Travel and Become
I travel quite a lot for business, teaching, meeting clients and soaking up the vibe of a place as part of my ongoing research into the psychology of beauty. But with so much compromise, personal disruption and discomfort associated with my travels I was left pondering why I love it so……..
I love to travel but have often found it hard to put my finger on exactly why, especially when I’m a real home-bod outside of these trips. More often than not I’d rather entertain, work, sleep and eat at home in my daily life. I find it relaxing to be around places and people that I know and that know me well. I enjoy the freedom and brain space that familiarity affords me and while yes, from time to time as the mother of a busy and active family I bemoan the chores that come with my many hatted life but realise that too is OK. It reminds me that I have people, pets and stuff in my life to care about and nurture.
So what happens when I travel then and why is it so appealing if I clearly don’t ever feel the need to run, run away?
I am a wild soul at heart and have always longed for the feeling of the wind in my hair and the taste of adventure in my mouth. I need to explore and to run but I realise how that I don’t wish to run from something, it is more a running towards that grips me! Towards new ideas, experiences, people and places that resonate with my soul, re-energize and inspire me, challenge and test me and that is why I keep on doing it.
In my case I have found that I am invigorated by business travel because I surrender to the journey and don’t focus on what I have left behind. I let go of preferences about how I manage my time, how I prefer my tea to be served, preferred meal times and food choices, my need for personal space and familiarity, the comfort of having people at hand who can support me and being surrounded by language and culture I both know and am part of. In short when I travel I become a sensory blank canvas primed and ready and an artist ready to pick up the many different colours, textures and tones that greet me at the arrivals hall and keep on coming until I board my home-bound plane. That is not to say that I cut the ties to my personal boundaries completely, that would be akin to personal suicide, merely I recognise what is core and hold that while cutting free the chains of detail. This allows me to see my destination through the eyes of one that belongs.
With that in mind I’ve realised that my business travelling is never a chore, more that it is an opportunity to get creative, learn, grow and expand both personally and in my consulting work. Belonging in a foreign land is, after all what all brand owner want for their product. A new product is un-known and often un-knowing of its environment. If it remains so the brand will either be invisible or will stand out like a sore thumb as either threat or opportunity (opportunity for exploitation or mockery usually). No brand wants that and instead seeks to find their tribe and slide effortlessly into their landscape, lifestyle and routine. Understanding this and how to implement it at a brand level is quite possibly the most important thing a brand owner can do.
Business travel has helped me to understand and appreciate the power of that. The only problem I have now is to work out where to go next……..