This week, I am excited to share a guest post with you from my friend, Ally Archer, the mind behind GoSeekExplore.com. I have known Ally for a few years now and am continually inspired by her zest for life and her bravery when it comes to trying new things. She is the embodiment of what I call "bucket list living" and an inspiration for the rest of us on how to go for it!
In this post, Ally talks about something that I have experienced in my own life as I decided to de-clutter, de-tox and de-stress - the Ripple Effect. How making a change or taking a chance in one part of your life ends up rippling over into the other parts of your life (in the best way possible!).
So without further ado, here's Ally...
Travel is about transformation, not transaction. It is more than stamps in your passport or the number of countries you've been to. Sure, it's fun to count the "transactions" - the number of flights you've been on, tallying how many selfie sticks you see at tourist attractions, or planning your next big trip the minute you get home.
After you've traveled, however, you understand that there is this spark within you: you've changed, for the better, all because you decided to check something off your bucket list.
So, while we often aim for counting the "transactions" of travel, we know that what comes with those transactions is true transformation.
Crossing off big items on your bucket list creates what I call "The Ripple Effect," which I discuss in my book, The Adventure Club: Actionable Advice & Inspiration on What It's Actually Like to Work Your Way Around the World.
The Ripple Effect occurs when you set off to do something big. You find yourself noticing that once you've conquered one item on your bucket list, you become more in charge of your life, take (healthy) risks, feel more positive, and are truly working toward being the best YOU you can be.
Here are five ways you'll notice The Ripple Effect in your life once you focus on "bucket list living":
1) You become addicted to taking (healthy) risks. You push yourself outside of your comfort zone, growing and evolving further into the person you’re meant to become.
A few years ago, I was offered a job working for a travel company in Italy.
The timing was perfect. Everything was aligned and what was my dream job at the time was right in front of me, waiting for me to grasp it and say "YES!"
But, I was nervous. I was afraid. I was about to take a risk to go far outside of my comfort zone...to make a decision that required me to move halfway around the world to a country where I knew no one and did not yet speak the language.
I summed up the courage, said "YES," and booked a flight to Florence, Italy.
My life has never been the same since.
After taking that (healthy) risk to work abroad and go to a place where I didn't know anyone, I was addicted. When other offers were sent my way to work in Europe, Asia, or move to other parts of the US, I took them. I could feel these opportunities aligned with my purpose - my soul's desires - and they were pushing me toward the direction I was meant to go.
Had I not chosen to take a risk years ago by moving to Italy instead of staying the traditional course back home, I would not have had the experience or mindset that would lead me to say "YES" to such positive opportunities in the future.
ASK: What is one positive opportunity that you feel pulled to right now? How can saying "YES" put you in a frame of mind to keep saying "YES" to other opportunities later down the road? After all, the only way you can truly grow is to become uncomfortable with being comfortable.
2) You’ve overcome a big challenge, and it feels great.
Yes, travel - especially to a foreign country, or working abroad, is a big deal! It’s an accomplishment you should be proud of.
The feeling of accomplishing something you've always dreamed of feels incredible, right?
Maybe you'll notice this when:
You're standing on the beach in Bali, looking out at the water, and the image is just like the one you've had as your iPhone background as travel inspiration over the past year...take a sip of water from your coconut and celebrate. ;)
You've paid off your student loan or credit card debt and see the beautiful, nice "$0.00" - take a moment and congratulate yourself! That is a huge accomplishment.
You've overcome years of busyness, stress, and overwhelm getting ready in the mornings, but have now settled into a morning routine that includes something for you - whether that's something like meditation, journaling, exercise, or reading. You've created a strong habit that sets you up for success for the day, and puts you in a positive mood.
ASK: How amazing will it feel to accomplish your biggest goal? Your other goals? Visualize it, feel it, imagine this becoming your reality. And when you do make it happen, cherish that wonderful feeling and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. You deserve it.
3) You take a look at all areas of your life from an aerial point of view.
When you accomplish a big travel goal - or any other bucket list item, for that matter - you start to look at what else you can do in other areas of your life.
It gives you momentum and motivation to make the next big thing happen.
Nothing is off limits. There is nothing you can't accomplish without determination and hard work.
You also gain a new perspective on the different areas in your life, like career, family, relationships, wealth, serving others, health, etc.
I've had readers tell me that once they traveled, or created a work + travel lifestyle, they've seen other parts of their life unfold in other ways: getting promoted at their job back home, getting offered an even better job somewhere else, starting an online business, breaking up with their significant other after realizing it was a toxic relationship, paying off their student loans while working abroad, losing weight while traveling, and so much more.
ASK: What other areas of your life can the ripple effect trickle over to? How can crossing one thing off your bucket list - whether or not that includes travel - move you closer to living the lifestyle you've always desired?
4) By traveling, you become more open-minded from experiencing other cultures and meeting other people, which makes you wise beyond your years.
They say something about how the world is a textbook, and if you do not travel you read only one page.
Travel truly makes you wiser beyond your years - you learn so much simply from going to other places and experiencing how other people live their lives.
The skills, knowledge, and memories you make while traveling affect your outlook and your approach to life. Suddenly you find yourself making stronger decisions, add to conversations by acknowledging other points of view, and you become increasingly tolerant of other people and their opinions. No, you don't have to travel to be like this, but I've found personally and with others that I've known that travel only strengthens these traits.
ASK: How can you see life from a different point of view? How can you enhance or improve parts of your life based on the skills you’ve learned or experiences you’ve had?
5) You learn to live life with no regrets.
The past is in the past, and with each passing day, we get closer to the end of our lives.
This can feel scary and intimidating, or you can let it invigorate you. Let this propel you toward the life you’ve always wanted to live!
Travel helps you realize the importance of experiences over things. It helps you understand that we live in an amazing, almost-perfect world, and that most people are good people.
It helps you realize how precious life is, and that we only have one shot.
ASK: What do you want to do, that you aren't already doing? If your life ended today, what would you regret not experiencing during your short time on Earth?
Experiencing The Ripple Effect is true "bucket list living" - doing the things you’ve always said you wanted to do, because you want to, because it makes you happy, because it makes you feel ALIVE.
You know what's pretty amazing?
Knowing that taking big leaps and healthy risks outside your comfort zone can get you there.
Ally Archer is a Travel Career Coach, the Author of The Adventure Club, and the creator of GoSeekExplore.com. After traveling overseas for the first time in college with a study abroad program in Italy, she became addicted to travel. In the years that have followed, she has traveled to 26 countries across four continents; 22 of which were visited through work + travel opportunities. These travel jobs included leadership, speaking, teaching, social media management, and doing online marketing for clients as a freelancer. Ally is passionate about helping others reach their true potential and take massive action on their life and travel goals.