I am a huge advocate for using travel as a spiritual and personal development tool. This is easy for me to say, I have travelled around the world, lived in quite a few places and am a personal development nut. I have experienced personal and spiritual development from being settled at home, as well as far away. I can definitely say that travel will propel you much further forwards. If you are willing to take the plunge.
Travel can offer so much. I particularly advocate solo travel or at least going solo for as much of it as you can. You will get so much more out of your experience. I also suggest working or volunteering whilst travelling to really push your comfort zone. All this is doable. Trust me.
I am willing to hear all your fears and anxieties about money, needing to go away with someone else, worrying about language barriers, etc etc. I have faced them all. With a healthy dollop of lifelong social anxiety as a juicy topping. I promise you, you can do this, if you really want to and are committed to pushing through your fears. Travelling will give you rewards so many times over.
So where would you start?
I always suggest starting with Iceland. I am deeply passionate about the place. I also know it is safe for solo travellers, the nature can be deeply spiritual and you will have enough quiet for personal reflection, if you choose it. If you haven’t been to Iceland before, signing up for my newsletter will deliver you a free course in booking your first trip, an editable packing list and a basic photography guide. Everything you need to get started. I am not on commission, I do this because I believe in Iceland so deeply as a magical place and want to share my passion. Plus the more people who have been to Iceland, the more people I get to talk to about it! Win win 😀
To ensure that transformational experience, you have to approach this open-minded. Building in expectation will only lead to disappointment. Travelling has its own rules. Nature has its own rules. Respecting that will see you go a long way. Be open to the experience and if you feel out of your depth, reach out to someone. I was once stuck on a hillside petrified to move because I was afraid my hypermobile ankles would give way and make me fall. Someone a little younger than me went to walk past and I asked her to help me down with her, telling her how afraid I was. She took my arm and guided me all the way down, telling me she was a bit terrified too. People will respond if you reach out. And if you feel nervous, find someone around your age and gender. I have found that works a treat.
Don’t be afraid of being afraid. On my first ever full solo holiday I cried four times on the way to the flight, out of fear. I forged ahead and am so glad I did. I cried on the flight on the way home, but this time because I didn’t want to leave. Travelling is such a rich experience and will provide you with so many situations from which to grow from. You will lose all of that if you don’t face your fear and go forth regardless.
To make your travelling a time of spiritual connection, ensure you have time in nature during quieter times, and use it. Remember to connect with the energy of the place. Try communicating with the nature around you. The rocks, the sand, the water. Allow the nature to guide you, whilst also being aware of your own safety. Make sure you are aware of any warnings nearby and listen to your tour guide if you have one. Allow the different environment to pop out. Pay attention to what is brighter, what commands your attention, and listen.
Build in reflection time to congratulate yourself on what you overcome during your trip. Feel the new you settling into your body. Push yourself a little further by dining alone in a restaurant. Or by going to a bathing area which requires you to be naked in the changing room. Or go to a place where they speak no English and see if you can manage to communicate.
Most importantly, and I never book a trip without this one key action – ensure you have at least 2-3 days off when you return home to allow yourself time to assimilate the new you. Don’t go straight back to work. Get to know the new you. See what the new you does in your home. Spend time deeply reflecting on your future now that you have had an experience that can change you. Talk to only people who can hold space for you. Come out of your shell slowly. This is crucial for really implementing any changes within yourself. Diving back into your old life will chase away the new you too quickly. Give it time.
I look forward to hearing your stories of how you transformed by travel 😀