6 travel lessons that will change your life NOW
Explore the transformation and growth that travel brings, without needing to go anywhere.
I am a traveller. I was blessed at a very early age with the resources and freedom to travel across borders. While my friends were buying their favorite cars and building their dream homes, I was busy falling in love with my passport. After about ten years of making all the travel mistakes you could possibly imagine, I finally found my rhythm. In my early 30s, having accepted my mandate of being an Energy Coach, I decided I would do my work in such a way that it involved travel. Healing circles in Portugal, workshops in Lebanon, spiritual retreats in India, corporate training in Austria – because I am a traveller first, and then everything else I bring to the world.
“The time will come again when you dust off your passport and head out for yet another adventure. Until then, go on a journey through your inner world, with the same passion with which you have roamed the outer world.“
Like any other traveller, I am no stranger to the nuances of wanderlust. That sudden shortness of breath when you try to remember where your passport is. That deep longing for new sceneries. That giddy excitement of ‘meeting’ a new country. That familiar feeling of wanting to move to yet another place you have fallen in love with. To a true traveller, travel is not just a hobby, it is a feeling, a passion, a purpose, a lifestyle. Above all, travel is the greatest teacher, and I want to share with you the biggest lessons I’ve learned that are more relevant now than ever to all of us.
Every packing session is a reminder that ‘less is more’.
The days leading up to a big trip always look like a dramatic compromising game where the big question is; ‘how many pairs of jeans will you convince yourself you need this time?’ After a few trips, we finally stop kidding ourselves and realise we only ever needed one… not four.
This simple understanding that ‘less is more’ when applied to all areas of your life, can be profound. Are you buying, buying, buying to fill up space in your home? Overwhelming yourself with 50 tasks you’re juggling at the same time? Maybe you’re keeping in contact with a few (or way) too many friends to keep you busy?
Reflect: What could I let go of to create more spaciousness in my mind, environment, and life?
Every moment from take-off to landing is a boot camp for patience and alertness.
Travel has taught us there’s no use complaining when a flight is delayed; it’s best to just get some more snacks, people-watch, or jam to your favorite music. It taught us to be present and take care of our belongings. It taught us to bear with the discomfort of having to listen to that crying baby.
The whole world is experiencing dramatic changes in lifestyle this past year; from whole families being locked down at home, to people losing their income. Discomfort is inevitable! We can either become aggressive and fragile, or we can soften into patience, and ground into alertness.
Reflect: How can I cultivate more patience within myself, instead of blaming others? How can I be more alert to my current situation and do something proactive?
Every new place offers up a lesson in tolerance, diversity, respect, and history.
Part of being a traveller, and not just a tourist, is that you have a desire and willingness to understand the culture, traditions, and differences of the place you are in.
In an ever divided political and social world, it is our responsibility to harness the same level of curiosity and openness we would have when visiting a temple, ancient site, or cultural festival… and apply it to our loved ones, or to people who have opposite world views as us.
Reflect: Where am I holding onto ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and denying other peoples’ perspectives?
Every garden, mountain, and river are museums of magnificence.
There’s this refreshing feeling of awe and wonder when entering into new climates and environments that makes the simplest walk outside into a living, breathing remembrance of what life really is. Taking it all in with wide eyes, we wish that this beauty would stay ingrained in our memory forever.
Let me tell you something… this level of awe and wonder is not reserved for that one place on that one day. There are natural miracles surrounding you every moment from sunrises, to stars, to giggles: you just need to pay attention to them.
Explore: Go for a walk today. This could be in nature or around your neighbourhood. Become completely present and alert, as if you’re seeing everything for the first time. Engage your senses; smell, touch, sight, hearing, and even taste. Notice the magnificence all around you.
Every serendipitous meeting with strangers is a restoration of faith in humanity.
Sometimes, it’s as if these gems of people are dropped on our path in the form of strangers, precisely when we need the reminder of how beautiful humanity is. There’s instant connection; maybe some laughter, or tears.
Back at home, there are just as many chances you’d come across strangers in a similar way. The supermarket (as one example) is full of people who are just as alive as you are. Talk to them. Be human. If no one else is there restoring your faith in humanity… it may be your turn to do so!
Explore: How can I embody the desires I have for humanity?
The greatest lesson: A trip is cancelled or, as in recent times, a lockdown of all borders is in effect.
This is the big one. The greatest challenge. The idea of staying put in one place seems like a prison sentence. As a person who thrives on the freedom to move and as someone who depends on travel to recuperate for ‘real-life’, it feels like the world has stopped spinning.
My fellow traveller, I am here to lovingly remind you that it is in these moments that we must apply the lessons we have learned. In whatever situation you find yourself at home, this is when you can begin to use the virtues you have adopted as a globetrotter.
Explore: Use this time to reengineer your mind, and therefore your energy field.
The time will come again when you dust off your passport and head out for yet another adventure. Until then, go on a journey through your inner world, with the same passion with which you have roamed the outer world.
After all, you are a traveller.