How to Maintain a Spiritual Practice on Your Travels

How to Maintain a Spiritual Practice on Your Travels

Guest post by Caroline Makepeace

Travel is full of meaningful moments, challenges and frustrations, deeper connections, and exhausting schedules. To ensure you maintain an emotional and spiritual balance, and a high vibrational and physical energy level, it’s important to follow spiritual practices on your travels.

I’ve just finished an 18 month road trip around Australia with two children and a full-time online business and managed to keep a fairly consistent spiritual practice. (It’s my spiritual practice that helped me manage it all!)

Why travel is a spiritual practice

Even if you struggle to find time to devote to spiritual practice on our travels, you are already checking off a big spiritual practice purely just by travelling. Travel is a spiritual act of it’s own if you are open to it being that way. Let’s look at three reasons why travel is a spiritual practice:

1. You live in a bubble

A reader emailed me a few months ago and mentioned ISIS. I had to Google what it was. Within five seconds, I knew, felt like vomiting and quickly closed the browser.

We’re in control of the world we’re creating and when we travel we shed the negative news and conversations that constantly infiltrate our space. We choose who we have conversations with and we choose what we watch and listen to.

Travel allows me to live in this blissful bubble. It’s rare that I’m lead to believe the world is bad, or that I encounter awful people. Some may say this bubble is not reality and you need to be connected to what is happening in the world. But, I believe, if you stay in that bubble of reality, you’re more connected to grace and love, which leaves a more positive impact on the world.

2. You are tapped into the power of now

Over the years, I’ve figured out the reason I’m so addicted to travel is because it’s the only moments when I feel truly alive.

I’m totally and utterly present. There are no quotas to fill, no bosses to please, no appointments to agonise, or traffic to fight. I’m totally free of my past and uninterested in my future. I can just connect unencumbered to the moment in front of me.

So when you’re driving down the highway, switch off the music and just watch the landscape change and the eagles soar; feel the sand between your toes as you walk each step along the beach; and connect deeply with each new person you’re fortunate to exchange something with, whether it’s a smile or an attempt to ask for beer in their native language.

Travel allows you to step into the power of now – it’s why we feel so free, so connected, so unbreakable. (And it’s why we can fall apart when we return to reality.)

3. It’s an inward journey

Travel gives you permission to shed your skin and start again. When you travel, you leave behind the version of yourself that was often defined by other people’s thoughts and expectations of you. You can finally follow a path that reveals, with honesty and humility, who you really are, what you believe in, and what version of yourself you now wish to create.

How to maintain a spiritual practice on your travels

1. Meditate daily

Meditation brings calm and balance into what can be a very uncertain and hectic world. Thanks to Belinda’s School of the Modern Mystic course, I now have a meditation practice to keep me sane on the road. I don’t think I could have managed the experience of travelling full-time with my kids and a business if I did not meditate daily.

It’s the first thing I do of a day, but I also slip into meditation on long car trips or journeys. On one hideous 90 minute boat ride through rough seas, I meditated for almost an hour and managed to control the nausea while the rest of the passengers made good use of their sick bags. Don’t forget, each step of that new hiking trail you’re walking on can also be an act of meditation if you are present to it.

Your travels often connect you with beautiful parts of nature to meditate in. There’s a slightly deeper meditation that occurs when you can meditate in forests, beaches, gorges and, of course, Uluru!

Tip: Take a light blanket to put over you so the pesky flies don’t distract you.

2. Practice yoga

You might have enough self-motivation to roll out your mat and practice your yoga sequences. For me, I like to have a teacher lead me through it. I seek out yoga classes in the area I’m travelling to.

I had a glorious five weeks in Broome starting each day with a 90 min Iyengar yoga session – boy did those classes crack me open. I’ve also attended classes on the beach, city roof tops, or staring out to the red dust of the Karijini wilderness. Pure magic.

I either Google or check local community boards to find classes. I also use YogaTrail, a yoga class search engine. I’ve also recently subscribed to YogaGlo, which has a huge range of yoga classes to suit all needs and yoga styles. Now I have a teacher with me everywhere I go and I do it whenever I can.

3. Journal

Dani Shapiro, a best-selling author, says, “I never really know what I think or believe until I start writing.”

Journalling is not just a process for documenting your travels and recording your memories. Journalling is a powerful tool to understand the lessons and meanings behind all your experiences. To connect the dots of the path you are on. To further get to know yourself and to see how you transform.

Journalling is also a great place to share our frustrations and challenges so we can clearly see a solution and understand we are at the centre of creating that. All you need is ten minutes at the end of each day, or right after your morning meditation practice with a soothing tonic of lemon and ginger tea (with a dash of cayenne pepper to wake you up!)

4. Seek out spiritual places

Seek out those places that have a spiritual pull for you and connect deeply to them. I was pulled so strongly recently to divert our road trip and visit Uluru. This magnificent rock peeled back so many of my layers, eliminated my doubts, and helped me to see a more powerful path for my future.

You might arrive at a place expecting it, like Uluru, and so open yourself up to connect to the spiritual experiences through meditation, long walks, and special ceremonies. Or, the spiritual essence of a place might just jump right inside of you unexpectedly, like it did with Belinda when she arrived in the Black Forests of Germany, and for myself when I landed on North Carolina soil and instantly felt like I was home.

5. Go on a pilgrimage

It seems quite an archaic and religious concept, but a pilgrimage is the chance to seek refuge from the demands of modern life and its electronic distractions. You might want to do this for religious reasons and walk the Camino de Santiago trail or head to Mecca.

Or, you might just want to venture into the wilderness in search of your own definition and understanding of spirituality as I’m currently reading in Cheryl Strayed’s book, Wild. She journeyed from Lost to Found along the Pacific Coast Trail.

Pilgrimages don’t necessarily have to be long, just set out on a new adventure with the intention to discover and grow.

6. Travel without plans, only heart guidance, and nudges

I’ve travelled the world since I graduated in 1997. I’ve turned up in countries with less than $100 to my name. I had no choice, but to dig out the strengths buried within me to help me survive. I slowly uncovered I’m powerful beyond measure, but I also learned that I am always supported.

Travel is the perfect time for us to practice a lack of control. There’s no family to disappoint, no job to lose, and no house to fall down. It’s easier to take the chance on trust and you should practice this every day by planning less and following your heart more. Open up to the guiding voice of something greater.

I make it a daily practice to reflect on the unfolding of past events and see how perfectly I’ve been led to the right people and circumstances. It further deepens my trust and my desire to let go, let the Universe take care of it all and enjoy the ride.

This became most noticeable to me while I was doing the School of the Modern Mystic last year on our Australian road trip. Our travel plans kept getting delayed for bizarre reasons and we landed in Mooloolaba during our module on the heart chakra. Right at the perfect time to understand the lessons of our tragic financial disaster that occurred when we lived there four years earlier and to finally forgive me. Divine intervention.

I trusted and accepted every delay and setback since then, and sure enough, it has always delivered me to the perfect place I needed to be to learn the right lessons.

Flow and perfection happens when you don’t try to control life. Wake up each day and plan to follow your heart and allow your intuition to guide you. Let your travel experiences help you learn to let go and trust. If something doesn’t go to plan, accept that there’s a greater reason for it, and get excited for when the aha moment comes. It’s pure divine magic.

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