Spiritual growth is a bumpy journey to your truest self sans religion. It’s a freedom that has nothing to do with materialism and everything to do with refreshing and engaging your soul from the outside in. — Psychic Zya.
This, in all honesty, is how I personally define spiritual growth.
In my opinion this growth, this expansion, is especially accelerated by traveling to places that are vastly different from your native culture hence the explosion of development I experienced while backpacking in Southeast Asia for over four months.
Because let’s be real: when you’re from the U.S. or the West in general, going to a resort in Miami versus traveling through a rapidly developing part of the world are two completely different types of travel.
One luxuriates in what a Westerner knows and is comforted by; the other destroys every notion of a Western ideal, thus catapulting you into a state of trusting your intuition more often while paradoxically letting your guard down as you stare and stumble in awe and wonder at the scenes, sights, smells, and tastes you encounter.
Much like a child.
This is the childlike state of being that sets the stage for spiritual growth. – Psychic Zya
While I can’t guarantee results for everyone, I will say that the following are just three of the beautiful and dynamic ways that the enchanting countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia grabbed ahold of my heart chakra and gently opened it up, petal by petal.
Southeast Asia Forced Me To Ditch Western Culture:
Sopping heat, foreign languages, motorbikes hosting families of four, delicious (though sometimes bizarre) dishes, and a daily game of charades to make myself understood certainly made me ditch any notions of “Western” anything. This constant cultural dance kept me on my travel A-game while forcing me to really get to know myself on a whole ‘nother level, trusting, honing, and relying on my intuition like never before. I loved every minute of it, even when I didn’t think I did.
Buddhism — The Recipe For Relaxation & Spiritual Growth:
Though I don’t adhere to any particular religion, spending a lengthy amount of time in a part of the world immersed in this very gentle form of worship created a sense of inner peace and calm that I took on without really realizing it. It’s not so much a religion here as it is a way of life, and it shows in the kindness, consideration, and friendly energy in this part of the world. Plus, look at these gorgeous temples, Buddha statues and Buddhist monks!!!!
Uncovered a New Self, Sans Fashion & Ego:
I rolled up in Vietnam with what I thought was minimal luggage, and my friend greeted me in mock horror when she saw the massive toiletry kit that I proudly unfolded. I said, “Look, I didn’t pack that much, just like seven lipsticks, fifteen bangles, ten bracelets, a bag for clubbing, a day bag, a date bag…” Yes, I was that bad. By the end of my trip, all of that had been ditched, and while I wasn’t a backpacker (come on, I love shoes), I had let a big chunk of my former Styleaholic self go and embraced a laid-back travel style, both style-wise and within my mindset.
Learning to let go and not worry so much about appearances allowed me to sink deeper into myself and my thoughts, and eventually uncover my spiritual side to go along with my spiritual gifts. This eventually created a bridge from my ignorance of my truest self to full-on acceptance and gratitude for self.
How about you? How has travel helped you along your spiritual journey?
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All photos by Psychic Zya
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