Self-Reflection Questions While Traveling
One of the major reasons I miss traveling solo is the opportunity to sit alone and have those moments of self reflection. Of course, I realize that I could do this even if I’m not traveling but it seems easier to do it when I’m in a foreign place. I can more easily lose myself in the moment when hiking the top of huge mountain, sitting and listening to the waves of the ocean or simply staring out of the window in the plane.
Being alone helps, obviously, since I don’t feel obligated to talk to anyone and can sit for as long as I’d like thinking to myself.
Have you ever tried sitting somewhere in your home with other people around, with no peace and quiet and try to meditate or just think? TV, our phones, social media, etc. are such a huge distraction ALL the time. Then our partners, family, friends, etc. want our attention as well. Traveling somewhere far away from all the noise and distractions is often times what I need in order to be able to really escape and focus on myself and my thoughts.
Sunsets - that magic hour is probably my favorite time of day to sit and reflect on the day’s events and what I’ve accomplished or maybe haven’t yet accomplished.
How can you make the most out of those periods of self-reflection? What questions should you ask yourself? And why is it important to ask those questions?
Let’s start with the WHY.
Why is it important to have those moments of self awareness?
Historically, we see people from ancient times such as in Egypt and Greece who wrote about humanity and knowing thyself. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are some of the most well known philosophers who questioned human nature. Introspection then is an important exercise that can help one grow and develop as you look inward instead of outward.
Because we are so often distracted with our modern and fast-paced life, we need to stop and take a breather. Access our understanding of ourselves and what motivates us in life. Learn more about our values and focus on what matters.
What questions should you ask yourself?
Jay Shetty, YouTube star and one of my favorite modern inspirational speakers, often mentions this quote from Charles Cooley - “Today, I’m not what I think I am; I’m not what you think I am; I am what I think you think I am.”
As Jay says, “So we live in a perception of a perception of ourselves.” But what I think and what you think are going to be different. So many of us today, live in a nature where we don’t belong. Where we think this or that because of our assumptions or misconceptions. We are not self aware and need to ask ourselves, who am I really?
Here a list of a few questions to get you started:
Am I achieving the goals that I’ve set for myself?
What worries me most about the future?
What matters most in my life?
What have I given up on?
What do I need to change about myself?
What do I want most in life?
What’s the one thing I’d like others to remember about me at the end of my life?
Am I taking care of myself physically?
What am I grateful for?
What do I regret?
What valuable lessons can I learn from a decision I made?
What risks did I take today? Why?
What is it that makes me happiest?
What valuable knowledge did I acquire today?
Write it down
Finally, to really make the most of your sessions, write down your deep thoughts. There’s no right or wrong answers and no one else has to read them if you don’t want to share. Keep a journal and you’ll be surprised how great it is to go back and re-read your answers over time; get a sense of your growth. I personally keep a journal with me at all times during my travels, ready to jot down any thoughts that come to mind.
Realize this is not a perfect process and with practice, like anything, it will get easier. Keep it a regular exercise and set your intention for the day, week, month, etc. So go try it today!