I am sure that you’ve heard this story before. Someone you knew (or you, but that’s your decision) is always complaining of how much rough things are for them. Everything is always falling apart, they have no optimism in life, it’s all just a huge mess. All of a sudden, they book a trip for, let’s say, two weeks in Bahamas. As soon as they do that, they keep bringing their vacation up in every conversation you have, saying things like how tired they are and how amazing this trip is going to be because, of course, they deserve it. Their speech is based on a delusional statement that this particular travel will be life-changing and how they will feel so much better because of that. When they finally travel, they try very hard to prove to other people how chilled they are and how much of a great time they are having… by posting everything on social media (deep down, you know how chaotic it was for them because they took a lot of pictures in each and every touristic spots with a tight schedule, but let’s pretend this isn’t important, even though it is – very much). Then, they come back home and, surprise! The negativism over how much their life is horrible comes back again but spiced up with complaints about the travel (bad airport, huge lines, too hot weather, too many people trying to sell them stuff… you know what I mean). What a souvenir. It was, again, just another travel they had because everybody else was doing the same thing.
Sounds familiar? Well, you are not the only one. I have seen many people treating traveling as something that will change their lives, but they do not put the effort into thinking about the process and the purpose of the traveling. Yeah, it is that easy: thinking. But it’s also hard because depending on what you are going through, it might access some sensible spots – but it will be worth it.
One thing I have noticed about friends and family (or random people out there) traveling is what moves them to a specific place at a specific time. We all have come up with the decision to travel somewhere because everybody else was doing that too – and we did not want to feel excluded, right?
Don’t get me wrong, I am not judging your traveling destinations. I love to go to mainstream places too, such as that hot topic beach destination or Disneyland. And there is nothing wrong with it. Truth is that even Disneyland has special ties with people, which is very subjective. People feel inspired to go to the theme parks and amuse their inner child, play with famous characters, have delicious (and full of sugar) food, ride on the roller-coasters… There is a certain magic to it. Meanwhile, some people want to go there because the picture of them with Mickey’s ears hat would look cute on their social media. Neither of those people is wrong.
In my humble opinion, traveling is so much more than this. I used to be the one to go wherever everyone else is going and it is not surprising that I do not recall many of my destinations details. That’s because they didn’t mean a lot to me, I wasn’t really there. So I have decided to handle my traveling decisions as a soul connection. I have been thinking about my next trip (which is a hard task, considering our pandemic limitations and lack of prediction of when this will all be finally over) and I came up with a destination that has surprised people that are close to me. I can’t say how many times I have heard them say “really? You are going there? YOU?“. Well, I am. I did my research and there are things there that connect with the context my life has today, what I am looking for as a life purpose, what that culture might have to teach me, what I could give to people there (I am considering being a volunteer, but that is not the topic for today)… Traveling with your soul is really what traveling is all about.
Traveling, for many, is considered a luxury and this is not always affordable. Some people associate traveling with luxurious five-star hotel halls, flying fancy, shopping until you drop and all those other things we know people expect out of their vacation. However, they fail to see the beauty within traveling to places that not only does not require huge investments and provides you remarkable experiences as well. You know that famous corner in your city that everybody talks about? Have you ever gone there and just observe, trying to figure out why is it so special? How does it speak to you?
Traveling is much more than reaching places miles away from home. It can be done in a day, like visiting another neighbourhood. I like to see traveling as a soul connection to a place, regardless of how far it is from where you are right now. Next time you get an invitation to go to the same place everyone is going, try to see it as an opportunity to deeply connect with something (really, anything) there. Getting to know the history of the place, the culture, fun facts and language might be helpful first steps to finding some detail that really gets your attention.
Being connected to your traveling process will, for sure, make your experience twice as great instead of just going somewhere. As per my next destination, I will let you know where I am planning to go when the time is right. Before that, I have to figure out my soul’s needs and wishes.