“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”
I travel a lot.
I’ve traveled as a professional athlete, and as an insatiable seeker-of-beauty and adventure. I’ve been inspired, humbled, and ultimately infatuated with the transformations that happen with travel. Especially for women.
For the past 25 years I have been leading Women’s Quest retreats around the world. Italy. Costa Rica. Iceland. Peru. Bali. Mexico. Colorado. Vermont. California. Hawaii. Traveling with like-minded women brings out the best in us. That is a fact I have witnessed, time and time again, at Women’s Quest retreats. It is intoxicating, inspiring, and simply beautiful to see women shed layers of accumulated worry and glow with wonder.
Traveling builds energy, replenishes vitality and offers a renewed sense of self. The adventure of discovering a new place builds courage and jump-starts the mind–brightening our outlook and rebooting our resilience. It offers newfound clarity for decisions and supports an attitude that radiates: “Anything is Possible.” Traveling enhances our life…AND we meet new best friends along the way.
Through my years of adventuring, I’ve learned a lot about myself. In hindsight, I’ve developed a list of why travel brings out our best selves.
1] Traveling Restores and Builds Energy
At Women’s Quest we have a theme called Windhorse Energy. We say that your Windhorse energy signifies chi, life-force, or prana. It is the strength of the horse and the power of the wind and carries our dreams and desires from the earth realm to the heavens. Windhorse is our energy. Without energy we cannot create.
When our Windhorse energy is low we are vulnerable to illness, depression, and can get into rut and run out of creativity. Traveling puts the stresses of “daily life” on pause is so we can renew our Windhorse vitality.
While traveling to a new place does take focus and organization, it also takes letting go, surrendering, and opening our eyes to beauty and new activities. It is unlike our ordinary daily-life focus where we direct our attention towards caring for family and relationships, career, hobbies and working out. It offers a fresh new perspective and the chance to engage in the world in a new way, in our own way.
“Travel far enough to meet yourself.”
2] Traveling Decreases Stress
When we travel we encounter a new environment, daily routine, food and weather. This helps us de-stress. We let go of bad habits, and discover a different rhythm–one which allows space for dreaming and invention. Prolonged stress is tough on our brain and body, and certainly does not allow our spirits to shine. Changing our environment can calm our system and rebalance stress hormones.
3] Traveling Engages Our Brain
“When was the last time you did something for the first time”
-John C. Maxwell
Trying something new is exhilarating and helps to rebuild new pathways in the brain. Every time we learn something new our brain changes! (How cool is that!) We physically create new neural pathways. This is the miracle of our brains and how we adapt to new learning and new adventures. A retreat or organized travel adventure is a supportive structure that allows us to successfully try new things and travel the world safely.
Whether we embark on learning to surf in Costa Rica, take a cooking class in Tuscany or climb a mountain in Peru…moving out of our familiar comfort-zone affords us the opportunity to rewire and reset our brain and beliefs. We can reinvent ourselves.
4] Traveling Keeps Us Young At Heart
When we start on an adventure we get to rekindle our kid energy. We get to explore new horizons. On an organized Women’s Quest retreat the focus is on Play…we don’t have to be responsible for all the details of traveling or take care of others. Laughing and celebrating life with people around the world has a natural healing capacity.
5] Traveling Reconnects You to YOU
Traveling can help us disconnect from our digital devices and habits, allowing for a “detox” for mind and body. We can replace the habit of staying “wired.” We instead recover an open-eyed, open-hearted sense of wonder.
Instead of a screen, you can:
- Experience yourself: your wisdom, your truths, your brilliance.
- Delight in nature and your surroundings.
- Make real connections with those around you. You discover common bonds, delight in the shared journey, and cultivate lifelong friendships.
Let the journey lead you toward your best and truest self.