Three Tips to Traveling Quite Well!

Traveling is not a one-size-fits-all Balinese sarong, so designing your next trip can help you spend those hard-earned dollars in a way to maximize your pleasure!

KNOW WHY YOU GO:

I have appreciated both trekking in Nepal and lounging on a cruise ship along Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. I have stayed in 5-star Bangkok hotels and hiked the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. I have traveled by local bus and limousine; I have camped in a field of grapes, and celebrated my 50th birthday aboard a floating bed and breakfast. I go because, by and large, I want to experience and appreciate local culture & the natural world. I want to step out of my routine. Sometimes I simply want to wander the streets of a bazaar.

Do you want to fly by zipline through the Amazonian rainforest? Or does heaven appear to you as the Manhattan skyline from a roof-top restaurant?     Escape, explore, engage, appreciate…these are among the many reasons people travel.

Ask yourself: what is the REAL reason for your travels, this time?

TRAVEL LIGHT:

In all ways, leave excess baggage home. There are rules of thumb in all travel guides: pack and then remove 1/3 of your clothing, as an example.

As important is to check your attitude at the end of your driveway. On a recent trip in Asia, due to new visa restrictions I was delayed in an Asian country I knew nothing about. Happily, I had the presence of mind to state: “We don’t know why this is happening, but there’s some greater purpose here. Let’s just let it unfold; likely we will find out later.” And though there were delays and financial repercussions, weeks later, in a long line, we met the man who would arguably create the most profound day in a full month of travel for our tour group of 12.

Travel involves regularly stepping into the unknown, so know that going into the experience. Leave the ugly and loud American home, and open your eyes to the possibility that the unexpected might simply be the universe offering you the perfect alternative to the tightly wound schedule you had planned.

BE KIND:

First of all, to yourself; secondly, to those whose paths you cross. The Dalai Lama says: “My religion is simple: my religion is kindness”. Give yourself a break to take in the sensory pleasure of your journey. What are the sounds, tastes and smells that will nurture your soul and your body during this time out of “your daily rut-tine”? It is both a necessary luxury, but also a luxurious necessity to break out your routine on a regular basis.

Sometimes a massage or a wonderful concert will cost no more than a typical tourist attraction. It might just be that closing your book while lounging on the beach will bring you into balance. How can you take care of yourself so well that you embody gratitude with each breath? Or indeed, that you touch your breath? What might be the greatest act of kindness you could bestow on another, whether a fellow traveler or the maid who cleans your room?

Being nurtured by the natural world is priceless in this wireless, yet very much plugged-in world. Remember… Take heed: if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten! Journey into and beyond your comfort zone!

Where would you go, to renew your spirit, to gaze upon a breath-taking sight, to share a once-in-a-lifetime journey with someone you love?

So, as you consider this next vacation, ask yourself the question that will make this journey come alive for you!

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Why travel?

The trip you take will never be exactly as you had anticipated.  You
will find more friendly people, but in unexpected places.  You will be hungrier, and more satiated.  You will learn to trust yourself in ways unimagined, and learn the depth of your own will and heart.

Never again will you be the same.  Never again will you choose a new lipstick over a  bus ticket.  Never again will you be tempted by the shiny, but instead by what is holy and true.

You will not be stoic, but deep feeling will find its way into every crevice of relating, but mostly to the way you relate to yourself.   You will have found the deepest well of generosity within yourself, but also the will of honest strength.  When you feel you cannot go on, you will discover untapped reserves of something without a name, and with certainty you take the next step, and the one after that.

The way will be difficult, but it is a challenge for all the right reasons.  You will be learning the art of self-sufficiency infused with utter dependence on someone either half your age or education, or both.  There are small
brown-skinned men all over world, waiting to carry your baggage, and I do mean all of it, over steep mountain trails, that you may truly know their home.

From Macchu Pichu to the eastern Himalayan range, you will be humbled again and again, by selfless acts of love.  And without a shared verbal language or culture, your gratitude will be known.  You will have the ability to be grateful with your wallet, but moreover, your humility will be shown.

You will later discover the divine beauty within your own landscape, within your community of believers, within your abode.   You will find a million reasons why life is so precious, so utterly  beautiful, and joy will be your middle name.   You will discover that you must go again, and you will be utterly supported, in every way:  the time, place and c0-conspirator will
appear.  Without striving, without effort, without hesitation.

This is my travel story, the only one worth writing.
This is why I travel, and for whom.
This is why I choose, and will always choose, an airline ticket over a
dishwasher, a daypack over a Gucci bag, a new map over a tried-and-true routine.

The Taj Mahal

I am shamelessly addicted to the open road, and hope to die pursuing this one love (but not soon!).