we opt to visit reflects a quality or an experience we believe is missing from our lives. Some destinations allow us to bask in the appreciation of life’s good fortunes, letting us understand the profound truth of how privileged we are. Others might push us outside our comfort zones, challenging our anxieties, insecurities, and shyness. These places serve as mirrors, reflecting the parts of ourselves that are waiting to be acknowledged, embraced, or even transformed.⠀

On the one hand, we seek external places to find solace, adventure, or healing. Yet, the transformative power of travel lies in its ability to turn our gaze inward. Each journey becomes a dual quest: first, to explore the physical location and second, to unearth and reclaim those qualities, emotions, or experiences we feel are lacking.

This sentiment is beautifully encapsulated in L. Frank Baum's "The Wizard of Oz." Dorothy's odyssey to the Emerald City, filled with challenges, friendships, and revelations, eventually leads her to understand a profound truth. Her adventures in Oz were not about finding external solutions but about recognizing that she had everything she needed within her. As Glinda, the Good Witch, told her, “Everything you were looking for was right there with you all along."

In essence, the real magic of travel is not just about the miles covered or the sights seen. It’s about the introspective journey that takes place within us. As we navigate new terrains, cultures, and experiences, we're also charting the intricate landscapes of our minds and souls.

So, the next time you feel the pull of a distant land, remember: the destination is as much about understanding the world outside as it is about deciphering the world within. And perhaps, at the end of your travels, you’ll come to realize that the qualities you sought in far-off places were nestled within you all along. Safe travels, both outward and inward!⠀

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