For many, including myself, travel is part of a life-long spiritual journey. It’s of course a never ending journey without a final destination, part of what makes it so rewarding. Travel experiences are like additional coats of paint for our soul; every new experience producing an additional layer, making our colors deeper and more vibrant.
We each of course have our own individual motivations for travelling. In this post I’d like to share some of my motivations, or favorite travel tips from a spiritual perspective. These few little things make a big
difference for me, and have made my travels (and life) more enjoyable and fulfilling. Perhaps you may find one or two of these items helpful on your journey.
– Work on improving your open-mindedness. I tend to be slightly introverted by nature, so I have to constantly encourage myself to be more social and open to new things while travelling. Despite my irrational hesitations towards talking with strangers, nearly every time I do it becomes a positive experience, making me question why I felt so hesitant in the first place.
– Travel not so much with a cultural curiosity, but with a people curiosity. Remember that it’s through people that you will best experience and learn the local culture, and not the other way around.
– Manage your expectations. It would be wise not to assume that your next vacation is going to be the greatest vacation ever. Setting such lofty expectations might set you up for failure before you even depart the airport! Of course, we should all look forward to our travels. It’s part of the enjoyment. But try not to over-expect a perfect vacation, or you will likely disappoint yourself.
– Don’t overplan. Planning can be a wonderful part of the travel experience, but over-planning can make your travel experiences inflexible to your mood of the moment. As Allen Saunders (and many others) have said: “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” Life is experienced in the present moment, and that’s something you can’t always plan for.
– Embrace the unexpected.. Don’t travel hoping to experience things that will conform to your current world view. One of travelling’s primary benefits is to expand and broaden our world view. There’s no limit to expanding our perspective, and a curious attitude can benefit the traveller immensely and open your eyes to experiences you never imagined even existed.
– Venture outside your comfort zone. A few years ago on a vacation in Northern Thailand with two friends, we found ourselves discussing over breakfast what we should do with our day. We couldn’t come to any conclusions. So we decided the only way to determine our fate would be a random draw from a handful of ideas. We each took two pieces of paper, jotting down two ideas each, both of which had to be something we had never done before. We placed the 6 pieces of paper in a pile, and randomly drew one piece, which decided our activity for the day. (The choice ended up being a kayaking trip down small river) While I don’t recollect the kayak trip too well, what was thrilling was the spontaneity of the act, and the mystery of it all. We turned a boring breakfast into an exciting event, and found the day greatly exceeded the expectations we had over breakfast.
I hope any of these tips might be helpful for your own travel experiences. Do you have any similar tips our readers would find useful? Please include them in the comments of this post.