I’ve always heard about the term ‘transformative travel’ but I’ve never really experienced it until recently.
When the kids were young, if we could afford to go away, it was always home to my parents who lived in north Queensland or south to go camping but it was all done in a blur. I was more concerned with ensuring everything was packed, ready to go, the house was in decent order, I didn’t leave milk in the fridge to go sour and so forth. Inevitably, I’d get to our destination and I would still be cooking and cleaning! Sound familiar?
Fortunately, when the children get older and eventually – oh, happy days! – leave home, you get to go on a holiday that you could never afford. Since those times, my husband and I have been to some lovely places in New Zealand, Vietnam, Cambodia, the US and Europe but there’s never anywhere quite like home for me. I’ve never quite understood the whole concept of ‘transformative travel’ … until my most recent trip.
We went to India for about two weeks. I can’t say that I've entered some higher spiritual sphere such as that experienced by Liz Gilbert in Eat. Pray. Love. But I can say that I have not experienced such a heightening of all the senses as I did in India.
At first, it was sort of a little intimidating to be going, even though we went in a group; but it was fabulous. The colours, the sights, the sounds, the smells, the textures – and, for me who is a very keen quilter, the textiles!
It was such a change from our familiar and comfortable surroundings, and so far away from our daily routine, that it was good for us.
I feel a different person. I couldn’t live there, but I felt a connection with the people and the place. India took cultural experience to a whole new level and dimension.
It also did what I think a holiday should do. It gave me time to think about what’s important in my life, and what’s not. We can all lose perspective on that when we’re caught up in the minutiae of life. Being in a place where you’re removed from that routine and the familiarity of ‘what’s next’ makes you feel refreshed; it gives fresh insights into small and big things; and it’s a wonderful opportunity to leave behind deadlines, family dramas and to-do lists.
I know that not every mum can afford this type of holiday experience. Believe me, I have been that mum too. But whether the opportunity to take a meaningful journey presents itself soon, or into the future like it has for me, I hope you make the most of it when it comes your way.
Best wishes for 2015.