Travel As Transformation

At EAT.PRAY.MOVE, we have all had the common experience that travel is not just vacation and frivolity—travel in its nature is an act of mindfulness. Many dismiss travel as a selfish or frivolous act, a yin and mindless activity in our lives. We couldn’t disagree more—travel is an active experience for the mind, one that challenges and changes people. While many people join our retreats because they know yoga to be a tool for presence, energy, meditation and expansion, what we hope they go away with is the knowledge that travel, too, can be a conduit for all of these things.

When we travel, we must be aware. We can’t go on autopilot, because our usual patterns can not be applied. We not only have to navigate locations and streets we’ve never visited, but we may have to adjust the way we eat or sleep or something as automatic as our language.

While we offer many ways to cultivate presence, such as art, tea rituals, soul coaching, walking meditations and yoga, the very act of meeting us in a new location is in itself an act of transformation.

We were so excited to read this article by Travelettes on this very topic. The Travelettes are a group of female travelers, writers and photographers sharing their travel stories online since August 2009. They come from all corners of the world, and it is their goal to inspire, inform and motivate women to travel more.

In this blog post, called “Can Adventure Be A Transformative Experience?” the author, Maarit Vaha-Piikio writes, “Being here and now is emblematic for adventure. Adventure absorbs wholly in the present. There’s only Being. Without past. Without future. Perhaps we need more adventure to root us down into reality, so we can learn to think meditatively, to engage in life in a thoughtful way.”

This thought led her to start a scientific study of adventure. She conducted her candidate’s thesis about adventuring women who felt adventure changed their lives too. You can read more here about her experience and learning.

We hope more people will take the time to travel and open their minds to new possibilities and perspectives.