What is true conscious travel?
What is true conscious travel? As the conscious travel industry grows there is confusion about what it truly denotes. Our experts, who run conscious experiences and go on many themselves, explain how you measure conscious travel. Watch 8pm Tues 9 June www.soultv.com.au
We once heard someone say, “You don’t move through the land, you let the land move through you!” This epitomised for us exactly what conscious travel is all about. So what does that mean to us? It means you become the land instead of being just an observer just a passer-by, you become the land that you travel through. Whether it is for a day, a week or a lifetime, you owe the places that you travel to, that respect, in all senses of the word, ecologically, physically, emotionally, mentally and especially spiritually. Respect means listening to the locals, their stories, their beliefs, customs and in no way whilst you are there, judge or condemn what may have been for them, thousands of years of being. This is why we have one mouth and two ears. Learning to listen rather than talk is a huge part of travelling consciously. The Western mind is so frantic to find out what is going on and so busy chattering to itself that people often miss the beautiful subtleties of what is really going on around them. We find this is one of the most challenging things when we take people on country in our Desert Dreaming Journeys…they just find it hard to sit in silence and listen. Not only do the people speak to you but the whole of the lands history is stored in the earth beneath your feet, in the rocks you sit on, in the animals and plants you brush by and don’t notice.
So many people say to us “I have always wanted to go to………” We say buy the ticket and go. Then they come up with all the excuses in the world as to why they can’t. If it keeps calling then eventually please give up and find a way to go and then you will find out why.
It is our understanding that when you are truly drawn to a place it is more than just a desire to go there. There is a lot more going on under the surface. The Earth and your soul is calling you to connect to that place, as part of your Soul walk, your purpose, is there for you to collect and experience. There are too many reasons for us to list that you may have been called but if you go with an open mind and heart you will receive and if you go with expectations and limitations, you could be very disappointed. Trust where you have been guided to go. All our journeys into ancient lands have come from a place deep inside us. It had led us to the most incredible places, peoples and experiences, ones that we could never have imagined. Magical, challenging and deeply moving on all levels especially spiritual. We have written about how it all came about and the first 8 out of the 12 journeys to 11 of the most ancient and remote tribes on the planet, in the first 2 books of our trilogy, Set By The Ancients, a Journey of Trust, Love and Adventure.
When you travel consciously you will return a different person from when you left because the land that moves through you encodes you and fires off codes already with in your DNA. You come back, more of who you truly are.
Whenever we travel we always choose a company or person that works with the land, ecologically and with the people of the land, so that it gives back not only to the people but to the land itself. It may take a bit to find them but they are there so keep looking. Our intuition is always a good guide for us and has never led us astray when it came to choosing our guides in other countries. With our open hearts and minds we were immediately accepted into cultures that were very different from ours. There is one Universal language. The language of love and respect. These are the keys that will open doors shut to “tourists.” If you are going to another country with a different culture then it would be wise to do your research first on customs and beliefs. Be prepared to be confronted by some and changed by others but never, ever judge or comment unless asked for your opinion.
In Mongolia we stayed with the Tsaatan in the remote Tiaga area of the Siberian Mountains. We brought food with us to share with them. We brought gifts that would be useful to them and we respected their customs and abided by them. It made our journey one we will never forget just as all our others were and those to come, will be. Whilst there we noticed that some tourists that passed through their summer camp for one night and didn’t really connect with the people, left a lot of rubbish behind and expected food. THIS IS NOT CONSCIOUS TRAVEL. The people there were extremely poor by some standards with little food for themselves let alone anyone else. So we instigated a scheme with the newly formed TCVC, the Tsaatan Commuity Visitors Center, that all visitors take out their own rubbish plus any other that they know won’t break down. The Tsaatan live with a deep respect for the water, so they don’t wash in the rivers, they take water out to wash. They don’t burn any rubbish in fires as the sky is sacred. They are used to placing rubbish on the earth to break down. Not western plastics! There are so many things we have learnt from these cultures about respecting the Earth and each other.
We live in a country that is looked after spiritually by the oldest culture, probably the most spiritually powerful on the planet and could very well be the first Earth people. We believe they are and yet they are amongst the worst treated people on the planet today because of our ignorance and our belief that we know better than those who held all in balance for many thousands of years. When we journey with them they still hold out their hands in respect to us and are willing to teach those who are ready to listen and learn. They read you like a book and will treat you like a tourist if you come as one. This goes for all the indigenous peoples of planet earth.
All they ask is that when you travel to their lands that you do so with an open mind, an open heart and a willingness to listen and learn.
Paul and Phoebe Hoogendyk