Meaning to Travel: Pack Your Bags with Purpose

When Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, hit a wall in
her life, she set out on a journey.  Travel became a way to find purpose,
heal a broken heart and grow.  Soul-seeking has often been associated with
travel and if you’re feeling the urge to hit the road as a way to gain
meaningful insights, you’re not alone.  Some 300 million people worldwide
make up this fast growing group of intentional or transformational travelers
according to Global Travel Industry News.

Before packing your bags for a meaningful journey it’s good to know your
aim.  Do you need to relax; do you seek silence for clarity; will your
body benefit from intensive yoga or extra support in healing, or will nature
reenergize you?   Considering the purpose of your trip ahead of time
will help you make the right choices.  For example, if you yearn to go
someplace to find yourself, then Las Vegas
will probably not fulfill the need.  But if you want silence then a
mountain retreat may be ideal.

Once you’ve examined your needs for travel, consider the places that
most help you fulfill the aim.  Setting an intention for travel can bring
rewards, invite synchronicity and open new doors.  It can revive a weary
soul, promote healing, allow for time to bond with family and friends, and give
a new perspective on what’s important.  The destinations for intentional
travel are vast.  Here are a few possibilities and intentions to inspire
spiritual wanderlust::

Stretch Body and Mind at Yoga Retreats

Yoga getaways combine mind and body activities to renew and
rejuvenate.  They offer a way to escape from the hectic pace of the work
world and spend time stretching mind and body.  Yoga retreats at places
like Pura Vida USA
with your favorite yoga instructor can serve up privileged moments to inspire
life transforming changes.

Support Health and Healing

Combining travel with the aim to heal may lead to places like the Duke Integrative Medicine Center in Durham, NC. 
The Center’s architecturally Zen setting replete with an outdoor labyrinth
encourages contemplation and invites visitors to explore alternative paths to
wellness using clinically proven therapies.  Staff counsel people on how
to maintain good health, manage chronic ailments such as heart disease and
depression, or cope with major medical events like surgery or cancer.

Feed Your Spirit

Scheduling weekends to nourish the soul can foster contemplation and provide
a chance to reflect on meaning and purpose.  Spiritual retreats may
combine spiritual guidance with periods of silence and meditation or include
activities like writing and arts.  The Sophia Institute in Charleston, SC
conducts regular retreats with renowned teachers including Joan Borysenko and
Natalie Goldberg.  Omega Institute also presents an array of inspiring
speakers.  Some retreat centers will offer reduced rates in exchange for
volunteer work or give scholarships to those in need.

Volunteer for Nature

Many organizations like the Nature Conservancy offer opportunities for
individuals to serve their communities and the planet through
volunteering.  Weekends to clean up trails and remove invasive species and
pick up trash can have a positive impact on the environment and feed the nature
lover’s spirit.

Bio: Debra Moffitt-Leslie

Debra Moffitt-Leslie’s book,"108 Spiritual Practices for
Challenging Times" will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in 2011. 
Her essays and articles appear in publications around the world and focus
on drawing attention to the spiritual in a mostly material-minded world. 
She’s on the faculty for The Sophia Institute and gives workshops in the
U.S.and Europe. Her fiction was broadcast by BBC World Services and published
in numerous literary magazines.


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