Musings on Mindful Travel

Loving Kindness & Mindful Travel

I’ve decided to embrace Loving Kindness in the way I travel.

On May 1 I’m leaving for Italy where I’ll spend 5 weeks.


Here are 3 themes I’m being intentional about as I prepare. I know you can relate.

1. Baggage. I mean emotional baggage.

To take better care of my heart I’ll practice not bringing any of that with me. All of the things of trips before: that either didn’t work well, or did work well are now things of the past. I’ve noticed as an older person that many of us over a certain age are in the age of reminiscence. Meaning we go on and on about things that already happened. I catch myself. I want to look forward to the now and things yet to come. That’s a practice I can get behind wholeheartedly. New beginning, fresh start steeped in Loving Kindness. I can cherish the good and honor the negative as a way to align my light and shadow. To strengthen my own inner authority. I feel a sense of gathering within myself. The past 8 months have been a time of intense healing and grounding. Each day I’m here, I’m whole, I’m Jane.

2. Walking on the ground. I mean literally walking on the ground.

I wonder how much I’ve missed while traveling because I’m distracted by taking a picture on my phone, checking my phone, or just not practicing actually being in the place I am? To just tuck the phone away, walk slowly, BE PRESENT, sit down and savor it all. I’ve done this yes, in bits and pieces, but now I’m planning to take it to a whole new level. You’ll find me feeling into my own Loving Kindness as I practice slow walking meditations, sitting for long periods inside an ancient duomo, in a field of poppies, or at an outdoor cafe in an ancient village sipping, perhaps scribbling images or words, and being slow. I want to feel actual boredom before I leave a spot. I want to live the full measure of hours spent in sacred places. To become so still and awake that I can feel deep into my creative fire. To hear my own breathing. To unfetter my to do list.

3. Packing light, slowing, letting there be mystery.

Less is more and we sort of know that but still that suitcase always gets a bit too heavy right? I have 2 packing sessions. The first one is to put clothing and other items into my suitcase where I let it sit for a couple days. Then the day before I leave I remove about 25% of it. I’ve learned that I never miss what I took out. Why is that? Because it’s fun to leave uncertainty as an actual thing that is ok. To not know and to not have to plan for every day, feeling, mood or what may arise. We’ve become almost neurotic with it right? It’s much more enjoyable to loosen up the shackles and start to relax your preferences. Trust me, this will come in handy when the plane is delayed, train is late, food is terrible, someone is rude…on and on. All of this happens when we travel and it’s part of the deal. And also part of the deal is that planes go on time and the train is early! and the food is amazing and people are helpful and loving. All of this too. We breath Loving Kindness into these moments knowing that if we stay present, we can handle what is right in front of us moment by moment.

All of these themes can be applied to other areas of our life besides travel.

We can practice letting go a bit more and stay open to the mystery.

For today, spend a few moments writing or reflecting about where you can add more Loving Kindness to your life by letting mystery flow.