“We think we’re going on a journey, but sooner or later, it’s the journey that builds you, or undoes you.” shared Nicolas Bouvier, traveler and writer of the last century.
How many of us, with a growing access to the world through the internet, are enjoying traveling nowadays almost in the same way as we can enjoy a film? Indeed, the internet has changed the paradigm. Bookings only take a minute while it took weeks, just a few decades ago, to send a request by mail and make a contract for a stay or enter a travel agency to build up a trip that usually was the trip of the year.
Over the last decade, we have been traveling and crossing continents easily – just as easily as the virus we are now facing. What if this special time was just a fantastic opportunity to reconsider our relationship with the world? Aren’t there at least 5 main reasons why traveling should be considered radically differently after COVID-19?
Reason 1 – Travel can connect us to our deepest desires and needs – through the 4 elements
What is travel? How can it ever build us, open us up? How can it contribute to our evolution? Can’t traveling be a wonderful key to experience life in a spiritual way?
The 4 elements (Fire, Air, Water, Earth) compose everything in the matter. They are to be found in each particle of nature and therefore in each of our cells. They are the link in every living tissue. Thus, choosing your next travel destination by connecting to the power of the 4 elements can make the choice and the reason for traveling radically different, with a much deeper targeted view.
Can we start focusing on feeling deep inside our desires or needs?
To answer a need for more inspiration, we may have the intelligent freedom to prepare our journey to Bali. Doing so, the Water element should reconnect us to our inner genius and our creativity should flow again.
The call of Water is much different from that of Fire, that answers a will to go beyond our comfort zone and need to challenge ourselves. Earth and Air will satisfy other sides of our personnality. Accordingly, they will help us feel better grounded or open us up to Love and our lighthearted aspect. In this period of confinement, watching as Spring is blossoming or else pictures connecting to Air, which contacts the heart chakra and Spring season, can be of great help until we can enjoy going out again.
Reason 2 – Travel can be an invitation to breathe in its deepest meaning: reconnecting to what’s essential
Now, what if we opened the atlas with the desire to take a fresh look at our next adventure – futher to the COVID-19 blockade? What if we could already dream of that next trip? As you understood, not dream of the place to visit, trendy destination of the moment, but of a place to breathe, while breathing has never been more important, more necessary, has it?
Nestled on natural sites like oxygen bubbles throughout the world – whether in a national or regional park, or else in the heart of a private sanctuary – ecolodges open the door to another type of travel: journeys that can transform our relationship with life. At Spinguera Ecolodge in Cape Verde, Larissa, its creator, admits with a sense of humor that the flavor of the ecolodge is almost that of a clinic, away from the noise of our civilization, thus reconnecting us with what’s essential in life.
Reason 3 – Travel can refresh our way of traveling & living while reintegrating our humanity through a re-connection with nature
This kind of trip, when staying at an ecolodge, is closely linked to the being and wellbeing (rather than to the ‘must do & visit’ common tips for the traveler). In the wilderness, wellbeing is seen in its purest acceptance, beyond the sole equipment of a spa.
The main values of ecolodges are precisely to invite us to breathe deeply and reconnect with space, and ultimately with nature. By mirror effect, they invite us to reconnect with our own pure happy nature. Free from the dictates of travel fashion, in the here and now, in the middle of nowhere, ecolodges invite us to a connection between body and cosmos, contacting a sacred relationship from microcosm to macrocosm. With a spiritual vision, ecolodges invite us to reintegrate our humanity into an inspired dynamic with nature (both our master and home) while relearning by boomerang effect how vital it is to protect nature, just as much as to take care of ourselves, since both are intimately linked.
Most ecolodges offer daily yoga lessons, shiatsu and other energetic sessions of wellness and meditation.
Reason 4 – Travel can help make a better world
Last but not least, how can travel really be a way to feel more united worldwide while exchanging our unique strengths and abilities, just as brothers and sisters sharing a unified conscientiousness? How can our next journey make a change while supporting communities? How can we imagine adding this as a mission to our future adventure trips?
In Namib Rand, the creator of the Wolvedans nine-tented lodge claims “Our vision and commitment to Wolwedans, and the development of Namibia and its people still drives us forward today. Wolwedans was not only designed for profit, but mainly to make an important contribution to the local economy, to provide opportunities for those who would otherwise have had none, and to help conserve one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.”
At Ibitipoca in Minas Gerais, Brazil, conservation is also clearly part of the creation with a clear rewilding goal, notably by strengthening the critically endangered muriqui, the largest non-human primate in the Americas. At Uakari Floating Lodge in the Amazon, the Uakari red-face-monkey is the mascot.
In the end, such places that welcome us for a week’s break also support our planet for a better living, with an altogetherness vision. The ultimate profit of such choice for a radically different journey in a nature inspired and inspiring environment is to connect us with our higher self for a really transformational time away from home.
Reason 5 – Reconsidering travel as a precious gift
No doubt travel is a powerful sector, both from the economic and the human point of view and, as such, provides us with good reasons for our escapes. Travel indeed is powerful in that it allows us to participate in the beauty of sharing and the human connection ultimately focusing on peace, but also in the economic development of territories far from opulence. But perhaps it will be even more powerful under certain conditions…
Realizing that a great escape can strengthen us, for a vacation that makes sense… we should be less tempted to travel the world so often. Maybe we could be much more motivated to deeply feel one place and take the time to experience it on site.
Then, back home, we can take that time to digest the experience with a view to integrating all the benefits, just as after a yoga session, the savasana position (the position of the corpse, in immobility and silence) precisely allows us to integrate the benefits of the postures and the work of the body and spiri… until we can feel how this journey has impacted our daily life (and feel gratitude for it).
In this way of reconsidering traveling and integration of the experience itself, beyond sceneries, becomes part of the trip. Maybe with an even amplified joy because, if we do agree that traveling is a gift, isn’t it high time to reconsider it as precious… because it is scarce? Isn’t it high time to focus on that journey of the year… taking up the chance to appreciate harmony again, with that almost ethnic, admiring approach?
Laurence Costa is Co-founder of “instants d’Absolu” Ecolodge & Spa. “instants d’Absolu” Ecolodge & Spa is a secret luxury retreat in the Auvergne wilderness of France.