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5 Reasons Why You Should Absolutely Go on that Road Trip

5 Reasons Why You Should Absolutely Go on that Road Trip

Have you been feeling tired, over-worked and stressed out about life, love and your career? Maybe you’ve been feeling on the brink of checking yourself into a mental health facility – but you don’t even have the strength to do that! Whether you are fizzling out or not, one thing that is never a bad idea, is a good old dose of what’s called a “Road Trip” – especially with those you deem your closest friends!

Yes, that trip that allows you to escape the mundane of everyday living, and provides you with some much needed R&R (caution: Rest may be limited due to your preferences of having fun). However, by going on a Road Trip you have the opportunity to see more, experience more and appreciate more. In the age of “gadgets-and-gizmos” and where everything from our meals to our hours with family and friends are planned out, this is probably one of the most spontaneous things to do. By going on a Road Trip with friends, especially if they are as crazy as mine, make way for the spunk known as spontaneity!

Neither finances, nor means of getting there is a problem. As the saying goes: “Where there is a will, there is a way.” If you open yourself up to it, you will find creative ways to ensure you have the best time possible, without spending too much money in the process. For once stop allowing your fears and inhibitions to control every aspect of your life and make that decision to go on that road trip and have some fun!

Still need more convincing? Here are 5 reasons why you should absolutely go on that Road Trip:

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1. Opportunity to Let Go

As mentioned above – you have the opportunity to escape all the stressful factors in your life and take a breath of fresh air – and the best of all, you get to that with friends. You have the opportunity to stop the life that is passing you by and you get to actually live it. By not being consumed by hours and deadlines, time will become your friend and no longer your enemy – this is the key to bringing you the healing you might need.

    Photo by Marlè Visagie

    2. Opportunity to See More of Your Country

    Take a beat and realize that you find yourselves in a world that is spectacular in its beauties and wonders. We often get so lost in the problems in our lives, the problems of the world and yes, the problems that often hit a lot harder with the fear of the future for our children, our country. However, if we are constantly looking for the worst in situations, we will find it. Like my Dad said when my music choices (cough-cough, any rock lovers out there?) were being frowned upon: “If you look for the Devil in something, you will find him.”

    If all I do today is leave you with one thought, let it be this: Do not let fear and negativity rule your mind and emotions. This will hold you back in all aspects of life, and truth be told – no one really appreciates the pessimistic person referred to as the “Party-Pooper.” Let us stop overlooking the beauty and the exciting experiences that our own country has to offer us and let us embrace it – arms stretched out and running like the cliché of a love boy and girl through the fields of flowers, eagerly awaiting each other– with an open heart and mind.

    We have too many roads less travelled, oceans not yet seen, forests not yet explored and people not yet met.

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    IMG_6688
      Photo by Marlè Visagie

      Which brings me to my third reason:

      3. Opportunity to Meet New People

      Ah – nothing like the locals of a town to bring a new sense of flavor and adventure into our lives. From showing you the ins and outs of your destination to helping you with new skills like hiking, paddle-boarding, surfing and many more, all of which broaden your horizon and literally turn you into a new person.

      You should also not forget about all the other exotic travellers from within your country, as well as without, that you get to meet. It is in them that you see new places, new cultures and new ways of doing things – which is very important for personal growth and understanding – something we all need a little extra of in the world that we find ourselves in today. These new friends will not only allow you to leave your mark on them, but they will leave their mark on you – making you want to stay longer than what you originally planned.

      95981e482a41cd59302e3b4af830762a
        Photo via Pinterest

        4. Opportunity to Make Some Unforgettable Memories

        One thing you can be certain of is this: you will make memories and you will make lots of them. Whether you opted for something as peaceful and relaxing as a wine-tasting (which in my case would just turn out to be one big party – what can I say, we love our wine) or something a little along the wild side, like a quick skinny dip in the ocean. Whatever it is you decide to do – the memories you make will last you a lifetime, it will carry you through all the ups and downs in life, it will bring a smile to your face once you find yourself back in the mundane of things and it will make you spontaneous in your planning of the next Road Trip. How can there not be a next one?

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        Nothing is too big or too small for this trip – the things you do will end up being the things that bring a warm feeling of fondness to your heart. The best of all – if you have friends like mine, there will absolutely be no judgement, just lots of laughter and opportunities for inside jokes and “remember when you (insert verb).” These memories will also be something you can tell the kids one day – take note, I said one day – some of us will have to wait until they pass the R rated phase and are a little bit older and wiser.

        On a serious note though, these are the moments that count, that color your life in and make you say: “You know what, I am lucky. I have a beautiful life and I get to share it with beautiful people.”

        20150922_155741
          Photo by Marlè Visagie

          This brings me to my fifth reason:

          5. You Receive an Appreciation for Life

          Yes, you get to see new places, meet new people and learn new things. Yes, you get to make memories that will last you a lifetime and you get to make it with the friends of a lifetime – but that is not all: You get to chase the sunrises and sunsets which are a gift of everyday life. Do you remember the last time your mind was shushed by the artful sunrise or sunset of a new place? The last time you could felt a completely uninhibited breath of fresh air fill your lung?

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          Those artworks of Heaven that leave you breathless will give you a new sense of appreciation for all that this life offers and still has to offer. It will quiet you down and show you what really matters in this world – giving you a new sense of direction, a new vibrant vision and a passionately heart-pounding purpose.

          Just Breathe it in
            Photo by Bianca Gouws

            This is the playlist of your life – one with no stops, no pauses, no rewinds and no fast-forwards (no matter how much it often feels like it has) – we ought to ensure it is an epic one!

            Featured photo credit: tripoto via tripoto.com

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            Bianca Gouws

            Freelance Writer, Director and Actress

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            Last Updated on May 21, 2019

            How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

            How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

            For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

            If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

            Example 1

            You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

            You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

            In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

            Example 2

            You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

            People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

            You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

            Example 3

            You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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            The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

            Example 4

            You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

            Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

            If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

            Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

            • Understand your own communication style
            • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
            • Communicate with precision and care
            • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

            1. Understand Your Communication Style

            To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

            In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

            Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

            2. Learn Others Communication Styles

            Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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            If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

            “How do you prefer to receive information?”

            This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

            To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

            3. Exercise Precision and Care

            A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

            On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

            Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

            I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

            I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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            In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

            The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

            Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

            4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

            Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

            In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

            “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

            Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

            Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

            It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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            It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

            It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

            Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

            Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

            The Bottom Line

            When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

            I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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            Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

            Reference

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