The Traveling State of Mind

Summer time is often a time for travel. Short trips or long; with family or friends or on your own; to a city, or out in nature; leaving home for a few days or more can put us in a different space. Especially when we are traveling to places we haven’t been before. There is an element of adventure in the unknown; the possibility of learning, growing, changing.

When I was young I sometimes traveled on buses across the country. I would meet all sorts of people, see new places and hear new stories. I discovered that I was a different person on the road, more outgoing and adventurous, generally freer. It was a mindset, or perhaps the lack of a mindset, where I was more open and therefore more met. I had more fun, lived a bit more and liked myself better.

Later I went to Japan, where I lived for several years. There I was really outside of all the mental constructs that were familiar; all the social and collective roles and norms where different and unknown. I frequently had the sense of being in a dream like state of mind, where the possibilities were wider open and I had a sense freedom, of living more from myself and who I was, rather than who I thought I should be. Not “knowing” what I was supposed to do, the past was far away, the future was undefined; I lived more in the present, in the moment, even after I had been there for years.

This summer I’ve made some short trips which have been fluid in their planning and guided at times by spirit. This is naturally the way one lives “on the road” allowing things to unfold; each day full of possibility for the unknown and unexpected. A new friend, or a new sight or smell, are all magical.

Coming home I felt that I brought some of that magic with me. I was able to be in a city I have lived in for 18 years, and know well, and feel that sense of wonder for what the day will being, for who I might meet, or just to see a familiar site with fresh eyes. That dream like sense of being in the present, the joy of the now, and allowing the future to be full of exciting possibility came home with me. This has faded a bit, but it is still with me and I can cultivate that sense of magic, adventure and possibility everyday.

So if you are traveling this summer, allow yourself to find the magic of adventure and the unknown, even in small things; to feel deeply how you engage with a new place or person. Then bring it home with you. Even if you aren’t traveling, perhaps you can go to a new park or part of town nearby, or just remember when you were on the road and full of life and adventure.

There is a state of mind, that is simpler, freer, more present; full of adventure and possibility. It is perhaps natural to find this more when we travel, but you can invite this any where any time. This is who you are when the everyday mental matrix is shed like an old skin. Call it up, let your heart fill with the feeling of being in the present, the freedom of possibility, for the day or the hour. You are creating space to be present in your life in a deeper truer way that cannot help but serve your dreams and your heart’s desire.

(© 7/2011)

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