The Soul of Travel
I love to travel. Place me on a plane toward just about any destination and I am a happy man.
Even though I am a frequent traveler, each time I look out of an airplane window I am still awed and humbled by the raw, dramatic, and sometimes painfully fragile beauty of our planet. I am deeply moved both by our home’s expansiveness and by its smallness, when contrasted to the mind-boggling, unimaginable scope of the universe. I am touched by Earth’s delicateness, its changing moods, its intricate interconnectedness.
Places like Maui’s magical Road to Hana; California’s breathtakingly rugged Pacific Coast Highway; the crystalline waters of the Caribbean; the other-worldly rock formations of Southern Utah and Sedona; the majestic grandeur of the Grand Canyon; the palpable enchantment of Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico; and many others, have carved indelible images in my mind and soul.
I also love road trips. Distance driving, which I occasionally do alone for business, provides me with a respite from the pressing phone calls, frequent faxes and exigent emails of everyday life. It gives me precious time to think, to ponder, to relax, to reconnoiter, to reassess my life.
For me travel is associated with freedom. My first airplane trip at age 10 was to escape the tyranny of Castro’s Communist Cuba. Spain, our transitional destination as my family waited for the requisite visas to proceed to the U.S., represented a brand new world of supermarkets, comic books, potato chips, and other countless treasures I’d only read about or imagined. Filled with indescribable, uncontainable excitement, it represented the promise of choice and a life of liberty.
Travel expands our horizons, literally as well as figuratively. It offers us the opportunity to learn about ourselves and discover who we are. Generally, we cannot accomplish that in a vacuum, and must do it in relationship to others and to our world. Travel exposes us to wildly diverse places and exotic locales, to people with different and sometimes strange (to us) customs. By expanding our view of humanity, how we live, what makes us tick, we expand our view of ourselves. Travel intensifies this mirroring effect, and helps us clarify who we are. It allows us to discover not just new places, but new things about ourselves. It teaches us to welcome difference, and to embrace the mutability and impermanence of life.
That is the vision behind our Soulful Treks: providing an opportunity for people to experience extraordinary settings within a spiritual and transformational context. Think of it as what would happen if a retreat and a vacation got married and had a child.
The annual Hawaii Soulful Trek is coming up in September. This year we are working with a Hawaiian medicine woman who will share beautiful and heart-touching rituals in very special places that I’m not even allowed to divulge! I love these magical islands with their palpable mana, or spiritual energy; they are certainly one of the most sacred spots on this earth.
I’m also finalizing details on a Soulful Trek to Peru next May or June. Please let me know if this is of interest to you as I finalize plans and commitments!
At any rate, enjoy your travels this summer, and I look forward to sharing some extraordinary experiences — or at least stories– sometime!