society

Why Travelling is an Important Part of Growing up for Men

There’s a problem in today’s society for us men.

It may or may not be obvious what that is, but the repercussions compound relentlessly, causing boys to halt their mental/spiritual development in a way that can propagate for the rest of their adult lives.

What’s the impact?

To name just a few, you can say it’s contributing to a lack of ethics in today’s society, a growing number of failed or non-existent relationships and generation of men growing up with a sheer lack of necessary characteristics to fulfil their role in life.

In this post, I’ll go into:

What I think the problem in today’s society is
Why it’s important and how it causes a mental/spiritual slowdown for boys and stops them becoming “real men”
Why travelling is an important part of growing up for men and ultimately how it can go a long way to help solve the problem

Although the scope of what I discuss is in light of the perspective of a man, I’m NOT suggesting it DOESN’T apply to women NOR that every man needs to conform to this. Both are a separate topics that can be discussed elsewhere.

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The Importance of Building Relationships as you Travel

They say that building relationships is an important part of life. It’s known to be crucial to our social, as well as spiritual well-being. Everyone, at some point, would have felt the importance of close friends and family in their lives. Some would have come across the necessity for strong relationships in business too – more so, the further up the ladder you climb.

Building relationships isn’t normally at the forefront of most long term travellers thoughts. Before I went travelling, I read “The Lonely Planet Story: Once While Travelling”, which is essentially the story of how Tony and Maureen Wheeler, the founders of the Lonely Planet, started their business many years ago. The takeaway I had from the book, was the number of people who they met on their first journey, from England to Australia, that re-emerged as significant friends/colleagues in their lives.

Through my travels, I’ve come to realise how building relationships can be just as important and make your journey on the road orders of magnitude deeper.

In this post, I’ll describe what I mean by relationships, why it’s important to do it as you travel and the how you would go about building them.

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Learning About Yourself

When I told people that I’m going to China to spend 2 months in a kung fu school, most people would imagine a purely physical experience. They assume that you’ll learn to fight, perhaps learn a few party tricks, overcome pain barriers and finally come back wanting to wear a kung fu suit every day.
For me, one of the important aspects of my time here, was to learn more about myself. I wasn’t quite sure how that would happen here, but a leap of faith told me that it would. The gut feeling was that the most traditional teachings of something extremely deep was the key.
Now, coming to the end of my time here at the school, I look back and feel that I’ve learned a lot about myself. It’s by no means the answer to everything, but a big step in terms of understanding. The process feels like noticing, questioning and peeling back layers in my thought process one by one, exposing important truths underneath. It’s difficult to put a price on it, certainly at this stage.
In this post, I explain how I think the time here has allowed me to do this, what I’ve learned and why I think it’s important. […]