Know thyself. Dating back to the ancient Greeks, the saying ‘know thyself’ has encouraged people to engage in a search for self-understanding. I once had a client that did excellent work, on a subject she was passionate about, but still found herself burned out, and about to leave her job. It didn’t take us many sessions to understand that her personality type didn’t work in conjunction with the way she worked and that although her field of work was her passion, she had to go about it in a radically new way. Traveling is one of the best ways to confront your values, dig deep into your subconscious and set aside time to reflect on your findings.
This interview is created and published by Authority Magazine. Read the full interview here:
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you please tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
After having founded several businesses, as well as working in corporate for multiple years, I made a clear choice in 2013 to change my everyday life. I wasn’t burned out, just sick of a life where working and working out was all there was. I didn’t want to wait for the weekend to relax, Christmas to have to time to read a book, vacations to be happy. I wanted to be joyful every day, Monday — Sunday. One of my dreams was to write a book, another not having to go in to the office every day unless I wanted to. I also wanted to eat healthier, spend my days in surroundings that gave me energy instead of draining me and do more of the things that was important to me. I decided to quit my corporate job, sell all my belongings and move to Bali. I have moved around thirty times in my life, living on three continents, therefor the moving itself wasn’t the difficult choice. The hardest part was the feeling of starting all over, just a suitcase in hand, and the uncertainty of my choice.
The difficulty was also concerning the fact that I didn’t want to just move my life to a different location. I wanted a new life, one that was radically different from the one I had.
One of the things I did, was to not get a long-term visa for Indonesia, I got one that would require me to leave the country every 60 days. I have to admit I regretted that sometimes, but it forced me to travel, and that was part of what I wanted. Travel, explore, learn about new cultures and myself, that was my mantra.
And here is the clue.
After having travelled extensively for almost two decades, I noticed that all my major life-changing epiphanies came during some kind of journey. There was a pattern there, and it is this. — When we are out of our comfort zones, in a different place, eating different food, talking with different people, spending our days differently than at home, we start to think different thoughts. And when we think different thoughts, we can create massive change in our lives.
We can change our behavior, what we know to be true, and we can solve problems at rapid speed this way. I knew that this knowledge was something I had to share with the world, and thus I made this in to a business.
Can you please share with us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
A woman contacted me a few years back and told me about difficulties at work. Her team wasn’t performing, she felt that communication was part of the problem, but none of the coaches and advisors she had previously consulted was of any help. She needed radical change.
In just one session we mapped out a journey for her. We set her intention, arranged for her to work for an NGO in Indonesia for one week. This was something she had wanted to do, but never gotten around to, mostly because she was worried about the language barriers.
Yes, there was work involved, there was sweating, strange food, miscommunication, but also laughs and lots of time for reflection. What she came home with was not only a clear solution to the issues at work, but a whole new understanding on how to address problems within her team. She saw who needed what, including herself, and with that, a way of thriving through the pandemic when most of her industry crumbled.
Which principles or philosophies have guided your life? Your career?
I always reach my goals, and the reason, I believe, is that I always think about the big WHY of the goal. Why is it important? Why should I change my life to obtain it? How will it enrich my life? If the ‘why’ isn’t big enough, or important enough, I don’t do it. I only go after goals that I’m highly motivated to reach.
If I want to start running again just to get slimmer, that isn’t a very inspiring goal to me. If I decide that I want to start running to get in better shape as part of a routine to climb a particular volcano, or to take care of my body to avoid getting cancer again, that is a much more inspirational goal to me, and one that will get me out of bed in the morning.
Ok thank you for that. Let’s now move to the main focus of our interview. Can you tell us about your “Big Idea That Might Change The World”?
One of the most powerful tools for transformation, traveling is still often overlooked as a means for change. But think about it, — there is not a single adventure without the possibility to experience something new, see the world through new eyes, get new perspectives. Journeys have the power to transform us. If people can use traveling as a way to better their lives, and others, if they could take what they have learned home to their families and friends, I not only think they will have the transformation faster, I believe we could create a better world.
How do you think this will change the world?
We are always impacted by our surroundings, the people we see, meet or live with. But when we travel, what we now bring home are Instagram shots, and the occasional souvenir.
What if we brought a shifted mindset home instead? What if we solved a problem while traveling and brought that home, or to the office? What if we returned with ideas, inspiration, new visions for our lives?
Time and again I have seen that setting an intention for your trip, and looking at traveling as something more than checking a place off your bucket list, has changed lives, and thus the world.
In the 90’s I was working in IT and we used to go on these team-building trips that required us to go white-water rafting, throwing ourselves into rough and freezing river waters in order to challenge ourself and thus build better teams. The problem was just that for some people it was way out of their comfort zones, harming them rather than helping them. And it certainly didn’t build better teams. If people think that Transformational Travel is about ‘toughening up’, that they have to climb the highest mountains to achieve success in their lives, they go about it the wrong way.
In order to transform your life, you will have to go outside your comfort zone, but there is a fine line were pushing yourself further isn’t beneficial anymore. That’s why I work with people to determine the best trip for each person, in regards to what you want the outcome to be.
Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this idea? Can you tell us that story?
Absolutely. I was diving in Indonesia a few years back, and although I have hundreds of dives under my belt, I have always been afraid of night-dives. One night though, I decided to face my fears in order to see a nocturnal animal, a Spanish dancer.
Only me and the dive-guide was in the water that night. I told him about my fears, and as we dropped in to the pitch-black sea, he assured me that everything would be alright. Well, it wasn’t. A few minutes into the dive, I panicked, started to cry, and had to surface.
Once back on the boat, the guide came over, telling me that I didn’t have to tell the others that I got scared. -Just say that we didn’t see the creature, he told me. It dawned on me then that we are all afraid of something, and that is nothing to be ashamed of. I obviously knew this mentally, but now the emotional realization was firmly established in me as well. It has guided me ever since. Whenever I have felt hesitant, whether I started a new business, publishing my first novel, my first time speaking on stage, I can always tell myself this, and recall the feeling I had. With that the fearfulness eases.
What do you need to lead this idea to widespread adoption?
This is two-fold. Firstly, we all need to take solid look at the way we travel. The tourism can be a strain on the planet, we hear that all the time. Travelers are looked upon as culture-vultures, selfish consumers, rushing around without understanding what we’re looking at, or what our purpose for being there is. The industry itself can help changing this, by making us more aware of our actions and choices. And we as travelers need to take conscious decisions on what kind of people we want to be.
Secondly, on a deeper level the industry can also help the traveler see how they can make the journey be about something more than just the trip. By seeking to be partners in real change, the industry can guide and support travelers in setting intentions and defining desired outcomes for their travel experience.
I need to work with leaders within the travel industry. I need to partner up with the big players to get my message out there. As the industry start to see how they can create added value to their clients, and guests start to talk about their experiences, we can create real change in the world.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why.
Can you share with our readers what you think are the most important “success habits” or “success mindsets”?
Challenges come in all shapes and forms. They can be physical, psychological, mental. They can come in solitude, or in relationships with others. To seek out change, and learn to love it, will put you miles ahead of the crowd.
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