Traveling (especially backpacking) is life changing, amazing and everything in between. It pushes your boundaries and opens room inside of you for immense growth. This wouldn't be possible, however, with out those nerve racking moments that test your limits and bring you face to face with your ego. During my recent travels through Costa Rica and Europe I was placed in situations I really thought would push me over the edge. This is what I took away from them, little gems of advice that keep me calm, collected and enjoying the present.
1. I am exactly where I need to be
Yup, right here, right now. Even while in your car in the bus lane of a busy European city. You are in the right place. Take a breath, do the next right thing and know that at the very least this insane situation is going to make a great story. There are hundreds of times I have been at an absolute loss for what to do next. Heading out of town on the wrong train, lost in a new city after sunset or eating in a giant grimy restaurant serving exclusively males…what? In hindsight every one of these situations leads to something really cool. Life has a funny way of getting you exactly where you need to be, it just takes the winding scenic back roads.
2. I am my own sacred place
When you have no personal space because the woman next to you is wearing 3 kinds of bad perfume and the man across from you is eating various forms of unidentifiable fried meats on a 10 hour bus ride with no air conditioning...remember this, you always have YOU. You have the ability to make a sacred space inside yourself. Try this; close your eyes and drop inwards, Imagine your whole body is an empty vessel filled with light and clean air. Curl up in fetal position and rest inside your own body. Visual meditation is magic, no deep breaths required.
3. I allow my life room to live
While traveling and especially when cramming a lot of places into a small time frame, I have a tendency to map out all my plans. Heres my advice (to you and myself) relax and just enjoy, you have made it! You’re traveling! Making 'fixed' plans has the ability to prevent significant spontaneous experiences. Instead, make intentions and let the expectations go. Out of all the incredible things that have happened to me while traveling, none of them were the result of my planning. Have an idea of what you want to do (general location, times etc.) then let go. If it's meant to happen it will happen, if not there is probably something better in store. Intuition is always the best guide book.
4. I have a Voice
When your magical traveling experience is loosing its sparkle dust and your stamina is waning, it's easy to loose our authentic selves. It can be so easy to keep quiet when the waiter brings 2 giant servings of polenta and strong swiss cheese, instead of the 1 you specifically requested to share with your friend. Rather than compromising, find the subtle and strong inner voice which is always there for you. Remember, you’re not a bad person for having a budget and wanting what you ordered. You are not an obnoxious tourist, and most likely a local would send it back too. You are responsible for your experience, make it a good one.
5. I am a global citizen
We are all members of this planet, the land belongs to no one. Traveling is a great opportunity to share your ideas of unity and connect with incredible people. Respect cultural boundaries but never automatically exclude yourself because you assume you’re unwanted. Taking that leap and sitting with the cool local artists on the church steps in Barcelona will probably be one of the better decisions you’ve made. Just do it, don't let yourself catch a bad case of the “What ifs”.
6. Trust the Process
This is my ultimate travel mantra. The totally frustrating thing that may be happening right now during your travels is a necessary part of the experience. Keep the faith and go with it. The most memorable locations are ALWAYS down bumpy dirt roads. Hold tight and enjoy the scenery.
CHRISTIANA Is a full time traveler, yogi, song writer and dream manifester. She is passionate about fresh food, vibrant cultures, holistic health and the ocean. Her greatest wish is for everyone to listen to their inner teacher, follow their intuition and fall in love with their lives. Follow her here: www.christianaeva.com