True Nature Travels Blog

Adventure

By most standards, I’ve lived an adventurous life: horseback trekking in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, rock climbing in Thailand, spending over a year dancing salsa in Colombia…

These big, outer adventures happen because I keep a mindset that welcomes new experiences no matter where I am, so the moment I read the news that Independence Day fireworks were scheduled for our local beach here in South Florida, I felt called to go. I knew it would be an adventure!

I have a vivid childhood memory of sitting joyfully in the bed of a pickup truck with my cousins in rural Massachusetts, eating ice cream, and watching as fireworks lit the summer sky above the pine forest. I can still hear my aunt oohing and ahhing with each explosion.

For Buddhists, the sky evokes the vast, spacious nature of consciousness, while mandalas represent the cosmology of the Universe. Peering into the heavens and “merging” the mind with the sky can elicit a sky-like quality of awareness. When fireworks throw luminous mandalas all over the heavens, such meditation occurs naturally. The mind clears, and the psyche kaleidoscopes into open awe.

Since I also formed beautiful memories of this holiday ritual during childhood, I can easily tap into the inner child wonder of it all.

Adventure

Going for a firework adventure this year led to these six meditative insights:

Center and Let Go

Just as the sand mandalas of the Tibetan tradition are steadfastly assembled, with careful attention to detail, then dissolved in a whoosh, fireworks offer us an organized expression of sparkling beauty, followed by nothing to hold on to. The image centers us in the present moment, then asks us to let go. With non-attachment, we get to keep moving and avoid getting stuck.

Adventure

Be Prolific

For ten minutes or more, hundreds of packages – painstakingly designed and assembled by mysterious hands – shoot into the air and explode with color and creativity. Each one is unique, a surprise. The glimmering diversity cries out: “Be prolific! Bring all your inspired ideas into being! Life is short. What are you waiting for? Create!”

Let Your Life In

To hear what a firework teaches, you have to put down your phone and get direct. Take your experience in through the eyes, the ears, the lens of the mind, the lungs breathing, the reverberations in the bones. Don’t try to capture a copy for later. Pay full attention. Let your life straight in as it unfolds. No filter.

Give Yourself Adventures of Discovery

AdventureWe recognize childhood as a sacred time, so we give children rituals to bless their lives, tapping them into self-discovery and the amazing world around them. We sing with them, tell them stories, and count the stars. We show them how to hear the ocean in a shell. We take them to see fireworks.

Adulthood deserves reverence, too. Bless your adult life with regular holiday rituals and adventures of discovery. Reinvent traditions. Do things you’ve never done before. Use your imagination! Psst… When there’s a fireworks show in your neighborhood, go!

Do What You Yearn for Sooner

What yearning keeps calling to you? Stop ignoring it! This is your true self asking you to cooperate. Do what you yearn for sooner, and like a firework, be quick about it! Don’t hesitate! If the way is dark like the night sky, trust that when you light the fuse of your own yearning, the path will appear.

Choose Something Glorious and Go All In

Choice is the secret sauce of being a human. Choice gives us the power to change, to face our fears, to forgive, and to connect.

Choose what inspires you the way a firework goes all in and showers the world with breath-taking beauty. Don’t hold back. The spark you have inside of you is sacred. Let it become a bright gift to the world.

In the end, the best thing about having an adventurous spirit isn’t the adventures themselves or even the memories they create; it’s the way exploring opens us up to insights about ourselves, others, and the world.

When you do something different, it shifts your seeing, so plan an adventure today!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Delana Thompson helps spiritually-inclined entrepreneurs express their hearts and expand their influence with authentic copywriting, project management,delana thompson and professional delivery of their online content. Her clients include teachers and practitioners of meditation, yoga, ayurveda, shamanic healing, astrology, and fine art. When she’s not writing marketing emails or designing landing pages, you’ll find Delana salsa dancing, practicing meditation, planning a trip, listening to a podcast, speaking Spanish, or missing all her faraway friends. Visit Delana on LinkedIn to learn more about her business.

 

 

True Nature Travels Blog

First, I planned a trip to Colombia. Then, a dear friend set her wedding date in California. A few days later, my dad broke his hip in Texas. I live in Florida, so now, I have three big trips planned in the next 2½ months.

Here are three questions I plan to take with me in my hip pocket to help me use my energy wisely, make the best decisions I can, and travel with purpose this summer.

sumer travel
What’s Meaningful Now?

Meaningful experiences can be elusive. It’s no wonder we want to travel on big adventures to far away places! Maybe we’ll get some meaningful luminosity into our veins that we can bring home to light our world.

All the meaning we experience in life, we create ourselves, out of our own minds. The world itself remains inherently neutral. That’s why “What’s meaningful now?” is such an important question!

My first meditation teacher, Sarah Powers, taught “What’s meaningful now?” as a way of staying with the heart and taking responsibility for ourselves.

The question calls up present moment guidance for making decisions and prevents us from sleepwalking through life. It taps us into creativity and frees us from ideas about what we should do or be. It helps us take advantage of opportunities and prevents regret.

This summer, ask, “What’s meaningful now?” and follow the thread.

summer travel

What’s Really Going On?

Life can be dramatic, emotional, confusing.

“What’s really going on?” takes us below the surface with curiosity about what we’re not seeing. It asks us to stretch beyond our assumptions, into wider realizations about the world and deeper understandings of ourselves.

“What’s really going on?” teaches us to reflect things as they are. It illuminates causes and context, so everything stands in its true shape, free from the light our preferences may cast.

I regularly use “What’s really going on?” for insight into anger. It always uncovers a more vulnerable feeling underneath, like fear, hurt, fatigue, or embarrassment. Then, I can honor that feeling instead of being driven around by my anger.

If your travels take you into situations, places, or cultures that are new to you, this question will help you get out of your head, pay attention, and engage more deeply.

You will be tempted by this question to analyze or tell a story about what’s happening. Don’t try to figure anything out! Feel into your body, and make more subtle observations. Maintain kindness.

adventure travel

How can I help?

If we’re not careful, a big vacation, a travel adventure, or an international retreat can end up being all about me, me, me! “How can I help?” provides an antidote to becoming self-absorbed and spurs us to connect with others.

When you’re traveling, “How can I help?” defers authority to local wisdom and makes you a good guest. Asked with humility, this question can pierce through awkward circumstances of inequality and shift you into listening and respect.

This question also makes us aware of our gifts and our agency. It points us to what we can do in this world of overwhelm.

“How can I help?” is an evolutionary question that leapfrogs ego’s desires and complaints to reconnect us with generosity and abundance. An attitude of “How can I help?” makes the world safer for everyone to explore, take risks, and grow.

Are you picturing yourself planting trees or feeding the homeless? Great! Also know that helping can look like taking a step back and giving space to others. It can look like patience. Or a smile.

Practice these questions. Put them in your pocket this summer, and take them with you… to the beach, as you step off the plane, while sipping your morning tea, to plan your next adventure.

Let the questions be touchstones – a way to take refuge in wisdom. Some days, they’ll reveal great insights. Other days, you’ll get silence in return. That’s ok! “I don’t know,” is always a valid response! Let yourself experience “don’t know” mind. Become better acquainted with uncertainty.

Notice how the ritual of being with these questions develops. Keep them with you until they’ve served their purpose, then let them go, and begin your next practice on life’s journey.

summer travel

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Delana Thompson helps spiritually-inclined entrepreneurs express their hearts and expand their influence with authentic copywriting, project management,delana thompson and professional delivery of their online content. Her clients include teachers and practitioners of meditation, yoga, ayurveda, shamanic healing, astrology, and fine art. When she’s not writing marketing emails or designing landing pages, you’ll find Delana salsa dancing, practicing meditation, planning a trip, listening to a podcast, speaking Spanish, or missing all her faraway friends. Visit Delana on LinkedIn to learn more about her business.

True Nature Travels Blog

Some people fear the unknown; I chase it. Bungee jumping over waterfalls; zip lining through the rainforest; climbing barefoot in the mountains of Peru… adventure is my True Nature and it’s something I’ve pursued with eagerness and joy since I was a young girl.

Most of my adventures tend to be outward facing. I’m frequently pursuing the kind of adventures that will make my heart beat faster and cause my parents to shake their heads and wonder how they ended up with such a free spirit for a daughter. However, my recent trip to India brought with it a different kind of adventure.

My two weeks in India appear fairly tame at first glance. I spent a lot of time visiting different retreat centers and exploring potential partners for True Nature Travels. My excursions consisted of trips to ashrams and gorging myself on naan and mango; hardly the type of activities that lead to an adrenaline rush. And yet, if there’s one thing I have learned from a life of travel, it’s that adventure is often found where you least expect it.

India is known for being what many travelers have coined a “sensory overload.” Between the constant onslaught of horns, the overwhelming aroma of curry, and the endless rainbow of vibrant textiles, it’s easy to lose yourself in the infinite stimuli of India.

But beneath all that is a layer of peace and stillness that beckons to those seeking a deeper adventure. Only, it’s not an adventure in the typical sense. It’s an adventure of Self.

There is a rich history of spirituality in India. Yogis, Sufis, Muslims, Christians, and Hindus alike have dominated the Indian religious scene at one point or another and it has caused a spiritual playing field to be born in India that pulses with the energy left behind by thousands of mystics and gurus. For those who are open to it, India is a country ripe with transformative power.

I have visited India two times now, and both trips have been dominated by an inner exploration I did not expect and was hardly ready for. Both visits have led me down paths full of spiritual questioning and self-exploration. In India, I explored a different sort of unknown. Not the unknown I was used to, namely, some thrilling question mark beyond the river bend. But rather, an inner unknown; an unexplored piece of my own Self.

Enter India as an adventurer and you’ll be amazed by the journeys you may embark on.

Keep the spirit of curiosity, the open mind, and the thrill at the unknown that characterize an adventurer and you’ll quickly learn that spiritual seeker and adventurer are more synonymous than you may have once thought. Approach India with an open heart and a receptive mind and before you know it, you’ll be on an adventure unlike any you could have ever dreamed of.

About the Author

Sarah DittmoreSarah Dittmore, the Director of Operations at True Nature Travels, is always seeking a new adventure. When she’s not barefoot hiking in the mountains of Peru, kayaking around an island off the coast of Italy, or camping in a rainforest in Costa Rica, Sarah writes about her adventures on her travel blog, Autobiography of an Adventurer. Join her as she travels the world and documents the wild and wonderful things she discovers along the way at www.autobiographyofanadventurer.com.

True Nature Travels Blog

Summer has finally arrived, so now it’s time to figure out how you can take full advantage of these sun-filled days! Many of us work during the weekdays, so this requires us to get creative with our limited hours of freedom in the evenings and on the weekends. Here are just a few summer adventures to make this the best summer ever!

Climb some rocks!

summer-adventures-climbing

Whether you prefer to stay close to the ground or enjoy the thrill of getting high on a mountain face, climbing has a little something for every adventurer! Don’t have any gear?? Not a problem! Try out some boulder problems with a friend there to spot you or cruise over to your local climbing gym. If you are looking to go big and advance your climbing skills while getting some traveling in, check out The Ultimate Greece Climbing Adventure with professional climber Sasha Diguilian! This 6-day climbing retreat will give you the opportunity to explore a mecca for rock climbers, while learning within a community of fellow climbers.  You are guaranteed to return home feeling renewed and stronger than you ever thought possible!

Not a fan of the heat? Get underground and explore some caves!

summer-adventures-caves

Wherever you are, there is sure to be a cave not far away. Take a drive and check out the awe-inspiring flowstones, stalagmites, and stalactites. Test your mental fortitude by squeezing through cracks and holes formed by rocks and water deep within the earth. This is your chance to view our planet from beneath its surface! Just be sure to follow all rules and regulations in order to help preserve the caves and be a responsible caver!

Paddle your way through familiar territory

summer-adventures-paddleboard

Most of us have seen our neighboring woods by hiking or biking through them, but have you explored your local nature by water? Enjoy a day with friends or solo, in a canoe, SUP, kayak or tube. This is an awesome way to soak up some sunshine, while viewing nature from a new perspective. Check out the wildlife and venture into new coves and creeks, jumping in to cool off when it gets too hot. Bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it!

Get active by moonlight

summer-adventures-moonlight

With warmer nights ahead, it will be easy to stay active late into the night. Your summer adventures don’t all have to be in the sun! In fact, cooler evening temperatures make getting active even more enjoyable! Take on your favorite outdoor adventure under the light of the moon. Whether you are hiking, kayaking or climbing, any activity you choose will feel like a completely new experience!

Enjoy the open road

summer-adventures-road

Whether your destination is the beach or the mountains, or even grandma’s house, enjoy time with yourself, friends and family on a quality road trip! Make spontaneous pit stops or plan your route and choose specific locations worthy of a visit; because like they say, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey!

 

About the Author

summer-adventures-megan-george
Megan George, a nomadic traveler at heart, has momentarily settled down to pursue her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in Asheville, NC. She strives to keep her own mental health in balance by creating art and spending as much time in the nearby forests as possible. Any given weekend you might find Megan out climbing rocks, paddling along rivers, or in search of soft moss and new wildlife.