“Like a path frequently traveled becomes clear and well-marked in the forest, so too does the path to your soul become more clearly marked in your consciousness.” (Genevieve Gerard)
Have you ever been stuck in a rut of mindless, habit forming routine? Perhaps you might then undertake the following experiment to search for solutions solely within yourself. Choose a desired location you have already visited accompanied by a memorable photograph of that place. Using all of your senses, examine closely the details of that photo presented. Then close your eyes and visualize opening up physical sensations such as warmth/ coolness, tightness/ looseness, or shades of color throughout your body. Pay particular attention to this flow of energy emanating from the tip of your head down to your throat, chest, stomach, and pelvic region.
Thus encased in this relaxing cocoon of evolving self perceptions, you’re ready to make a critical mind/soul connection. What “gut feelings” or new understandings now come to mind about yourself or the ever changing world around you? Witness the following examples of such self-revelations inspired by the following photographic display from my recent travels.
1. Cultural Learning
In examining these two photographs from past European stays, I notice the following: (1) Ordering a simple hot dog can be a confusing ordeal at this German meat market, (2) How strange that young people go wild for oldies swing jazz in this Paris club. Hmm! It seems that my prior assumptions regarding what I am accustomed to expect in travel can be “blown away” by what seems real.
2. Historical Learning
As I observe these cobblestone walking paths/old town walls in Quebec City, I travel back in time and imagine these medieval structures inviting me to slow down to the “horse and buggy”pace of medievalism.”
3. Scientific Learning
Gazing with awe at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, I witness steep canyons slowly sculpted by wind, rain, and the Colorado River below. I thus feel humility that my opportunity to be alive on earth miraculously exists in this mere speck of geologic time.
4. Artistic Learning
How can I make better use of my “right brain” to pursue more imaginative enjoyments of travel? Perhaps an extraordinary array of clouds, flowers and rocks as depicted below might make wonderful settings for stimulating my wandering artistic imagination.
5. Interpersonal (Sociological) Learning
In revisiting this country store in the small town of Jeffersonville, New York, I sense that animals can often be your best companion when you travel.
6. Economic Learning
As this mini car attests in Paris, if I realize that less is better on the road, I might similarly find some wise strategies to “downsize” at home.
In the desolate, inland tundra of Iceland depicted below, I can appreciate the meditative potential of loneliness experienced in a quiet place.
8. Geographic Learning
Ruth and I often traverse the mountainous terrain of America’s National Parks in our road trip travels. Observing the arduous task of ascending to such high ground overlooking this unfolding panorama beyond, I can more easily see how we can conquer any fears of facing the unknown ahead in travel.
9. Religious Learning
As I humbly observe the inner serenity emanating from these beautiful floral surroundings in India, I imagine then that spiritual connections can be felt anywhere in travel.
10. Political Learning
From our recent cruise stop in Barcelona, Spain, angry political protests in favor of Basque political freedom again capture my attention. It seems I must make travel more of a grassroots, protest mission against human injustice. Making more visits to local museums/bookstores and street bars overseas might help me to undertake this activist mission.