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Top 10 Spiritual Reasons to Travel

By Rachel Burt 

Me
Everyone knows that happy people are contagious. Those who really do what they love, have passion and joy for life, cannot help but to transfer that positive energy onto others and leave them wanting more. Traveling can leave people with that "glow" or that "aura" everybody wants to absorb. Why? 

Me
1. To Become Humble.
Whether it be wandering through an impoverished village in the country of China, a safari in Central America or the rugged old artsy towns of Brazil, when traveling you will be sincerely become humbled by the simple ways of life. You have the chance to see people happy with very little, and you will experience kindness in its truest and rarest form. These are places where money, image, and other material possessions in no way buy happiness. Instead, it is love for one another expressed each and every hard-working long day. 

2. To Stay True to Yourself, Finding the Real You.

It was in a new concrete city with millions of buildings and people, a hot desert with little markets and foreign languages, a rainforest in Hawaii, and a lonely little fisherman village in Portugal that I took the time to look into my deeper self. When wandering through these foreign villages and escaping my daily routine of hustle and bustle, it gave me a reason to write in my journal. In the process, I thought of who I was and how I wanted to live; I adopted my yoga routine and began to develop my spiritual beliefs. 

3. To Have the Chance to Start Over.

Traveling to a new place and stepping off that plane into the unknown gives you a chance to be, to do and to become whatever you want to be. Full of new opportunities and endless possibilities, you are now starting over, where know-one knows your past. No expectations, reputation, or pre-concecptions of what you should or should not do, or how you should act. You now have the chance to re-establish yourself by using all your creative ideas and imagination to actually reach your dreams. Off to a new country is when I realized that I now have the chance to "chose new friends," learn a new language, write a book, and even change my name if I wanted. It was a whole new me!

4. To Connect to Other Cultures and People From All Over the World.

You will make friends and connections from all over the world. In all different parts of the world, you will have someone to call a friend. In many circumstances, these people, whom you may just meet for a day, a week, or a month, may be more of a best friend than those in your hometown. I met my soul-mates who now live in at least three different countries in the world. 

5. To Take Time to Heal and Leave the Past Behind.

If you lost a loved one, came from a broken relationship or were ill, you will have time to escape from all the memories and shed the baggage. Your pain will begin to heal. Being away will give you a time to rest, move on, and let go. With  less communication with those at home, less use of technology, and a fresh outlook on life, your heart, soul and physical body, will have a chance to heal. 

6. Gain Excitement and Passion for Life Again: New Foods, Music, and Friends.

If you are bored with your life, traveling is your best option. In Europe, I fell in love with food again. While away and tasting new foods, socializing with friends over a glass of wine, enjoying new music, I could not wait for my next meal and even to cook! Coming home, I decided to take time each day in the morning for myself, to go to the "bakery," like they do in Europe, drink a cup of coffee, eat a crumb cake, and read a book all while giving thanks to the simple goodness in life!

7. To Become a Citizen of the World.

A once born and raised Jersey girl, can start to call herself a a "citizen of the world." Learning different languages, connecting with people from all over the world, understanding different customs, religions, and ethics, I now feel much more globally aware about the world. I am no longer just cognizant of the top gossip in Jersey or celebrities on the magazine stands. 

8. Appreciate the Place You Call Home.

How thankful I was to realize that even though I traveled the world, I am fortunate enough to come home to a family with shelter, food, and a hot shower. When all is said and done, everything you may have desperately wanted to escape from at home, you will start to appreciate again.

9. To Release Your Inner Child Spirit.

Remember that imagination and ambition we had as children? Adventuring-out into the "woods" was such a journey filled with fantasy; there were creatures to discover and stories to be told. Everything was an adventure, and all was exciting. When traveling to other countries, all these different languages, colors, scenery, foods, customs, and music will bring out that inner child in you again. Those characteristics we had as children: ambition, bravery and curiosity you will feel resurfacing. You can say travel is its own religion because it is almost like we are literally re-born again. 

10. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone & Face Your Fears.

Time to leave that familiarity bubble and take a flight into the unknown. The fear of anything "new," not knowing the language, the people, and the customs has to be conquered. Through many awkward moments and stressful situations, you will begin to discover all that is within you. You will discover your strengths and weaknesses feeling stronger and more proud than you ever had imagined.

My first trip ever was when I was 18 years old with a group of friends on an adventure to Costa Rica. This experience opened my eyes to a whole new world. When arriving home, I was determined to go out and see more. From there, I volunteered in China; interned and studied in Hawaii; studied abroad in Spain; traveled to other European countries; traveled to Morocco; lived and worked in Portugal and Brazil; and now, I am in New York planning my next journey. 

Travel has transformed and taught me more than my academic education. My passion for languages, writing, yoga, cooking, and surfing were ignited by traveling. I also have learned how to humble myself in many ways, e.g., giving thanks for simple things like a bed, place to stay, clothes to wear, and a job. 

I remember I could never feel more grateful for a simple hot shower than after a ten hour plane ride, five hour bus ride, and a whole lot of walking in Hong Kong. Searching for a hostel late night, we finally arrived to what was a tiny room with a shower located almost directly over the bed with one sheet and one small bar of soap. The shower may have had hot water for just a couple minutes and how thankful I was for those couple minutes. 

In Portugal, I would work six days in the week, eight hours a day and barely knowing the language. I earned a wage lower than what you would make here in half a week working the same hours. 

When coming back home, I was so grateful for a simple job and to earn our wage. Also, when people come into our country speaking very little language, with an eagerness to learn and work, I am able to put myself in their shoes and welcome them with open hands.

Me (in the background)
This poem above is found in a film called Castles in the Sky,  which to me symbolizes the spiritual and psychological changes that occur when embarking on a journey into the unknown. One day, you wake up and realize, you are able to see the world with different eyes than you never would have before. Travel is what connects you to you; it is the fastest way to grow up. Until next time...

Me Traveling

1 comment:

Michael Burt said...

I really loved this article! Thank you, blessings :)

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