The world is opening up to travel again, and as spiritual seekers, this might intimidate some of us. My husband and I are also slowly reorienting ourselves to the world in these strange times. And this article is dedicated to sharing some of the spiritual practices that I’ve followed when traveling that have helped me stay more connected to my inner truth.
But why should we follow spiritual rituals when travelling?
There are so many different things happening when we’re travelling, like:
- New environment, and lots of mentally and physically stimulating forces that can disconnect us from inner alignment;
- Being out of the comfort zone and finding ourselves often feeling anxious by the uncertainty of events;
- In some cases, being exposed to old patterns and habits like drinking, smoking, binging etc.
So, from a spiritual perspective, travel is a good time to test our soul’s development. It lets us see how anchored we are in the bigger truths of life, when say, we have a flat tire and find ourselves cussing!
If we don’t keep up with our practices, and take vacation from our spiritual routine, we might notice ourself straying away from our inner anchor – which can look like arguing with loved ones on vacation, getting stressed over the highs and lows – and on return from the trip feeling more “away” from ourselves than we anticipated.
We are sensitive beings that pick up a lot of energy and can be highly influenced by our environment. There’s a reason why I like calling us an “emotional sponge” – we literally soak up whatever we experience, if we’re not consciously living.
If this sounds like your experience, and you’d like to use vacations to get closer to yourself – not further away – keep reading!
Keeping all my own experiences in mind, here are some simple spiritual practices to help you stay aligned in your truth throughout your traveling.
#1 – Bring the rituals with you.
We’re humans of habit. As much as we might seek getting away, we do need rituals and habits to feel grounded.
And so you want to create the “cues” that remind you to do the things that you do back home. When my family and I were living in an AirB&B a few months ago, I realized how subconsciously everyone longed for their routine, though we were all travelling to come out of our routines.
Whether it was one family member waking up early for their morning walks, or another family member renting bikes to get in their daily dose of fitness, it was interesting to see how we all created comfort amidst the new and uncertain. This is what inspired my own conscious efforts to bring spirituality with me wherever I’m going.
Here’s what you can do as a spiritual seeker, to bring rituals wherever you go:
- Carrying spiritual books with you that you place at your bedside, so that you can be visually reminded to read at the start and/or end of each day. I’ve been binging on author Brene Brown’s work and you’ll see me quoting more of her work in the months to follow.
- Taking rosary beads with you on a walk and chanting your favourite spiritual prayer at the beach, in the middle of a forest or wherever you may be headed.
- Creating time and intention for a shorter and doable version of your spiritual routine. Like getting up earlier than everyone to meditate for 10 minutes if not the full hour. Or like having a journal which you can pen away your thoughts in, as you unwind at night.
I’ve also seen people carry their own yoga mats and make alters within hotel rooms. These are all amazing ways to keep reminding ourselves to be more spiritual when travelling, using personal resources.
#2 – Create small ways to ground your energy.
When we travel, the different situations and dynamics can throw us off our game. Which is why it’s important to regulate our nervous system. Or as the spiritual community likes to call it, ground ourselves. That way, we’re able to come back to the present moment and not get checked out or overwhelmed.
Related Read: Why it’s difficult being in the present moment
While traveling, here is how to ground your energy in small and effective ways:
- Whenever you arrive at a new land, take a moment to speak to it. Ask it to be your home for the next few days and take care of you. And then when you’re leaving, touch the soil and express your gratitude.
- Give yourself time to be in nature without distraction. Which means have at least one walk by the beach or hike in the forest where you’re not digitally connected. This will give you a chance to be more physically and spiritually connected.
- Make time to acknowledge and receive wisdom from the spirit animals of the land. Who knows, maybe that the butterfly that’s been fluttering around you is bringing in the energy of your ascension?
Then there’s the more obvious ways to ground your energy, like walking barefoot in the grass or in the sand, as well as bathing in the ocean. If you can safely do any of those things, add them to your itinerary!
#3 – Come back into your feminine energy through acceptance.
It can be very easy to get carried away with our masculine energy when we’re busy planning, organizing and executing the logistics of a vacation. But this is our opportunity to see what life’s planning and executing for us.
Tapping into our feminine energy is one of those spiritual practices that will bring light, air and magic to traveling. Here’s how we experienced that magic recently.
During a recent weekend getaway, due to the forest fires and staffing shortages from pandemic fatigue, many of the restaurants on our bucket list were closed.
For the first hour, we spent our energy unsuccessfully calling up different places to see what our options were. But finally, something within us shifted and we decided to cook for ourselves.
It was then that we moved our mind into accepting and preparing one of the most satisfying meals of our time there. If we hadn’t accepted this situation, we would have been frustrated as we drove around for another hour searching for places to eat. By coming to terms with the situation sooner than later, we not only saved ourselves the worrying, we made an event out of it!
Another example was when our hotel refused to provide us an earlier check-in. In hindsight, my husband and I both agreed that if we had checked in earlier, we wouldn’t have tried to spend 4 hours being creative with our time. In those 4 hours, we had managed to make some friends in the locality and were invited to one of their community potlucks!
Don’t underestimate the power of letting go of “fighting”, or resisting the flow of life. You’ll be surprised what happens when you come to terms with the moment and meet life for where it’s at, and not where you’d rather it be.
#4 – Voluntarily practicing surrender.
The second aspect of our feminine energy is surrendering – letting go and letting something higher intervene.
We are on autopilots when things are repetitive for us. But we are all also in fight/flight mode when we are not grounded in spiritual truth. We operate out of our primal tendencies when there’s disconnect.
And while travelling, the different unpredictable moments can flare anxiety for anyone. So the one thing we can consciously carry in our spiritual toolbox, is SURRENDERING.
Instead of being the person that would pack her bags a week in advance, my surrender has started at home. I don’t start thinking about my travel kit until much closer to the day of. Sometimes, it’s literally a few hours before leaving.
Wherever you’re at in your journey, it’s important to ask yourself how you can carry less of the “burden” that your vacation will work out. Is it by arriving at certain scenic spots without doing too much research? Or maybe it’s by expecting things to be rocky instead of trying to manage the experience to be perfect?
As you continue to consciously surrender and let life unfold for you, keep going back to the bigger truths of life, like:
- Things always turn out okay in the long run.
- This will make a great story, and it will help me see how much courage I really have.
- I can trust the process, knowing that the universe has my back.
- I don’t have to have all the answers in order for things to work out.
#5 – And most importantly, bring in conscious living in every single thing you do.
This is something I’ve only just come to terms with – the idea that spirituality isn’t just the meditation I’m doing or plant-based food I’m eating. It’s also the plastic bottles I’m not buying and the hotel towels I’m not constantly changing.
The truth is that spirituality is about becoming more human. It’s about stepping outside our paradigm of lack and moving into the abundance mindset, knowing that we have more than enough to go around. So in essence, our spiritual practices are not just about the woo-woo but about bringing consciousness to the most mundane when traveling.
Start by asking yourself the fundamental question – how can I be more conscious and intentional with my presence here?
It isn’t about the big changes, rather the small, incremental steps you will take to be more conscious, that will make a difference.
One thing I’ve enjoyed doing here in Canada is finding and supporting the different conscious projects that people are running. Three of these projects that recently fascinated me were :
- This forward-thinking shop that promotes refilling existing containers, eliminating single-use plastics.
- This zero-waste thrift store that raises funds for people effected by domestic violence.
- This innovative company that up-cycles chopsticks to make kitchenware, utility and decorative items.
Whenever you can, spend some of your time seeking out and supporting local businesses, especially the ones that are walking on this conscious path with you. This is your way of giving back and being intentional with your time, energy and money.
Travelling plays an essential part in integrating our spiritual practices and whatever we’ve learned in a controlled environment, at home. It’s an opportunity for us to give a new twist to how we see and treat the world when we call ourselves spiritual seekers.
Of course, there are many constraints like jet lag, travel anxiety, packed travel schedules, etc. that can make it harder to keep up with our spiritual routine. But just being 5% more conscious on our next trip can take us one step closer to inner connection. Unless we’re going on a retreat, there’s no need for us to create a pressure for conscious living. It’s simply about being more intentional and integrating our spiritual truth into all facets of life.
I hope these ideas inspire you to be a more conscious and internally aligned, no matter where you are, what you do. And before you go, do share in the comments below how you make your travel time more spiritually connected. It’ll make a wonderful addition for everyone else to be inspired from!
Vasundhra is the Founder & Writer of My Spiritual Shenanigans. After seeing 11:11 on the clock one fateful night, her life turned around. Ever since, she has been blending modern psychology and ancient spirituality, to help herself and people around the world elevate the quality of their lives.
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