I very often meet people in life who have romantic visions of travel, they’ll tell me how much they want to go here or there and how beautiful the world is and how my life must be amazing because I travel so much. Yes, anyone whose read this blog long enough knows anyone can do what I do but that’s beside the point, travel is something we romanticize more than any other journey in our lives.
In the same hostel where I met the worst intestinal parasite ever a book almost fell into my hands from their book exchange. I had been reading much of Gabrielle Bernstein’s work online and had watched her youtube clips before I’d taken off on this latest adventure. I liked her and was aware of her but she wasn’t influencing my life any more than cute cat clips on youtube do at that point in time.
That was until her book fell off the shelf in the book exchange and I began reading it.
I lay in a hammock for almost the entire day while my friends’ were out on an adventure tour. I flipped through the pages and wrote reflections in my travel journal.
Then later that night I noticed Gabbie’s insights coming to life. In my room there was a few new backpackers, one of them had several answers that I had been seeking. I was so happy to meet her and that she had given me insights I sorely needed at the time and that would change the course of my trip and also my perspective on life and perception (ie. If you think you’re having a good time, you do. If you think you’ll have a bad time you will).
The next morning, without doing all the touristic adventure tours that this area of Guatemala was known for, I jumped on a bus and from that moment on started letting go of the things that weren’t serving me and of the feelings of expectation I was receiving from people outside of myself: from readers of my blog, from friends and family back home, from other travellers (and trust me, we push much of our travel expectations onto one another as travellers – there is very little recognition of me being on my own journey same as you). I just practiced gratitude (I am so greatful for the opportunity to be here) and mindfulness (Being in that moment, not waiting for the next great thing to happen, but remaining where I was).
After only a week or two of practicing mindfulness and gratitude I was noticing huge shifts in my thinking and behavior. I was free internally rather than just externally (having the ability to travel). I wasn’t being held down under the weight of anyone’s expectations least of all my own.
The truth is, I have so far to go but I wanted to share the beginning of my spiritual journey with you guys.
When I was open to it – I received the wisdom I needed, and still do every single day.
What about you guys, does travel have a spiritual component for you? Is there a great story you would like to share about how you first accepted spirituality into your life?