Choosing a travel destination is always exciting and inspiring! And when we are talking transformation, as we are, your mind might immediately take you to an austere yoga ashram in India, or the current popular choice, Bali. I've seen Eat, Pray, Love too. But you have to ask yourself, "Is this really the best fit for MY trip?" Often it's not. When I have consultation calls with clients, and especially if we clarify intentions, it's fascinating when the final destination they choose is nothing like what they initially imagined.
And I want to be clear from the get go; there is no one specific place in the world anyone needs to go to create change. Nor do you have to go to an ashram or spiritual retreat. I have been to places that are more well-known for transformation, and I have spent a month on a beach in Thailand doing a yoga teacher training, and I have camped an hour and a half from my home and experienced magic. You do not have to break the bank or fly to the other side of the world. However, it is an investment in self and I will also encourage you to not put budget first. When something is right, the pieces fall into place.
Over the years, my experiences with transformational trips, have shown to me that there are several different ways to decide on a transformational destination for oneself.
The first way is the easiest in regards to choice. That is when the destination is chosen for you. What do I mean by this? I'm referring to when you have to travel to a certain place, or even places, for work or possibly family reasons. When this is the case, you would create your intentions and purpose from that as a starting point. This is the second time I've mentioned intentions, and I realize you might not understand what I'm talking about. Setting intentions is typically step one of the transformational travel process I have created. In a nutshell, when we create specific intentions for our trips, they act as intuitive maps that guide us where we need to be. I always like to clarify that intentions are NOT goals. Goals are an end result, whereas intentions help us to manage our mindset and energy and can lead us to goals if we feel the need to set those. I have a list of intention-setting questions I share with my clients...if you'd like to receive them, send me a message and I will gladly share! Anyhow, I digress. I hope the former makes sense. You haven't had the choice of destination, but you choose and intend how you experience the destination.
The choice of where to go may be easy, but potentially there may be more work to do in the other steps. A personal example I can share, is that last March I travelled to Israel for business purposes. That place was not even near the top of my travel wish list. However when the opportunity presented itself, I knew instantly I was meant to be there. I am of Jewish heritage, and my father passed away a year and a half prior to this trip so my intentions became clear around processing my complicated grief. Not going to lie, it was an intense trip for that and other reasons. And it was what I needed at that time.
Another very simple way to choose a transformational destination is when you are called to a certain place. For example, many years ago, in a meditation, the word sakura came through loud and clear. At that time (I'm so much more worldly now haha), I had no idea what that word meant...was it even a word?! Well thank goodness for Google. I quickly discovered what sakura are and what they represent. And from that moment I knew, I KNEW in my heart, that I had to visit Japan during sakura season. I did not feel compelled to do so immediately and in 2017 I did travel to Japan during sakura season and it was everything I needed in that time. Do you have place that you are pulled to or has been calling to you...through your thoughts, or dreams, or in some other way? If this is the case, then there potentially is a karmic reason you need to go there. Either way I can guarantee there is powerful learning that will be there for you.
I have also had a goal in mind and that led me to the place where experienced transformation. I already shared above that I did a yoga teacher training in Thailand. I knew I wanted to do a yoga teacher training. And I knew for me it was about the spiritual aspects, not the physicality so that helped guide me to where I needed to be. But straight up, how to choose a yoga retreat or training is a whole other blog post so we have to set that aside. On another trip, my goal was to improve my Spanish-speaking skills and that led me to Cartagena, Colombia. Again, a whole other topic, choosing a Spanish language school. My main point here is that you may have something you want to do or learn. Maybe you want to hike Mount Everest (can I come?!)? Maybe you want to explore your love of wine (please take me with you!)? That goal will help you to narrow down your destination. And again, from there you will want to set intentions and move through the rest of my transformational process.
So your transformational destination may in some way be chosen for you or easier to narrow down, but what if you have no idea where to go?! In this case, I would say you start with step one of my transformational process. Clarify and set your intentions. I honestly don't want to sound like I'm making a shameless plug; I've already above mentioned the specific questions I've developed around intention-setting for a transformational trip and that I'm happy to share. Use that as a starting point. From there I would suggest you tune into your intuition and more practical issues such as, how much time you have, value for money, safety, and so forth.
Every transformational travel experience will be different from the next. There is no right or wrong. What is right for someone else doesn't mean it's right for you. Don't feel like you have to go to India or Bali or Peru. Though absolutely you might want to and that's fine too. Ultimately, ultimately, it is not even about the place. It is about removing yourself from the constraints of everyday life and travelling to a destination different from home. If that destination is dramatically different, if you choose a culturally immersive experience and if you are solo (even if part of a group), your experience will likely be intensified. But no matter where you go, with the right intentions, and if you push yourself beyond self (or other)-imposed limits, you can create the conditions for transformation. No matter how you are lead to where you will need to be at the right time, it is an intensely personal decision. And to ultimately reap all the benefits, the process doesn't end when you walk through the arrival gate. You must unpack and transfer that learning to your everyday life.
I hope this answered the question of how to choose your transformation destination. If not entirely, please send me a message with further questions. And now I will throw in the shameless plug...I am offering a limited number of free intention-setting calls. If you are interested, you can find out more information here...
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