You've probably heard it before, read about it in countless articles and seen it in movies galore. And maybe, just maybe, you've actually experienced it in real life. Because, hey, from what we've been told, it's the ONLY way to get to know who we really are!
No prizes for guessing, I'm talking about travel.
The one-stop solution to all our problems. The baap of all experiences. The one thing that'll bring us both pleasure and peace. The passion we should all have. And the thing we should partake more often. As a wise man once put it, to travel is to live. Pack your bags, head out and see the world. Not only will you discover more about our gorgeous planet, you'll also discover more about yourself.
But there's another way to get to know yourself. One that doesn't require you to head out to an exotic land, faraway from home.
They say, you should travel to know yourself. I'd say, you should date someone instead!
There are many benefits of dating and getting to know yourself is certainly one of them.
When you're single in the city, you only think that you know yourself. Sure, you know your favourite shows on Netflix and the pizza toppings you like but that's about it. A single man or woman saying they know themselves is like a baby claiming to know how to poop. Yes, it can but it's always in the wrong place, at the wrong time!
Basically, you need another person to tell you some things about yourself. Rather, you need someone to bring out the hidden traits in you.
And who better than the person you're dating to teach you all about yourself, right?
The one you talk to for hours over phone. The person you exchange naughty Snapchat messages with. The one you go with to the movies. The one you introduce to your friends. The one you spend the night with.
The other half to your not-so-aware self.
When you start dating someone, your inner, true self finally comes out.
It's all good in the hood when you're a single person, going through life, minding your own business. You can do what you want, be whoever you want to be and yet, no one would mind or care. Your family has given up on you and your friends are too used to you to really bother anymore. So, even if you're the worst person on this planet, there's no way in hell anyone's going to ever tell you that.
Not unless you start dating someone, that is!
Because the moment you have another person sort-of sharing your life, shit starts getting real.
Every breath you take, every move you make, they're watching you. With a magnifying glass. Hoping to find a flaw. Intending to point it out. Making sure you correct yourself.
Suddenly, you start realising things about yourself you'd never known you had.
Do you like your martini shaken or stirred? Or, straight-up dirty?
Now, it may not be a life-altering decision, yes, but it's certainly relevant if you're at a bar. Similarly, you may not care about a few things when you're single but they'll stand for a lot when you're one half of a couple.
The side of the bed you prefer, the kind of food you like. Whether you'd like to spend the evening dancing at a nightclub or curled up in bed with a book. Are you a breakfast-in-bed sort of person or more into going out for brunch.
More importantly, you'll learn about your ability to share, your patience level and what drives you hopping mad. You'll know when you like to be left alone and when you badly need someone.
When you're dating, it's not just the other person that's slowly becoming a revelation. Without realising, you're revealing yourself to your own self.
With 'wanderlust' as the newest addition to their dictionary, everyone is busy trying to be a jet-setter, hoping to set #travelgoals for all and sundry.
But like it or not, traveling won't teach you who you really are only because that exotic location isn't your everyday, regular life!
Sitting alone at some exotic beach or mountain top, you'll certainly realise just how much you enjoy being left alone. But what will you do when you're alone? That intricate understanding won't come with traveling alone.
By all means, travel. The world is way too beautiful to not be seen. But don't spend that money for some sort of self-discovery.
Save some money and go date someone instead. Chances are, you'll learn a lot more about yourself!