Personal Growth Through Travel
Some people travel to relax from the grind of everyday life while others do it to open up their souls and allow all of the things around them to infiltrate and change them from the inside out.
Personal change is not that easy in every-day-life because if you were to take the weekend to make changes to your personality when you’d come back your friends, colleagues and family would probably all be asking you what’s wrong with you. Our social circles are like a self-policing system to slow and sometimes halt individual change. Our day-to-day environment doesn’t like it when we change lanes, it expects to remain stable like a rung in a ladder—even under the pretext of growth.
The opposite is true when we travel. When you arrive at your new destination not a single person is expecting you to be anything other than whatever you are that day. There is no reference for your personality and you have no history tagged along — bad or good. Our reputation is something we imagine to be in our wake, but in reality it's a vestment of the past that we chose to wear every day like an ugly sweater.
Traveling allows us to be light. What you were last week doesn't matter to the new place you are in because it's welcoming you as you really truly are right now and that freedom is both liberating and scary. From the moment you land at the airport all your reactions are optional and only you are the judge of whichever masks or old habits you want to hold up. Traveling allows us to be closer to the version of us that really wants to come out. We can hide things from the people around us, but not from ourselves.
Costa Rica is a very magical place that opens up people's souls. A few days here will awaken things that were perhaps dormant inside you for a very long time, maybe even your whole life.
On a Dreamcatchers trip there are several places on the journey where big self-realizations can happen;
- Outdoor nature activities like rafting, diving or surfing pump a lot of adrenaline into the system and they serve as a natural reminder of the intensity of life. A side effect is that they internally remind us of how long it's been since we've felt this alive. After all, when we go on vacation, are we there because we want to escape our regular life, or because we want to feel what it would feel like to live our ultimate life all the time? It's the difference between a break and entering an alternate reality.
- The majestic beauty of Costa Rica is like a generator of positive radiation. Your first sunset here is like witnessing a miracle, the fire and colors are unlike any sunset I've ever seen. It's impossible to not let the beauty touch you deep inside and loosen things up.
- Taking someone that lives in a big city and throwing them into nature is a massive shift in consciousness. The lush and vibrant sounds of nature are very powerful in Costa Rica and can have very significant effects on people. Waking up in the middle of the rainforest to a concerto of birds, animals and insects quickly makes the body relax. It's like going in an intense sound healing journey, even as I write this I can hear the many birds singing and telling me everything is going to be ok.
- The friendliness of the people of Costa Rica is always something that shocks first-time visitors, who are not used to being so open with strangers. Love is not in scarcity here and the warmth that people give out freely and the happiness they display always short-circuits guests who find it interesting to encounter people that have so much less than them, but who appear to be filled with incredibly joy.
- On a blind trip with The Dreamcatchers you don't need to think about anything. Food, drinks, lodging, adventures, rest, transportation, tips and logistics, are all taken care for you by us. Not having to think about anything for several days open up a great deal of space in your mind and soul. This space is where the seeds of change germinate. When you have everything you might need, it's easier to spot any holes in your life. A perfect day at the beach is many times, the perfect eureka time for big changes you realize you need to do in your life for the simple reason that you want to be able to have a more fulfilling life. A big decision like leaving a job you don't like, moving cities or perhaps leaving a romantic partnership that doesn't work is a much easier decision when you are immersed in happiness and beauty.
Personal growth through travel happens when you allow the travel to change you. To do so, it's important to go into the journey with an open heart, being aware that the person that came to Costa Rica might not be the same one that gets on the airplane on the way back. Finding things about ourselves is about seeing blind spots where we thought we didn't have any. It can be scary to be faced with truths about ourselves that (ironically) we are trying to hide from ourselves.
Traveling is good medicine for the soul and it is impossible to take people on a journey like this without being affected by it myself. I've felt a great deal of emotions taking guests on these wonderful journeys. There still hasn't been a trip where I don't cry, not of sadness, but of happiness and emotional purge. The beauty of each trip can be overwhelming and the conversations we share are very deep and intimate. Sharing is an opportunity to open up and exchange life lessons and I welcome it.