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Conscious Travel: What is it and why I am so obsessed!

Conscious Travel: What is it and why I am so obsessed!

As I am building this blog all about conscious travel, people aren't fully grasping what conscious travel is and why it serves everyone to be explored more deeply. It is important that a community can be built upon similar morals, principles, and values. We are in uncharted territories with our new influx of the nomadic lifestyle over the past five years. People are trying to link them with the 60's hippie movement, but things are invariably different than that of the 60's for so many reasons. 

There are new formulating subgenres of nomads and they want to be perceived differently, and that is okay. There are families traveling in vans all over the world doing nonprofit work, there are young entrepreneurs making a name for themselves in the digital world, there are backpackers woofing and using programs like workaway.com, and every one of these categories of travelers requires a different set of goals and intentions. I want my nontraveler community (friends, family, work etc.) to know that what I do with travel is very intentional and there are others out there that share my same values.  

This is an old photo of my with Hmong textiles. I worked with small communities designing these circle scarves, learning their culture, traditions, and upcycling some of their old fabrics. 

This is an old photo of my with Hmong textiles. I worked with small communities designing these circle scarves, learning their culture, traditions, and upcycling some of their old fabrics. 

With the hype of "travel and make money", there are a lot of people lost in what exactly they are to be doing while they travel. Some may want to be more conscious but are unaware of where to find this community while they are traveling and confused to what are some values to set during travel. 

Instead of us living in a "call-out" community, telling each other what we are doing wrong, it is important to embrace more knowledge sharing communities. I am in the process of building a conscious travel community and I feel that is a great step towards resolution and empowerment for the travel community.

I find myself regularly stating I am a conscious traveler. This is where I feel the most honest in my body. To collaborate as an empowered community, we must honor ourselves. Step one of any journey is self-awareness

There are five simple core principles that it serves to follow when living a conscious traveling life:

LISTEN.

SHARE.

LEARN.

GIVE.

THINK ABOUT YOUR IMPACT ON EVERYTHING. 

I learned the process of indigo dye from these 10-year old vats made by a women's vocational center in Laos. 

I learned the process of indigo dye from these 10-year old vats made by a women's vocational center in Laos. 

It was not easy for me to find my flow in this. I stumbled at the beginning, where to work on myself and how to make sure I was still learning and giving back. I didn't want to just join something and volunteer, or donate money. I am a creative artist and a lover of culture, I wanted to give back in the way that felt the most connected. By doing it this way, it never feels like a chore, just another amazing passion. My anxiety to do something turned to joy and excitement.  I was able to connect to locals, their customs, buy things from them, learn from them, and design some cool things out of tradition artisanal products in the process.

The other area I find imperative is listening to yourself whether you are traveling or not. This is the part that separates me from just another eco/socially responsible traveler. Without mindfulness, none of this is possible. Our ability to self-reflect can get blocked by the excitement of the journey and we can get spun around by all the newness and forget what our body, spirit, mind and heart are trying to communicate.

Honored to be a part of the Lahu hill-tribe in Thailand for a couple weeks learning Thai massage. 

Honored to be a part of the Lahu hill-tribe in Thailand for a couple weeks learning Thai massage. 

While these principles are simple enough, finding the balance of how you travel and how to incorporate can be difficult. It is important to personalize each and every one of these core values and really make it your own. 

It took me roughly two years to find my flow and I still self-reflect, shift and change my ways of following these guidelines. The part that has helped more than anything is knowing these principles are not going anywhere. These are the values to build and anchor all my travels. This is how I am a conscious traveler. It is not because I am always doing everything perfectly, but because I reflect on my guide regularly and make changes where it is needed. 

It is not about doing everything right, it is about making changes towards a clearer and more empowered self. 

So, I hope this introduction to conscious travel and my take on it has been helpful, enlightening, and empowering for your next traveling experience. At the very least, you have some things to ponder. 

Infinite love and gratitude,

Your Snarky Spiritualist 

 

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