Solo Travel as a Spiritual Journey
"It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing."
From The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
These words by Oriah speak to the essence of what both she and Ainslie MacLeod shared in recent interviews about solo travel as a spiritual journey– that travel helps us understand the true desires of our hearts and souls.
Life is a journey and travel can help get us there.
Every day we move forward in time and space. We grow in small ways and, sometimes, in very significant ways. When we travel, growth is intensified because we are in new territory. From communicating in a foreign language to negotiating different styles of bathrooms, we’re learning every step of the way. But gaining cultural knowledge is not the only ways in which we grow.
“Travel is very good for the soul’s growth,” says Ainslie, a psychic, author of The Instruction and a guest on Oprah’s Soul Series. “As you travel and meet new people, you discover them and yourself.” Ainslie experienced this first hand. Before having a family he did a lot of solo travel. He would just go to the airport with a toothbrush in his pocket and see what flight he could get cheap. Going alone he could go inside himself, relax and switch off. He was following his soul’s desire.
“As a psychic, I guide people to understand their lives,” explains Ainslie. “A lot of us have souls that want us to travel. The soul comes here to pick up knowledge and experience the world. Travel is indeed good for the soul’s growth”
That travel is good for spiritual growth was echoed by Oriah, a poet, author and facilitator of workshops on creativity and spirituality. “When traveling,” she says, “we’re removed from all that is familiar. We discover who we are when no one is looking. Thrust into unfamiliar situations, we sometimes learn that we are not who we think we are – we discover aspects of our personality that we weren’t aware of. And when we have to rely on strangers for help we learn to trust our intuition. All these experiences, this learning, promotes spiritual growth.”
Solo travel is not necessarily traveling alone.
When you consider the many ways that solo travel promotes spiritual growth, it is clear that solo does not necessarily mean traveling alone. New people are important on our spiritual journey. We may meet people, pick up with them for an hour, a day, or maybe more, and then move on. The key is that we experience and learn from them yet they aren’t part of our everyday life. This leaves us free to discover ourselves uninhibited by others.
Soul Safari – a spiritual journey to Africa
In October of this year, Ainslie is going on a true spiritual journey to Africa as a facilitator on the Soul Safari . This is a perfect example of traveling solo while not being alone. The majority of people on this tour are single and going both for the experience of Africa and the desire to better know their own soul.
Ainslie explains that “the trip is an opportunity to draw kindred spirits together in an atmosphere of exploration and mutual support. Everyone will be on a similar spiritual path. I’m facilitating but everyone’s involved. I know what I will be talking about and teaching but I don’t know where it will all go. The atmosphere of trust will help to dissipate past life fears so that everyone can communicate with their soul and spirit guides.”
Solo and spiritual
Every solo trip inevitably involves some time when we are truly alone. These are times when we can be still. They are precious moments for reflection and for experiencing pleasure without the need to share it. Again, Oriah’s poem is very appropriate. Here is the final stanza of The Invitation:
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.