1. Create a travel shrine. A simple home altar dedicated to a trip will establish its spiritual character. Include photos of your destination, reminders of home and anything that contributes to emphasizing the trip’s underlying spiritual nature.
2. Pack virtues. Spiritual provisions are as important as material ones. Pack in with your clothes 3×5 cards on which you’ve written “Courage,” or “Patience,” or “Forgiveness” — and you will have these virtues all along your way.
3. Keep a “Fear Box.” In preparing for a trip, we often encounter apprehensions (Columbus did!). If a fear crops up, write it down and deposit it in a “Fear Box.” Before departing home, seal the box and leave it on your travel shrine. Now you will be out in the world without fears.
4. Take along gifts. Gifting raises a mere trip into a journey of adventure and gratitude. Small, inexpensive items from home, will suffice. Giving these to people we encounter along the way acknowledges our one-ness with “the stranger” and enhances the spiritual character of the trip.
5. Keep a “Journal of Feelings.” A journal into which we record our emotions on a trip is tremendously useful. It is one thing to see the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben — and quite another to “feel” them. This kind of journal keeps the trip grounded as an interior journey.
6. Close the door. Upon leaving home, walk across the threshold with awareness: “I am leaving the past behind me. I am sealing the past away with the closing of this door. Before me, now, lies the future — and I willingly and lovingly step into it.”
7. Make a triumphal entrance. Arriving back home from a trip, do as the Romans did: Make an imaginary triumphal entrance. This is the opposite of No. 6 — a way of symbolically ending the trip and realizing that we have been transformed by it.
8. Tell the story of the journey. After a trip, call your friends together and tell the story of your journey, showing objects that you brought back. This releases the lessons of the journey to the world.
9. Name the trip. You’ve left the first page of your Journal of Feelings blank. Now return to it and name the trip: “My Journey of Compassion,” “My Journey of Realizing My Tremendous Importance to Other People,” “My Journey of Understanding the Value of Family.”
10. Be the hero of your adventure. All travel is inner travel, because wherever we are, we are processing our experiences internally. Remind yourself that you are the hero of all your journeys, and that all your travel in the outside world is really travel inward, toward ever-higher spiritual consciousness.
THE WAY OF THE TRAVELER by Joseph Dispenza