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Outer Adventures, Inner Journeys TRAVEL by April Thompson


An open-hearted journey can take unexpected paths. More travelers today are searching for deep and lasting changes in their view of themselves and the world.


Declare Your Intentions Attention and intention are the main ingredients for transformative travel for Phil Cousineau, acclaimed author of The Art of Pilgrimage. “Ask yourself what is motivating the journey: Are you going just to check something off your bucket list because you read about it or are you going because your grandma told you how magical her visit there was in the 1920s? Are you going because you’re at a crossroads in your life, marriage or work?” queries Cousineau. Naming your intention helps open


up the heart and psyche for transforma- tion. Cousineau recommends sharing our choice beforehand with a friend or even a casual acquaintance. Writing it down can also unpack those yearnings and understand the pull to a place.


Part of the intention setting is


clarifying what we hope to accomplish through making a journey, suggests Nathaniel Boyle, creator of The Trav- elers podcast and the travel platform Holocene that facilitates community among transformation-seeking travelers. It might be climbing a mountain with our spouse to strengthen a marriage, or taking a cooking class in Italy or a basket weaving workshop in Indonesia to rekindle a sense of fresh input and creative expression.


TRANSFORMATIVE


Stay Open Cousineau suggests that travelers pre- pare to open their thinking by reading about the history, culture and geography of a place, and then continue to learn en route by talking to locals for insight rather than relying only on a guidebook.


“Make yourself vulnerable. Ask questions and be humble. Talk to your waiter or cab driver about their lives and conditions in their country. Those that become most delighted and transformed by their experiences are the most curious,” observes Cousineau. Anna Pollock, of London, England,


founder of Conscious Travel and a sustainable travel expert, elaborates on potential results. “Travelers may see the world and their part in it differently or feel greater clarity, peace, freedom or hope. For some, it’s about insights into their personal purpose. Others may return with a deeper sense of connectedness or feeling of mastery that comes from trying something completely new.” Jake Haupert, of Seattle, owner


of Evergreen Escapes International, co-founded the Transformational Travel Council to help people embark on such life-altering journeys, and translate “Aha!” moments on the road into meaningful changes back home. He has witnessed individuals undergo radical shifts from changing careers to becoming parents. One couple was so moved by their experiences on an African safari that they adopted their first child from Kenya.


38 NA Triangle www.natriangle.com


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