Travel Australia Byron Bay LIghthouse Jen BaxterFrom the archives.

In June of 2013 I had been in India for almost three months without any plans.. As a woman traveling alone in India, people asked me so many personal questions.  I immersed myself in that experience without understanding what I now know about myself. That I am a seeker. I didn’t even know what that word meant when I arrived in India. It’s so much more than “spiritual seeking”, for me it’s about seeking truth. Those truths that live deep within me and those that show up in how I relate to the world around me. It took time to really understand this about myself. I rewrote this post from that time. While on another trip to Australia in 2017 I realized this captures what I was struggling with so perfectly. As of today, travel is still my portal.

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I have known the rapture of travel.

The moments of waking up in a new city, new country and not knowing the language. When I have the whole day ahead of me to do whatever I want every moment is an adventure. Walking out of a hotel to find a cup of tea feels like a sci-fi movie.

Why science fiction? Because I realize in those moments everything is a choice. My perspective decides how the day unfolds. So many options are available.

Things are happening around me I can’t understand through my intellect. Some experiences are beyond knowing, they are about feeling. They are beyond scary because I have no life experience to compare or give them context. Instead, I sit back, receive and get into the experience. I’ve learned to get very comfortable with saying,”I don’t know.”

I don’t know where I’m going next.

I don’t know why I came to this country.

I don’t know why I’m still here.

I don’t know why I haven’t been in love yet.

I don’t know why I’m not married yet.

I don’t know why I don’t have kids yet.

I don’t know why I still don’t miss home.

In those moments I have to remind myself everything is a choice. A choice about how we look at the very next moment. When I’m in synch with that, I’m in the rapture of life…and travel takes me there.

Travel is a portal that shows me where my negativity can push me off course. My trust in saying “yes” leads me to a greater, deeper connection with others. Those experiences show me how interconnected we are.

Do others feel that way about travel?

I would love to wake up one morning in San Francisco and feel that sense of excitement about the day. Excited to explore life in that city. I had that feeling when I was a kid and lost it along the way. What I remember now is waking up every morning in San Francisco with a deep feeling of dread. Dread of having to check email, dread of going to the office…again. Not wanting to talk on the phone because there wasn’t anything worth talking about.

Life wasn’t working out for me the way I thought it would. I thought it was only me. Now I’m realizing this is common. Every day felt like it got away from me. My thoughts, my time, money and energy were going in so many directions. 

I unconsciously allowed other people to direct my life. Other people were advising me. Other people were giving their opinions. I listened closely. People told me that was a strength. I mimicked the outside world perfectly. I did what I saw others do and things worked out as they said it would.

Then, one morning,  I woke up saying , “What the hell? How did I get here? This isn’t what I wanted …”

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