I am a huge advocate for using travel as a spiritual and personal development tool. There are many things that you can do from home, but when you move, the Universe moves. There's few faster ways to get the world reflected back to you, along with all your beliefs. Opening up to travel can propel you in your personal journey if you are willing to take the plunge. Adding in working or volunteering and you're ready for an awakening.
I have heard so many reasons not to travel. Money, being alone, language barriers. I have faced so many of these myself. As an introvert with social anxiety, I can tell you that there is so much less to fear than you allow yourself to think. The trick is to make a decision, and do it safely, never stopping. On my first solo trip I decided to go to a restaurant by myself. Yes it was awkward, yes lots of people looked, but I read my book, enjoyed my meal and walked out with my head held more confidently than when I walked in. I now know that I can do this again anytime I want to. It's worth the awkwardness to gain that strength.
So where would you start? I always suggest starting with Iceland. It is perfect for solo travellers. 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 some steps that were higher than my comfort zone. I had already pushed myself higher than I had expected to go and had decided to descend. 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. My tip is to aim for someone that looks around the same age and gender as me so that they will see something familiar in me.
Spiritual adventures in nature 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. 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 aspects of the environment to pop out. Pay attention to what is brighter, what commands your attention, and listen.
Develop Build in reflection time to congratulate yourself on what you overcome during your trip. Feel the new you settling into your body. Push yourself further gradually and don't feel a failure when you have reached your threshold.
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.
You may feel yourself as completely changed. Travel can do that to a person. After one particular trip I stated that I felt like I was made of glass. One wrong move and I would shatter. I wasn't depressed. I was just different and didn't know how to handle my own self. I managed to connect with a fellow traveller and that friendship with our shared stories supported me to rejoin the world.
Good luck with your journey, and as always, feel free to reach out with questions.
*Some links may be affiliates and generate money or gifts. I only share links to services of products I use myself and will update links if I find better – Clair