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We Travel Not To Escape Life, But For Life Not To Escape Us

We Travel Not To Escape Life, But For Life Not To Escape Us

Sometimes, after many weeks of work, eat, weekend, we start to wonder “what am I doing with my life?” It’s about then that we decide to take a vacation just to get away from it all. Many people seem to believe that traveling is a way to escape life, but that suggests that life is just a series of workdays, sleeping, weekends, and eating. The truth is that this daily grind is where life tends to escape us. Traveling is a great way to break the monotony and bring back our love of life.

A Life Without Travel

Can you imagine what it would be like if we weren’t allowed to take a break and go traveling somewhere? They say time flies when you’re having fun. That’s not exactly true. According to some studies, time actually flies when your brain doesn’t have to devote much energy to the world around it.[1] When we experience the same settings, environment, and challenges every day, our brain perceives time as passing very quickly.

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Alternatively, when we do something different, our brains tend to perceive the experience as lasting a long while. Not only that but we probably also feel the memories of a new event are more vivid and interesting. For example, you might remember your trip to Hawaii quite well and remember the exact sequence of events as it took place during that trip. On the other hand, you would probably have to think pretty hard to differentiate Tuesday from Wednesday, or Monday.

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We Were Not Meant For Monotony

Our ancestors didn’t sit in the same office building every day, drive to work by the same roads in the same car, and go home to the same house every night. Each day was a surprise and a blessing. Sure, each day was also filled with a ridiculous amount danger, and the nomadic life wasn’t a very long one, but each day was interesting! We should be grateful for the safety that modern life offers us, but we shouldn’t forget that we’re also built for a bit of adventure!

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Traveling Increases Our Happiness

Travel gives us new experiences, memories, and even aids our way towards self-discovery.[2] Few people ever change or make memories by staying in the same place doing the same things. Travel introduces us to new challenges, new scenery, and new people. Now when you hear the phrase “travel broadens the mind” you’ll know what it means!

How To Make Time For Travel

Below is a short list of suggestions for saving money and making time for traveling. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to go to a different country or take a long trip. You can go camping in a forest you’ve never been to or visit other states! The important thing is to allow yourself a change of scenery every once in a while.

  1. Keep a Travel Jar. Put your spare change in this jar and encourage yourself and your family to put money in the jar that they might have used on something like eating out or junk food.
  2. Try eating out less. You’ll be surprised how much money you save just by sticking to home cooked meals.
  3. Make a list of places you want to visit. Post it on your wall to remind you that it’s a goal within reach!
  4. Contact far-away friends. Most of us have friends who have moved or who live far away from us. Call them! Ask if you can visit for a week. Most of them will love having visitors.
  5. Put together a travel group. This is great if you don’t have a lot of family and you don’t like going places on your own. Start planning trips with a group of friends.

It’s important to remember that life isn’t all about hard knocks and work. Life should also be about adventure and enjoyment. We should all take some time for ourselves to get out of our comfort zones and travel away from the places we’re used to. We’ll be happier, smarter, more open-minded, and we’ll have memories that can last us a lifetime.

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Reference

[1] Scientific American: Why Does Time Fly?
[2] CNN Travel: Travel Makes us Happy: Here’s Why

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Marina Richter

Freelance Writer

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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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