There is nothing more enriching in this world than travel. Going somewhere previously unvisited, particularly beyond the confines of your own country, will give you a greater experience than any other as it begs you to see things in a different way, understand things differently, and ultimately incorporate what you have experienced into your life in a totally new way. This leads to personal growth on a scale unmatched in daily life.

One of many places that leads to expansive personal growth is Africa, a continent that holds endless beauty and wildlife, unique culture and a way of life that is completely different from our own here in the United States. Having spent my life and career leading travel to Africa with TIA Safaris, I have learned how to get the most out of trips abroad.

Here are five tips that will help promote self-growth whether you travel to Africa or any place you decide to make that great adventure.

Overcome fears and anxiety

This is necessary even before you set out on your trip. Planning a trip by itself can be daunting especially when it is somewhere you have never been before. Travel requires that you challenge your fears that naturally arise when dealing with the unknown and recognize that the reward of travel is far greater than the fears that hold you back. Once on your adventure, overcoming your fears becomes easier once you see that most worries exist only in your head and the reward of each new experience only serves to enrich your life and make you a braver person ready for even greater adventures.

Be open to possibility

Allow yourself the liberty to experience new things. If you come upon something or someone wholly unimagined and intimidating because of its sheer unfamiliarity, don’t let it stop you from participating. You are there to learn and experience new things, which will ultimately expand the limits of what you think is possible.

The power of presence is key when adventuring

In our daily lives we live at a frenetic pace. We are consumed with work, chores, errands and fitting as much as possible in a day. Traveling demands that you be present if you are truly going to make the most of your adventure. It is no mistake that we feel the most alive when we are outside our home, our city, our country without all the commotion that commands our attention.

Connect with something greater

Our life at home tends to minimize us. It rarely asks us to do more than our usual routine, almost making us complacent. When you travel you experience things you wouldn’t otherwise experience. Finding experiences beyond the normal forces you to connect with part of yourself you may never have known existed. Greater experience makes for a greater self.

Find joy

The truth is very few people have joy in their lives, the pure, unfettered happiness that makes every moment unforgettable and cherished. Nothing brings joy like traveling and the key to joy is freedom. When you travel you have made a conscious decision to be unstrapped from the daily confines of your life and that permits you to be open to whatever comes your way. Once you plan a trip to a new destination you are excited about your upcoming experiences. When it comes to fruition you cannot help but be filled with exhilaration and joy.

Having spent years guiding people through travel to Africa, I can confirm that the key to experiencing personal growth when you travel is recognizing the change that occurs within yourself. Don’t forget to contemplate how you grew through what you saw and learned and incorporate that growth into your everyday life.


Mat Dry is owner of TIA Safaris and founder of Heart of Africa Retreat.