The 5 Stages of Transformative Travel
When we set out on a potentially life-altering journey we expect to come home changed in some way. Perhaps, we will have experienced something amazing that we had never seen before or met someone we never expected to meet. With any luck, we may have an experience so profound that we are forever changed.
This type of travel transforms us. Maybe just a little, and maybe we won’t even really notice the changes, but they impact how we experience the world, even after we return home. We might only notice these differences for a few weeks, or they might become a permanent expression of our personality.
With transformative travel we set out on our adventure with the express intention that we become changed in some way. We are hoping for a new perspective, a new way to walk in the world.
Transformative travel takes on many forms. We might travel to an ancient place of pilgrimage or visit our ancestral homelands. We could go on a yoga or meditation retreat where we are invited to dive deep into our practice. Perhaps we will visit a medical center in Central or South America and find an ancient healing ceremony with medicine that teases out all of our innermost points of suffering that are buried beneath the debris within the inner space of our consciousness.
In transformative travel, process is progress. We travel to transform when we recognize the potential shifts that are possible in the journey. Even the thought of the process of travel leads us to progress on our physical, emotional, and spiritual path.
There are five stages of Transformative Travel: The Call, The Intention, The Journey, Integration, and The Return.
In the Call, the idea comes to us that we should go. You may not know where you are going at this point, but it becomes clear that you are being called to an adventure. Some place may suddenly, frequently, recurrently, begin to pop into your head. You may see advertisements for the place that you can’t forget, and that haunt you. You might find yourself dreaming about the sights and sounds of the place. Knowing that you must go is a clear sign you are being called!
“Okay already!” You tell yourself as another travel brochure, physical or metaphorical, comes to your attention. And you find yourself booking your flight, clearing your calendar, and planning your itinerary.
After the Call comes the Intention. In truth, all journeys – transformative or not, have an Intention, even if it is just to lay on the beach and wait for the cabana boy to bring you your next mai tai. The Intention of a transformative journey is different though. This Intention is to change. Change your thinking, change your life, expand on something deeper within you that is beginning to work its way out.
Setting an Intention requires that you recognize the transformative nature of your planned journey, and that you create clear goals regarding what you hope to discover. This doesn’t mean that everything is already planned out, it just means that you intend to allow your experiences to change you. Sometimes that willingness to allow life to change us is all that we need to discover a new person living within our skin.
Finally, the Journey itself! Ah, the magic and mystery of going to a new place, doing something you have never done before! There is something raw, vulnerable, about going somewhere that you know is going to change you. There is no way of knowing what to expect; in fact, it’s best to embark without expectations, as an empty vessel waiting for the riches of adventure to fill you.
The Journey is where the adventure is. It is the direct experience of our healing, and our transformation. The Journey is where we do whatever it is we are going to do, the thing our soul is calling us to. It is the hunt for our treasure and the revealing of our wisdom. It is the deep dive into life, consciousness, and all things mystical and magical. We meet others on the path and learn about ourselves through our reflection in their eyes.
But the journey is not the end! If our transformation is to stay with us we must find a way to Integrate our experiences. A truly transformative travel experience will always have an integration period built into it.
While we have been adrift on the sea of consciousness, our friends and family have been home, doing the same things they always do. And they haven’t changed. It is the nature of this world to maintain a “status quo” where life remains comfortable, predictable, and familiar. You may have been truly changed by your experience, but how will you come back to your old life as a different you? How will you hold fast to the lessons you have learned, or the changes you have made?
Finally, we have the Return. Because, if truth be told, the Journey is only the beginning. It catalyzes our transformation, but it is just the beginning of our work. Pedal to the metal, we land on the tarmac of our lives. We return, shiny and new, bringing our message of transformation and love back to the world. Without the return, our journey’s benefit only us. Our loved ones miss out on the gifts of knowing that there is a different way, one with more hope, more love, more joy.
If undertaken with these 5 stages in mind, transformative travel will change you. It will release you from the limitations of your past and open new doors into your future. By grounding fully in the present moment of experience through transformative travel, you become more available for all of the possibility’s life has to offer.
So, consider traveling with us! Sacred Escapades includes all 5 of these stages in every experience we facilitate, whether at home or abroad. Come and discover all that life has to offer, meet your highest potential, merge with your soul and create the life you know that you were meant to live. Click here to learn about your next adventure!