What Travel Teaches Me About Self Expression and Emotional Awareness

Nov 7, 2017 · 5 min read

It’s a relatively known fact in my micro-Universe that this year I have not been travelling as much as people think I ought to. Perhaps these are the perks and peeves of having your reputation preceding you.
I can only guess. After all, I haven’t been ‘here’ before.

Having said that, I have been travelling. I just haven’t been making public disclosures — also known as, posting to social media — which is considered the norm.

And I owe this shift in how I go about my travels, to travel itself!

Truth be told, I learnt my first lesson in mindfulness — not from meditation or yoga or even religion — but while on a trek during one of my earliest travels. Years later, when I chanced upon the term ‘delayed gratification’ while reading Scott Peck’s The Road Less Travelled, I realised this is exactly what I’d been practicing ever since I’d decided against live posts to social media amidst my journeys.

In hindsight, I can see how it was travel that first opened me up to the world of mental well-being. MY mental well-being to be precise.

So when I got invited by the folks at Tatva, a wellness organization based in that part of Goa that seldom, if ever, gets spoken about — I jumped at the opportunity. Because at the heart of what we both believe in and work towards lay emotional awareness through self-expression.

So what did I learn about self-expression and emotional well-being from travel?

Wanderlust is the name we assign to that itch and urge we experience when we want to get away to escape the drudgery known as The Now.

I’ve had many such ‘Nows’ that have elicited those very ‘flight responses’ from me.

On many an occasion, I’ve acted on those impulses to plunge into the coordinates on the map I’ve had my finger pointed at. I’ve allowed myself to be lured into a world that’s far away from my ‘Now’.

Sometimes to find myself
And sometimes to lose myself

But always to learn…
…Learn how to soak
…Learn how to slow down
…Learn how to sit myself in the easy silences
…Learn how to savour and sustain the lessons that have crept in on me unannounced

How else would I have understood that travel was not meant to be a ruse for an escape but the key to self-discovery — which in turn helps me manage myself better!

For every time I return ‘home’, I reminisce — through my journal and my blog — the many circumstances on the road that required me to think on my feet. In turn, these reflections help me see how, over time,I am better poised at managing the many unannounced-triggers in my Nows.

Be it workshops that don’t materialise because Murphy shows up at the eleventh hour or projects that don’t see light of day teaching me not to count my chickens before they’ve hatched or clients who disappear into some black-hole as suddenly as they had appeared or payments that just never seem to come through or… (you’re getting the drift, right?), travel has debunked many a myth for me, including the ‘illusion of control’.

So every once in a while, I reckon it’s worth my time, money and above all my well-being to take a course in Travel 101 because the lessons are a lot more far-reaching and outlasting than any other course I’ve ever taken!

C’mon, to not be travelling as constantly and at a frequency I’d prefer while still retaining my sanity (in spite of the wanderlust) is proof enough, don’t you think?

I am immensely grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to spend a couple of days at Tatva to further explore, indulge and re-experience what it means for travel and wellness to converge. Or ‘bottling epiphanies’ as I’d like to call it.

Being absolutely at ease with Kripi and David — who run Tatva — from the very first moment lent itself to many a candid conversation. In spite of its scenic location (photographs in this post are from within the radius of the property), Tatva is more than just a physical space. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Kripi and David, it offers an emotional space too.

So, the next time you’re thinking of combining a getaway with something meaningful (or dare I say ‘offbeat’), you know where you can go!

N.B.: Yours truly was invited and hosted for a couple of days by Tatva in October 2017. You can follow their work on Facebook here
This is NOT a sponsored post. Views expressed AND images accompanying them are my own (like always).

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade