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Travel for Personal Development - How a Work Assignment of a Different Kind changed Loraul's Life

How a Work Assignment of a Different Kind Changed my Life!

>> Over the years I noticed travelling had an immensely positive impact on me. Especially solo travel can push us out of our comfort zone and teach us many aspects of our personalities. It highlights our strengths and weaknesses and helps us develop tools to live a richer & more fulfilling life. I knew I wasn’t the only one who reaped the benefits of travelling for personal development.

This guest post series ‘Travel for Personal Development’ introduces you to others who have, in one way or another, travelled for personal development: be it to learn a new language, to mend a broken heart or to overcome an anxiety. Hopefully it will encourage you to travel more yourself and perhaps even help you to overcome barriers. <<

Meet Loraul who experienced a transformative journey when her company sent her on a work assignment of a different kind. She left her home country a timid person and returned with newly found confidence and zest for life that she didn’t have before. Read on to read about her inspirational story!

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How a Work Assignment of a Different Kind Changed my Life!

 

Travel for Personal Development & Growth // How a Work Assignment of a Different Kind changed my Life -- meet Loraul who embarked on a journey of self-discovery and travelled to Amsterdam on a work assignment to prepare her for her job. She did not anticipate what happened next and how life changing this experience would be. Click on the Pin to read more.

Everybody travels in their own unique way; whether it is for business, pleasure, to visit family, personal development, or self-discovery. Everybody has a reason for the path that they are on, even if they do not recognize it yet.

Travel is something that was instilled in me at young age. My family and I never missed an opportunity to go to Disneyland, Hawaii, Europe, or even to visit our cabin or go camping. To say I had an appreciation for it would be an understatement. I took every opportunity in high school to travel, visiting Disneyland with my band class, France with my French class, Egypt as my grad trip, and China as an extra chaperone after graduation.

Travel for Personal Development
About one year after graduating from a Tourism program in college, I sort of fell into a position at a travel agency. This travel agency, based in The Netherlands, is very unique. We are solely for humanitarian, missionary, non-profit and charity travel. It is very challenging sometimes but also very rewarding.

My company has a philosophy that employees need to be their best selves in order to serve our clients in the best way possible and as a result, every new employee is invited to attend an annual “Journey” (self-discovery retreat) in The Netherlands. So here I am, barely settled in the position I am and I am preparing to take my first solo adventure. As well as participating in this retreat, I also planned extra days in London beforehand and in Amsterdam afterwards.

Travel for Personal Development
I am typically not the type of person to show emotion but after a very teary good bye to my parents, I was off on my 10 day European adventure…my first time traveling alone, backpacking, and staying in hostels. Having been to London a few times prior was definitely beneficial. I felt like a pro taking the tube and navigating through the city. It was nice to visit old favorites, visit new places (aka the Harry Potter Studio Tour because I am OBSESSED), but also to just wander with no agenda which is not something I would normally do.

Travel for Personal Development

What came next was the most terrifying, flying to a country I had never been to, meeting people I have never met before, and participating in something called a “Journey” but given no details about what lay ahead. My type A, over-controlling personality, was on high alert.

I don’t think I can give everything away, but in short; we spent 2 very intense days at the most beautiful bed and breakfast farm house near the borders to Germany and France and basically had to address 4 main things: the timeline of your life, your past, where you are currently, where you want to see yourself, and how you will achieve that. It was beautiful to hear everyone’s individual stories.

Travel for Personal Development

It puts your own life into perspective as everyone had different stories to share and everyone has walked through different paths, but here we are all together working towards the same goal. For me, it was a very emotional struggle. I am a very private person and to share my history and my story and to have to physically talk about my journey was absolutely terrifying!

In a very strange way though, after we had completed these very intense 2 days, I felt an overwhelming sense of calm and self-awareness. I didn’t realize how much of a tense and anxious person I was until then. Apparently all it took was flying halfway across the world, going on hikes through the rain and being present in the moment to realize where I was at with myself.

After some very tearful goodbyes, we all parted ways. Most were heading straight home or to the airport, but I was off on my next adventure to Amsterdam for a few days. I began my journey as a very timid and somewhat broken person, and left with a new found confidence and self-worth and in that moment, I was exactly where I was supposed to be!

Travel for Personal Development & Growth // How a Work Assignment of a Different Kind changed my Life -- meet Loraul who embarked on a journey of self-discovery and travelled to Amsterdam on a work assignment to prepare her for her job. She did not anticipate what happened next and how life changing this experience would be. Click on the Pin to read more.

The next few days were some of the best days I have ever spent while traveling. I wasn’t just on a vacation, for the first time I felt like I was traveling with a purpose, and that purpose was for me to embrace life. I went to a pub crawl with 2 girls from my hostel, took myself out for dinner, visited museums, and just wandered the canals and streets with a sense of clarity and passion.

I was very sad to come home and adjust back into a “normal” routine and I think back to that trip often. It definitely shaped the person I am today in this very moment. I made immediate changes in my life: started the travel blog I had been dreaming of starting, got back into my gym routine and have flourished, went back to my dance group with a newly found confidence, starting working to live and not the other way around, and most recently, moved into a new position in my company that I am so much happier in.

Travel for Personal Development

I owe a lot of gratitude to that experience and Amsterdam will always hold a special place in my heart.
Travel is truly for personal growth and self-discovery. Embracing the vulnerability in being in a foreign place, away from the comforts and normality of your regular routine and truly being present and letting your soul be free is truly a remarkable and life changing experience. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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What about you? Have you had a similar experience? Did travel shape you in an unexpected way? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

heart-blueAbout the Author

Loraul is a Canadian and local Vancouverite with a great passion for dance, anything vintage and of course, travel. She blogs over at Suitcase and Stiletto Heels. So far, she has traveled to over 10 countries (hey, it’s a start). But she has crossed a lot of experiences off her bucket list. She hopes to inspire other dreamers like herself to always embrace what you are passionate about and live life to the absolute fullest!

You can connect with Loraul on Facebook and on Instagram.
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Travel for Personal Development & Growth // How a Work Assignment of a Different Kind changed my Life -- meet Loraul who embarked on a journey of self-discovery and travelled to Amsterdam on a work assignment to prepare her for her job. She did not anticipate what happened next and how life changing this experience would be. Click on the Pin to read more.Travel for Personal Development & Growth // How a Work Assignment of a Different Kind changed my Life -- meet Loraul who embarked on a journey of self-discovery and travelled to Amsterdam on a work assignment to prepare her for her job. She did not anticipate what happened next and how life changing this experience would be. Click on the Pin to read more.

14 Comments

  • Sumti Bhadani

    07.05.2016 at 07:08 Reply

    I fully agree with you esp. to the point that travel let you come out of comfort zone. Loved reading it 🙂

  • Lily

    07.05.2016 at 07:42 Reply

    I love how this shows your experience with your first solo travel adventure and that it can be emotional but great. I’m also so jealous of your childhood travels. I never travelled as a kid.

  • Katja

    07.05.2016 at 09:45 Reply

    I think it’s amazing that your company holds these ‘Journeys’ and that employees are required to attend. Your whole trip sounds incredibly transformative and it’s fantastic that it has shaped everything else that’s come…in a good way! Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Amelie Gagne

    07.05.2016 at 14:19 Reply

    Ah, travel! You experienced the same thing I did 12 years ago when I first started traveling on my own. It’s a very addictive feeling and a journey of self discovery 🙂

  • Christina

    07.05.2016 at 15:50 Reply

    What an amazing opportunity you had to discover yourself and travel at the same time! I have found travel has also led to a lot of self-discovery and it hasn’t stopped eventhough I have been to over 30 countries.

  • Tamara Elliott

    07.05.2016 at 22:54 Reply

    Wow, sounds like a very transformative experience- how wonderful that you were able to find work with a company that cares so much about its employees and the world around us!

  • Rea

    08.05.2016 at 06:03 Reply

    Travelling is the best way to learn about life and about yourself. This is a really nice and encouraging story, and I love it because it reminds me of my own: when I was 20, I left my home to go studying to Spain for four months. The four months turned into 6 years, and it’s been the most life-changing experience for me.

  • Mar

    08.05.2016 at 08:09 Reply

    What a great corporate retreat much better than the alcohol filled offsides of most

  • Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

    08.05.2016 at 09:01 Reply

    Kudos to an employer who actually recognizes the benefit of having employees feeling good about themselves! Gradually more places of work are doing things like encouraging travel, flexible time, and even more sleep. They make the ones who aren’t stand out more and more. It sounds like your first solo travel experience was a success! Bravo!
    Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie recently posted…6 Ways to Earn IHG Points and Benefit from their Rewards ProgramMy Profile

  • melody pittman

    08.05.2016 at 09:38 Reply

    What a wonderful story. Just goes to show that there is always so much more than meets the eye. I have friends who have no desire to do anything, just their every day mundane routines, and they are miserable but yet too afraid to step out on faith and see what awaits them. They do not know themselves. Congratulations and best wishes for a wonderful “happily ever after”

  • Rosemary

    08.05.2016 at 18:57 Reply

    What a great story and thanks for sharing your journey. You are right, travel does put us out of our comfort zone and stretch us in ways that we would not imagine. Love your new found confidence…it doesn’t matter that it took you a trip across the world to find it, what matters is that you did! Happy travels!
    Rosemary recently posted…10 Popular Argentinian Street Food To Feast OnMy Profile

  • Laura Lynch

    09.05.2016 at 10:50 Reply

    I think you touched on the best reason for solo travel – that you have no agenda and can just do whatever you want at anytime. You don’t have to worry about pleasing others and you can just be yourself. The retreat sounds really cool. That’s an awesome company you work for.

  • Nisha

    10.05.2016 at 15:44 Reply

    What a wonderful opportunity you got to discover yourself and travel at the same time! Two birds with one stone? 🙂 It goes very well with my tagline also.
    🙂

  • shiv

    13.05.2016 at 17:53 Reply

    Who doesnt want to take up an opportunity like that! great job!

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