Transformative Travel: Blossoming Abroad

Transformative Travel: Blossoming Abroad

I always wanted to live in Europe. Ever since I was a kid studying world maps in geography class I knew I would move to Spain, specifically. It was a dream, turned into a plan, turned into reality of transformative travel. After years of wanting, wishing, and waiting, my seven-year-old fantasy finally became real life. But it wasn’t a seamless decision. I talked myself into and out of moving to Europe more times than I can count. I thought that if it was right, the Universe would give me a clean break. Instead, my head and heart were split between two continents. The key to unlocking the vise of uncertainty, in some cases, is intuition. But in others, it is simply time.

Eventually, I got to a point where I felt I would risk more by staying in the U.S. than by leaving. So I left. I don’t want to romanticize this choice. While saying yes to the opportunity to live in Spain is unequivocally one of the best and most pivotal decisions I’ve made in my life, getting to the point where I could choose that vision wholeheartedly was a complicated journey. In either scenario, I would have been leaving something behind. If I stayed, I left my past and my people behind. If I didn’t go, I left behind a dream that was so close to coming true. Saying goodbye was hard, but holding on would have been hard too. The more life I live the more I believe that there are no right or wrong answers, no good or bad decisions. Just potential paths, options, possibilities. All outcomes we must take accountability for. I knew in my soul I could co-sign the risk of moving on, even if it didn’t work out quite how I’d planned. What I couldn’t co-sign by was the risk of never trying. So I walked away from everything I knew and loved and started anew, in Spain. Fresh energy. Clean slate. A brand new country to make some memories in. I’ve learned so many lessons along the way, both through traveling and my career as a yoga teacher. I had to acquire my wisdom the old-fashioned way, through experience. Yet my hope is that these truths below help spark clarity as you continue down the road towards your dreams, wherever they may take you.

Lesson One: Presence, Not Perfection

The practice of yoga has always been about more than just physical postures; it’s a holistic way of life that extends beyond the mat. From the bustling streets of Budapest to the serene shores of Asilah, I’ve witnessed how the integration of yoga philosophy into daily life can create a sense of balance and harmony even in the midst of diverse challenges. Travel often teaches us the value of patience and the beauty of embracing uncertainty. Missed flights, language barriers, and unexpected detours remind us that control is an illusion and that life’s journey is, at times, meant to be taken moment by moment. However, it is not easy to find serenity in every situation. I’vebeen there. A three-hour flight delay in Dublin. A stuck four wheeler in the Sahara desert. 1% battery in the French Alps. It is easy to panic. It is harder to take the pieces of a gorgeous, flawed life and stay present through the hard parts. Yet, in the face of adversity, we learn to shift our perspective, find silver linings in the most unexpected places, and recognize that setbacks are stepping stones toward growth. Because life isn’t just one thing. It’s everything. Highs and lows. Good days and bad. Violet-streaked dawns and inky blue midnights. There is nuance in every moment, in every place. We all exist in gradients, shades of in-between.

There is no running from life. Chase new destinations, yes, but don’t chase perfection. You won’t find it. The deepest wisdom is cultivated not by seeking flawless experiences, but by being present for real experiences. The key to true personal growth is not simply visiting new places, but embracing discomfort as a catalyst for change. You have to drop the expectations and let the experience transform you, surrendering to all the beautifully imperfect messiness that may transpire. Stepping into unfamiliar territory forced me to confront my limitations, question my preconceived notions, and adapt to new ways of thinking. It’s through these challenges that I was able to shed my old narratives and allow room for new a embodiment of my identity, one that aligned with the stories I desired to write in my next chapter.

Lesson Two: Change Will Come

The quest for transformation through travel is far from easy, but the rewards are immeasurable. The moments of self-doubt and discomfort eventually give way to a profound sense of self-awareness, empowerment, and unshakable confidence. As I navigated foreign cities, I simultaneously navigate the complexities of my identity, testing the elasticity of my values. One of the most enriching aspects of travel is the opportunity to immerse oneself in different cultures. Interacting with people from diverse backgrounds, learning new customs, and experiencing distinct ways of life can be a powerful mirror through which we see our own beliefs and biases. This self-reflection challenges us to question the narratives we’ve held onto and encourages us to adopt a more open-minded and compassionate worldview. Living in Spain has undoubtedly made me a different person than I was before. On the surface, I walk more and eat dinner later. But on a deeper level, the core of how I show up in the world has shifted. I have friends from countries that I didn’t even know existed. I am more unapologetic about taking up space. Parts of my personality shine brighter in the flow of a language that isn’t my first. I approach life from peace, savoring today instead of preparing for tomorrow.

As we explore foreign lands, we simultaneously explore the contrast of our own humanity. Boundaries are important. But so is malleability. Just as yoga encourages the healing of the body and mind, travel encouraged me to heal from over-functioning, perfectionism, and fear-based limitations. By immersing myself in different cultures and landscapes, I gained a broader perspective on life’s possibilities and a renewed appreciation for my own radiance. Every step taken, every challenge faced, and every connection made is a testament to the innately human ability to adapt, evolve, and blossom.

Lesson Three: Home is Everywhere

I’ve spent several years now living in Spain. I’ve traveled to 21 countries (and counting!). This life I’ve been fortunate enough to create is wild, ambitious, and undeniably beautiful. What I know now is that home is not a place that exists externally. Home is not a country, not a city, not a tangible environment. It is a place that lives deep inside of all of us. Home is a reflection of the intrinsic self. My home can be found anywhere I am. The journey toward understanding oneself in a new environment is not a straightforward path. It’s a venture into the unknown, where comfort zones are left behind and the familiar becomes distant. Travel presents us with unforeseen obstacles, cultural differences, and moments of vulnerability. It is genuinely difficult to contextualize ourselves outside of the frame of what has always been. But there is so much light at the end of whatever tunnel we are standing in. So much greatness to be lived once we do what it takes to reach the places we’ve only ever dreamed of. You will find what feels like home. Look inwards. The answer doesn’t lie within the qualities of a place, but in the qualities that a place brings out in you.

Lesson Four: Dreams Come True

In the end, growth is a journey without a final destination. It’s a continuous process that extends beyond the confines of a single trip, permeating into the continuum of our lives. Travel ignites the spark of transformation and offers us a unique lens through which to view ourselves and the world around us. So, while the path may not be easy, the experiences gained and the wisdom discovered along the way are undoubtedly worth every step. My journey as a yoga teacher through the enchanting landscapes of Europe has been a testament to the transformative power of letting go of control and surrendering to what could be. The fusion of yogic principles with the exploration of new horizons has led to self-discovery and healing that extend far beyond the boundaries of a yoga mat.

Through the practice of honesty, self-compassion, and an open heart, every step taken on this journey has been an invitation to deepen my connection with the world, with others, and with myself. The most glorifying part is that I get to be the person I always said I would be, living in the reality of what was once only a fantasy. That truth continues to be worth its weight in gold, eclipsing all of the challenges (and there have been many!) that I’ve faced along the way. What I’m saying is this, if you have a vision, pursue it. If there is a dream in your heart, chase it. Scroll through Yoga Trade, pick a country, and go for it! Take the leap and see what happens. It is never too late or too early to begin again. After all, it’s just a cycle. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.


Madison Louise is a  500hr RYT + RPYT certified yoga instructor with over thirteen years of personal practice, helping women transform their lives through holistic wellness is Madison’s specialty! Through her luxury, female-focused brand, Madison Louise Yoga, she offers Private Yoga, Guided Meditation, Prenatal Yoga, and Holistic Life Coaching. When she isn’t encouraging women to lead their own self-love revolutions, Madison can be found writing, brunching, or planning her next trip!


Madison’s website:

Madison’s Instagram: @madisonlouiseyoga

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