The Way of the Traveler:
Making Every Trip a Journey of Self-Discovery.
2002. Avalon Travel, Emeryville, CA. ISBN 1-56691-449-3
So, as a species we appear to be embarked on a spiritual quest of vast and unprecedented proportions, searching for the "stranger" - us, undiscovered - at the most profound levels of our individual being.
Travel becomes a spiritual experience for us when we are conscious at every moment that our physical transportation from place to place has a metaphysical counterpart.
Leaving home is essential to understanding the whole of the mystical quest; no hero can return home triumphant if he never leaves home in the first place. Once on the road, we begin to encounter the miraculous.
All travel is inner travel.
Every time we take a trip, we have an opportunity to expand our awareness and thus to grow spiritually.
The end of the journey for both heroes and saints is enlightenment.
… a journal of feelings elevates your trip from a mere sight-seeing excursion to an archetypal hero's journey. Keeping a chronicle of your feelings gives you the opportunity to trace the movements of your heart as you make your way. It transforms a trip of discovery into a journey of self-discovery.
The urge to travel is a far-off yearning to change where we are. We can somehow sense it, the call of the unconscious to move into the outer world. Listening to the call of that still, small voice deep within is the first step of the journey.
The dream of travel announces that each of us has the power to transform our lives in a fundamental way. And it promises that if we pluck up our courage and agree to undertake the journey, the road upon which we travel will lead to self-discovery. It is no small promise.
Since no journey is a mistake, every journey matters.
All places have meanings for us. This is true whether or not we have been there … A place that is unknown to us still may have some associations, simply because its meaning is universal. Dark Continent, desert island, City of Light, winter wonderland.
The challenge for us is to sort out our connections with the place to which we have been called - seemingly by another but really, we know now, by a higher part of ourselves. Exploring the meaning of the place is the key to understanding the journey. When we have learned what the place means for us, we have discovered the way of the traveler.
What if this were happening in a dream? How would we interpret it?
When you travel, whether it is a place you have chosen for yourself or to a location that has been preordained, ask yourself: If this journey happened in a dream, how would I interpret it?
There are more than mere physical necessities for the trip. There are spiritual provisions. As we prepare for our travels, we ask: Does it not make sense to bring along spiritual provisions to meet spiritual challenges and fill spiritual needs?
… the primary goal of our journey is to bring something back. We go out to find and recover that which has been lost, or that has been missing in our lives. First and last, the goal of our wanderings is to bring back a higher and richer knowledge of ourselves.
For we are pilgrims on the road to higher consciousness. We have answered a sacred call from deep within. Where we walk, abundance goes before us.
Gathering a few small gifts is an important part of preparing for your trip.
Here is a short list of things you might take along with you for gifts: snapshots of yourself, members of your family, your animal companions; postcards from your town or your state; small souvenirs from home, such as key chains or T-shirts; a copy of a favorite book; commemorative or currency coins; a hometown newspaper (this will seem quite exotic to someone in another land); a small address book - with your name and address written in as the first entry.
Seeking the perfect memento, finding it, bringing it back - this is the very essence of the journey.
You will find that mindful selection and taking back of mementos will add immeasurably to the experience of your journey.
Our task upon our return from a journey is to reorder our lives around our new identity. The encounter, whether it arose at our destination or on the way to it, or on the way home from it, has transformed us. Now our work is to change our world to accommodate our enlarged identity. This is a sacred undertaking.
Finally, as you leave the place where you have been staying, bless it for the next person. You have the power to bless - and this is one of the best ways to use that power.
Perhaps the greatest gift of the journey is the awareness that we have the power to re-create our lives. Such is the magic of travel! We have been changed by our experiences on the journey. Now, the legacy of the journey is the power to assume an active role in our growth.
Journey's end is a time for reflection and celebration. Closure is one of the most important aspects of a trip.
When we return from our travels, we display the evidence of our venturing forth, and it is a lesson to those who stayed at home. If we have not shared the story of our wanderings and what we learned from them, we have not completed the epic round of the adventure.
If we never come in from the road, we cannot venture forth again. Ending the journey offers us the opportunity of repose and retreat - but much more, it allows us to become the traveler again.
This seeming lull is vital to the rhythm of life. We need time to be at home, to make our nest in this place of quiet emotions and serene thoughts. Time to collect, time to absorb - and time to grow, but slowly and in the shade.
You are the hero of your journey. You deserve an epic tale to document your exploits.
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.
Anonymous (19th Century
Never take a trip you can afford.
Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.
Beyond the East the sunrise,
beyond the West the sea.
And East and West the wander-thirst
that will not let me be.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Where we love is home. Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Go lightly, simply. Too much seriousness clouds the soul. Just go, and follow the flowing moment. Try not to cling to any experience. The depths of wonder open of themselves.
A good traveler is one who does not know where he is going to, and a perfect traveler is one who does not know where he came from.
The pleasure of leaving home, care-free, with no concern but to enjoy, has also as a pendant the pleasure of coming back to the old hearthstone, the home to which, however traveled, the heart still fondly turns, ignoring the burden of its anxieties and cares.
Traveling is not just seeing the new; it is also leaving behind. Not just opening doors; also closing them behind you, never to return. But the place you have left forever is always there for you to see whenever you shut your eyes.
The journey is the reward.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
I am not born for one corner; the whole world is my native land.
To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the most pleasant feelings in the world. You are surrounded by adventure. You have no idea of what is in store for you, but you will, if you are wise and know the art of travel, let yourself go in the stream of the unknown.
Henry David Thoreau
Only that traveling is good which reveals to me the value of home and enables me to enjoy it better.
Henry David Thoreau
Why do you stay here and live this mean toiling life when a glorious existence is possible for you? These same stars twinkle over other fields than these.
Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road.
Healthy, free the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune.