Travel as a path to insight
You've just walked up a good size peak through beautiful bushland and granite boulder country, you've taken the requisite selfie with the world-renowned view from the top, you've tripped down 900 steps (glad you asked advice on which direction around the walking track loop you should go!), and you're lying on pure soft white sand, gazing at the turquoise bay before you... Now, what's going through your mind?
This was me a few days ago.
And I was feeling twinges of anxiety.
This opened my eyes: travel in itself, a destination, an activity, the company you are with (or not) is nothing without the peace of mind, happiness and gratitude to enjoy it and be present: the treasure from which all other travel treasures can hang (travel treasures and also life treasures!).
I happened to be watching late night telly a couple of weeks ago and flicked by Keeping up with the Kardashians (Hey, no comments!). The whole rich and famous family were together in the Greek isles, with everything available to them: family, fun, food, great location... and one of the girls in the family was devastated: she felt left out and was absolutely miserable.
"First off, destinations are important — but they are not the driving force motivating [us] to take flight. [We]...are seeking transformative experiences that will lead [us] to be more socially connected people. The destination takes a back seat to what motivates [us]."
I was travelling with Suzanne Holden of Icon Adventures on a 'reccie' - a reconnaissance trip to test out a new Tasmanian walking tour itinerary for her company (omg, it's going to be amazing!). Each day of our trip I was thinking of how Suzanne could fill the day with activities for her clients but then she let me know that her clients often really want to do nothing but read a book or chat over a campfire with a glass of wine - to not think about work and all that keeps our minds busy.
What did I love about the trip? It wasn't so much the destination - which I was very surprised to discover reminded me of home (!) - it was the little moments of connection and 'surprise and delight', and having someone easy to travel with.
My top 5:
Freycinet Peninsula - a walk through diverse landscapes, and just long enough to be easily achievable but painful so I felt like I had achieved something!
Connections along the way - the Korean girl who wandered Launceston with me (though she slept in the next morning and I got to go to Launceston's downtown Cataract Gorge at my own pace to thoroughly enjoy it!); the German who sat on the front of the ferry with me ("I've been away from home for four weeks and I was worried how I would be coping by this stage. I've never been happier. I am so happy!"); Suzanne, who is a delight to travel with and very generous (let's do NZ next, Suzanne!); the Finnish lady who walked Rivulet Park path in Hobart with me - a little secret I would never have found on my own; the couple from Maria Island I bumped into again at MONA on my last day in Tassie who told me all about Mount Field - next trip!
The bum bones so sore from cycling Maria Island on a mountain bike that Suzanne said ouch for the next two days every time she sat down (plus seeing a million wombats on the island!)
What have you learned unexpectedly on the path of travel?