We asked our favorite travelers and bloggers the following question:
How has traveling enriched your spirit or given deeper meaning to your life?
Here are their insights:
“I have always considered myself a spiritual person over a religious person. Overtime, I became more self-aware of this energy inside, guiding me towards a path of needing to understand human culture. Travel has become the outlet of that spiritual energy. It has allowed me to explore different facets of life around the globe and has also connected me with the non-living as well.
…there’s a lesson to be learned: We are all connected to everything.
As I travel, my understanding of the roles and qualities that make up life have begun to form more rich dimensions. Further, I have made unspoken pacts with the cities, landscapes, and elements also found along the way. In the deeper sense, there’s a lesson to be learned: We are all connected to everything. Somehow, my presence is connected to the neighborhoods across the oceans of my own and my actions today will be the future destinations of the following generations. Travel is more than just seeing what has been established, but recognizing that we are the impacts on what others will see in the future. That spiritual energy inside encourages me to absorb all the good and bad of today, so that I can project better knowledge and energy unto the next generation. It has presented itself as a current that has run through the past, present, and into the future.”
ESL Teacher, World Traveler, and Blogger
“I will forever be grateful for the time I’ve spent traveling, as it was only through falling in love with the world that I learned how to love the present. Sketching on-location has especially taught me to love the here-and-now moments that are all too easy to rush through on a trip. By slowing down and seeing each place more deliberately, I’ve learned to live out each moment of my own life more intentionally as well.”
Candace Rose Rardon
Writer + sketch artist
MA Travel Writing
“Here in Jordan, on the other side of the Looking Glass, fours look like backward threes, fives look like zeros, sixes look like sevens, sevens look like Roman fives. Commas go up and to the right instead of down and to the left. Light switches are up when they’re off and down when they’re on. Reading and writing is right to left, people are disgusted by bacon, and I’m a straightedge, Christian virgin. I often feel like I’ve moved to a parallel universe instead of simply another country.
One of my only ways to relieve stress is through yoga–drinking, sex, laughing, art, intimate relationships, and long, introspective soul-baring conversations all being restricted. I turn to my mat to shed negativity quite often.
“I think I’m probably still too close to this experience to yet know how it has given deeper meaning to my life. Living here has broadened my perspective and allowed me to understand a greater number of people. It has given me a greater sense of certainty about myself. It has made me more confident about my ability to succeed, because I now think the world a smaller place and see opportunities where I once feared I was inadequate. Peace Corps is a program in which you might get taken to your emotional limit fifteen times a day, but due to language barriers, cultural norms, or your responsibility to serve as a cultural ambassador of the US, you very often can’t express yourself. One of my only ways to relieve stress is through yoga–drinking, sex, laughing, art, intimate relationships, and long, introspective soul-baring conversations all being restricted. I turn to my mat to shed negativity quite often, and when I’m there, hanging upside down at the bottom of the Rabbit Hole, it’s tricky to determine which way is up. Sometimes I think I’ve got this whole meaning thing figured out. Sometimes I think I catch a glimpse of something Nameable, rushing away from me, down the path. I’m both thrilled and afraid to discover what it might be, and I’m following it deeper and deeper into Wonderland.”
Peace Corps volunteer in Jordan
“Traveling with children, especially as a first-time parent, opened my eyes to how parenthood is a great equalizer. Every new parent we met, from all over the world and from every walk of life, had the same hopes and dreams and worries and fears as we did. It was incredibly liberating, as was seeing the world again for the first time through my children’s eyes.”
“I’m one of those strange people that grew up traveling. I’m a dual citizen and what is known as a ‘Third culture kid’ so being nomadic, for better or for worse, is what I am used to doing. Travel for me is an incredibly spiritual, life altering experience where one learns more about oneself. You’re challenged in a myriad of ways from language barriers to visas. But you eventually adapt and in doing so something changes in your very being. Layers of who you thought you were peel off as you advance through the day to day challenges and your inner core begins shining through. Materialism turns to minimalism. Perhaps you begin yearning for more artisinal items as hey, you’d rather buy fruit from your neighbor than the hypermarket right? And buying home made food certainly trumps going to a Western fast food chain.
Travel is an excellent remedy to those who wonder if happiness will come from status.
Travel peels off layers modern society and our culture has put on us. Travel is an excellent remedy to those who wonder if happiness will come from status. You have to put all those things away and do some hard core soul searching while on the road.”
What about you? How has traveling given deeper meaning to your life? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!