I’m in the process of recovering from a severe bout of gastroenteritis. Let me tell you, it’s the ultimate in leveling experiences. When you spend the day lying in bed, punctuated by frequent dashes to the “can”.... well, you can’t help but indulge in a bit of self-reflection.
It’s been an interesting year so far for me...... Since January of this year, I’ve lost my mother, launched a new website, published 3 books with Amazon, with a fourth book to be released next week, and together with my partner, Peter, we’ve planned a 6 week trip to the South of France and the Czech Republic in May. It’s been a helluva ride so far and we’re not even halfway through the year yet.
I pondered over the roller coaster ride that has been my life journey over the past 3-4 months. I began comparing it to physical travel, of which I am lucky to spend 3 months out of every year doing.
So why do we love to travel? What compels us to leave the comfort and safety of our shores and day-to-day routines in search of foreign lands?
Having already answered these questions in depth in the introduction of “Travel Bible For Women”, another question raised its head for me. Have we forgotten how to travel?
Once upon a time, travel equalled a sacred journey, where places were visited in order to gain inspiration. Known as “going on a pilgrimage”, the experiences of the journey and the subsequent inspiration that came as a result of it changed the outlook and quality of life for the traveler or “pilgrim” when they returned home. The traveler or pilgrim, therefore, approached their journey with the view of exploration and discovery - a “going forward” towards knowledge and eventually, wisdom.
Today, however, society, the media and travel brochures encourage us to “get away from it all” and “escape.” And when we approach travel with this mindset, don’t we find more often than not that the problems we thought we left behind are still waiting for us when we arrive? As we step back into our routine, rather than feeling inspired and recharged, we find ourselves more tired than ever. In fact, we find ourselves saying that we "need another holiday."
Back to my bed, where I am propped up on a pillow, too weak to do anything else .... it occurred to me that travel helps us get in touch with a higher part of ourselves, in that it makes us aware of the subconscious baggage that we need to let go of.
Armed with this realization, I’ll be approaching my travels to the South of France with the view of “going forward” towards exploration and discovery of a new land. And with that, the knowledge that I’ll be exploring and discovering myself in the process. And when we return home to Australia in June, hopefully I’ll have found that I too will have come home to my “Self.”