Travelling the world has always been a dream for us.
Once we set it as one of our life-goals, along with establishing location-independent business ventures, we knew we would get there some day. We still have a long way to go to fulfill the dream, but we are on the path, the journey ahead is becoming clearer, and meditation has played a big role!
Getting our travelling feet wet
A few years before Trailing-Husband officially left his traditional office job, we started to at least plan for our around the world adventure, doing what we could while still tethered to his nine-to-five onsite schedule. Actual travel consisted of mostly domestic road trips, but these also served the purpose of real estate scouting.
Real estate was a timely choice to start while Scott was still working in an office – his regular paychecks were critical to getting financing on our rental portfolio. On the flip side, real estate is funding our travels.
We have managed a few big trips in the last five years to get our feet wet, including a cruise to Alaska and short vacations to Ireland and London/Paris.
Meditation provides unexpected start to travelling the world
However, I consider our around the world adventure to have started in Philadelphia, in September of last year. We attended the Progressive Workshop, a meditation retreat offered by Dr. Joe Dispenza.
Scott’s a techie, and I’m a left-brain, numbers person, so meditation was an unexpected addition to our lives. Starting off with an intensive meditation retreat was a very clear signal that we were on a path of change. Meditation also requires a similar openness of mind that we need to leave established careers for travel and new business ventures.
It sounds like the set up to a mid-life crisis joke — …so he quit his job to travel the world, starting with a three-day meditation intensive — except that’s how it happened!
How I discovered meditation
I am an avid business news reader, and meditation is having its moment in the spotlight these last few years. The neuroscience data has been steadily coming out on the positive benefits of meditation and mindfulness overall. I read Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How To Lose Your Mind and Create A New One by Dr. Joe Dispenza and was fascinated by the notion that you could break longstanding bad habits typically attributed to personality (i.e., that’s just the way I am!). Meditation was a key part of making this break, and the scientific data behind the positive benefits was compelling.
But I didn’t just go from never meditating to a three-day retreat.
I first read Breaking the Habit five years ago. I tried some of Dr. Joe’s meditation audios, and at 40+ minutes, they were too long and involved for me at the time as a beginner. So I started with Headspace, which has 10-minute options and proved to have really great tips for the beginner.
I got into a habit of meditating regularly, and then I extended the time of each session. I loved the different themes – Sleep, Relationships, even Pregnancy (though that did not apply!). There were also helpful tips – I still use the visual of pushing away thoughts gently, like a feather pushes on a fragile wine glass. Headspace is a great starter tool and has enough variety to keep you interested. I used Headspace for a year, and only let my subscription lapse because I was ready to go to the longer meditations and had a few audios already in my possession. When I did go back to Dr. Joe’s longer meditations, they didn’t seem as long and involved.
The three-day meditation intensive was indeed intensive. It was a combination of lecture on technique, statistical data on the benefits and results from meditation, guided meditations which we did as a group, and inspirational stories and videos. It certainly gave a lift to my nascent meditation habit. Scott seemed to enjoy it, but hasn’t practiced regularly since then. That said, I want to go to the more advanced five-day workshop, and he seemed game to come along.
Meditation has been useful for quieting busyness and distractions
Could we have launched our travels and business ventures without a meditation retreat? Of course! But there is a lot of noise that comes with launching new things and lots of details to keep track of with all the travel.
To spend some time in silence, even a few minutes a day, is especially helpful to quiet the busyness
- I sleep better
- I think more clearly
- I seem to recover faster from bad moods and even physical ills.
It may seem odd to start an around-the-world adventure in Philadelphia with meditation, but I highly recommend it.