2 Reasons Travel Is SO Important To Your Spiritual Growth

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Why Travel Is The Ultimate Spiritual Journey
Self

Who else could use some time away from it all?

Spiritual growth is a journey that comes in a variety of forms and is usually different for everyone. But in each case, it involves leaving behind what is familiar and comfortable, as well as visiting places, either physically or psychologically, you haven't yet explored.

For many people, experiencing new cultures or globetrotting to another country is the perfect spark to trigger spiritual growth.

Travel can heighten curiosity about different spiritual practices. Sometimes, a long road trip or a secluded retreat away from home is the missing key that finally unlocks the new spiritual quest we've been hoping for.

Travel is an important component of spirituality in contemporary times.

One account that inspired many to set out on their own spiritual journeys through travel was Eat, Pray, Love by New York Times best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert. Through an extended trip that took her to Italy, India, and Bali, Gilbert began to uncover who she truly was without the labels of success that had always defined her life. 

Stacy Romillah, co-founder of the Altar of the Heart virtual temple, acupuncturist, and retreat leader says:

“When I travel, especially when I go to sacred sites, my focus shifts from my familiar life to unimagined potentials. I am pressed to expand my perspective and my ideas of what’s possible. When I travel, I am a bit out of my comfort zone and into the zone where magic happens. I am more open and less attached.”

Stacy says travel allows her to focus on the joy in life

“Travel is my chance to be free and explore what I am capable of and practice what I love, without the day to day responsibilities of my usual life. I often have more opportunity for self-care when I travel.  Practicing self-love helps me to expand that love outwards to the world.” 

Apart from just reaching a destination, the process of travel itself carries an inherent ability to change people and their level of joy

Spirituality is about looking for meaning in life. It's being able to experience connectedness with something bigger than ourselves. Both of these pursuits require us to get out of our comfort zones and become aware of more than just our typical daily routines.

Here are two ways travel is a means to help us achieve spiritual growth.

1. Travel broadens our perspectives.

When we travel, we interact with new and different kinds of people than what we are normally used to. This one factor will ignite change in us simply because we start to see the world from the perspectives of others. We view different ways of doing things. 

As we incorporate what we learn into what we already know. Our minds become more expansive in the understanding of others. When we begin to understand and empathize with those who are not like us, we become more compassionate and loving.

And, through increased understanding and compassion, we better recognize our interconnectedness with all that is around us. This realization can offer a greater sense of meaning, and purpose for our lives.

Travel is deeply healing. Acupuncturist Romillah says, 

“I’ve been in private practice as a healer and consultant for 25 years. It takes at least 6 months of weekly sessions to realize the growth and transformation I see in an 8-day retreat! Spiritual retreats are a crucible where people who are really ready to grow, transform, change their lives, their health, and the world, can leverage the intensity of the retreat to realize their potential and their goals in record time.” 

2. Travel helps us learn to value experience over things.

One foundational idea that is present in many spiritual traditions is that we must not become too attached to things, especially material possessions. We are told to live in the moment, and just touch each moment lightly, as one passes to the next. 

Travel helps foster this teaching because as we are on the move, going from one place to the next, nothing is permanent. Travel offers to teach us to “live lightly” and relish experiences and relationships more than material things.

Romillah says,“Retreats are about awakening your power to create massive change, not only in your life but across the planet. You can become so grounded that nothing will shake you. You can free yourself of negative beliefs — that you're not good enough and therefore feel afraid to put yourself out there — so you return home to confidently create the exact life you want."

There is certainly value in building a home, community, and traditions.

These things root us and provide a foundation to build on. However, travel away from the comfort of what we know is a valuable spiritual practice to help shake things up and create spaces within that are open to mold and shape. 

So, bon voyage, and may your travels transform you.

Bestselling author, media personality, and medical intuitive Amy Leigh Mercree counsels women and men in the underrated art of self-love to create happier lives. Check out her website for articles, picture quotes, and quizzes. See what all the buzz is about @AmyLeighMercree on Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram.

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