Travel far enough to meet yourself

In that moment, I felt I had no history, no reputation, no expectation, and no obligation to be who I had been yesterday.

travelfarenough

 

For me, “far enough” was Australia.

The year was 1996. I was 20 years old and on a 16 hour flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia, when, in an instant, I was moved to tears by the realization – and the profound freedom – that NO ONE, in the entire country that I was on my way to, to live in for the next 6 months, had any preconceived notion of who I was.

Forty thousand feet in the air, this was a time-stopping awareness for me.

And seeing as the woman seated next to me on the plane ALSO had no preconceived notion of who I was, I didn’t hold back. I allowed myself to feel it. Tears of relief streamed down my face in tandem with the release and the profound opening that was happening in my chest.  Sitting on that airplane, I processed a sudden and life-altering realization of a new kind of freedom.

It was a freedom that had only come from traveling far enough to meet myself.

In that moment, I felt I had no history, no reputation, no expectation, and no obligation to be who I had been yesterday.

I was just me. On a plane. Luggage in tow. Enroute to a new land, for a 6 month journey.

I grew up in a really small New England town where everyone knew everyone. Every trip I went on up to that point, was with people I knew. Some high school classmates went to the same college I did. Not bad things, but it’s important to understand that up until this singular moment on the plane, I had never known the experience of not being known.

I had never known the experience of others not having any preconceived expectations about who I am.  I suddenly had – and was – a blank slate. I could be just me – whoever that was.

Me, with no one to please, and no pre-conceived notions or expectations influencing me.

IT WAS SO PROFOUNDLY FREEING!

christmasI wiped my tears and smiled at the lady in the seat next to me.

Little did I know, she would end up hosting me, opening her home along with her family of five, for a full week during a visit I’d make to Brisbane that December. She even asked me to stay for Christmas, insisting that I should be with a family. I was touched, but I declined, having made plans to meet my “framily” of other international students who’d agreed to meet on Bondi Beach in Sydney for Christmas (think: Christmas in a bathing suit, with a santa hat).  🙂

All this to say ….

If you want to get closer to the truth of yourself: travel.

And travel plus coaching is a truly life-altering combination!

It really can’t be understated: the power of receiving coaching while on an international travel journey is the ULTIMATE opportunity to grow and to meet yourself: as an individual, as a citizen of the world and, in this case, as a leader. It’s this combination that makes the Nomadic Leaders program so incredibly unique:  Travel is integrated into coaching.  And coaching is integrated into travel.

You can only have this level, and this kind, of personal development and leadership education, while you travel.

Add that you’ll also be amongst a community of some of the most extraordinary people you’ll ever meet – individuals who, like you, are also committed to this awesome and expansive growth journey … and the possibilities are truly boundless.

So, here’s a question to seriously consider:  Who do you think YOU would be, if no one knew who you were?

12 thoughts on “Travel far enough to meet yourself

  • October 23, 2016 at 7:21 pm
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    This is gorgeous expression! If only scholarships were available.

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    • October 24, 2016 at 1:29 am
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      While, to date, pricing for the Nomadic Leaders program hasn’t been set, we 100% believe that when there’s a will there’s a way. Set the intention now and perhaps a scholarship won’t be necessary.

      That said, keep in mind too that if you are a business owner, the program investment could serve as a welcomed business expense. And for the stand-out employee, we personally think that a wise employer would happily agree to subsidize program costs for their best employees, nurturing their leadership skills and potentials.

      Reply
  • November 2, 2016 at 3:08 pm
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    I was 19 when I hopped on that plane that took me from Boston to San Antonio. I didn’t go as far as you but the feeling was just the same. I joined the Air Force and I was on my way to Basic Training. Nobody knew me. Nobody knew who I was the day before I got on the plane. Best thing I ever did to grow and learn and become me was leave my small town. That was in 1983. Today, I live in small town NH, I’m 53 and I know from my experience at 19 (and then traveling the world) that I can be me…anywhere and everywhere I go. Next stop: Key West for the first 56 days of 2017!

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    • November 3, 2016 at 3:50 pm
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      Awesome, Peggy. Thank you so much for being you and for sharing this slice of your personal journey here. 🙂

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  • November 2, 2016 at 5:32 pm
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    Beautiful post. I adore the title. I truly appreciate the bliss and adventure of being in a new place with new expectations – that helps us bring out new and maybe hitherto undeveloped parts of ourselves. And it’s so much fun. Nonetheless, I believe that being ever more true to our authentic selves is a journey we are all on, whether we travel or stay at home. Both types of travel take courage, of different sorts.

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    • November 2, 2016 at 9:42 pm
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      A very insightful comment, Reba! Whether you meant to or not, I think you’ve raised a super interesting point about “new expectations” (vs. no expectations) and how *changes* in expectations can bring to light parts of oneself that were previously hidden, buried, or underdeveloped. Thank you!

      Also, kindred one, I adore your statement: “I believe that being ever more true to our authentic selves is a journey we are all on, whether we travel or stay at home. Both types of travel take courage, of different sorts.” Indeed they do, and both are nomadic in their own right … at least by how we here at ‘Nomadic Leaders’ define the word. For more on this thought-provoking topic, I invite you to journey on over to another page of our blog for a post entitled: “[nō-ˈma-dik] What does it mean to YOU?” –> Here’s the direct link: http://nomadicleaders.com/no-ˈma-dik/

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  • November 2, 2016 at 6:34 pm
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    I once had a similar experience when I picked up and moved to an area where almost no one knew me. I think we all wonder what it would be like to go somewhere we’ve never been, and where no one knows us, and feel the freedom that living with no masks, titles or expectations affords us. it makes you think about what is wrong with your life the way it is that the idea of running away where no one knows you seems like a dream come true. Maybe we need to go more deeply within to the place where we need to know ourselves before we feel the need to go somewhere else.

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    • November 2, 2016 at 9:17 pm
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      I so appreciate your comment, Barb. You’ve really captured how truly universal it is to wonder about, and long to feel, “the freedom that living with no masks, titles or expectations affords us.” In the spirit of further clarifying my message, I’ll share that to me it’s really not about what’s right or wrong, or about running away — but rather, about willingly and bravely running (or even, at times, crawling) towards new possibilities, freedoms, and adventure. Travel can be a powerful catalyst for new and unexpected discoveries and understanding to be revealed, both about the world and about oneself. When free of the expectations of others, we are presented with a unique choice: which of our own expectations to hold onto, and which ones to bid farewell. 🙂 Thanks again for your interesting and provocative comment.

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  • November 3, 2016 at 11:59 am
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    Thank you Tara for this beautiful post. My heart is singing as I love travel and have done it alone in order to connect within on a deeper level. I remember the feeling of freedom and also fear, although I did not travel as great a distance or time that you have. It was a gift I gave to myself and would do it again when my soul calls me to.

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  • January 31, 2017 at 7:28 pm
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    Thank you Tara — for this amazing sharing & experience created from the adventure.

    As I reflected on my upcoming trip to San Diego, alone & to a place I have never been to before — I am so excited to view from the opportunity of this woman showing up where no one has any idea who I am !!!!
    Anything is possible !!! Also a huge awareness — while I thought it was the first time travelling alone — surprise it is not !!!

    I do remember, travelling alone –several years ago — to Peru on a spiritual journey, meeting 100 people I did not know, from around the world — for a 3 week adventure, learnings & many awesome experiences — I now can see this opportunity offered the space to be ME — as no one at all knew this woman from Canada – – and was truly the beginning of slowly uncovering who I really was beneath the shell of the mask I had safely hidden behind – I have never to this day thought of it as the gift it was — Freedom to begin to discover myself!
    That was my real beginning — the story was waiting to have more adventures added to the pages !!!!!!!!

    Anything is possible —

    Reply

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