Thursday, February 11, 2021

Guest Post by author Doreen M. Cumberford

Next Time You Travel – Pack Your Invisible Suitcase


Much of the benefit of travel lies in the delight and stimulation we enjoy from visiting different geographical locations that offer lots of new experiences.  As a lifelong traveler of over 40 years (shhhhh) my brain has constantly had to adjust to new smells, new languages, new tastes, new sights and new sensations. 


An example, I vividly remember arriving in Istanbul to a fabulous loft suite in a hotel that was nestled amidst dozens of domes.  When the prayer calls started, the sounds bounced off all these beautiful architectural wonders like invisible boomerangs to create the sensation of being inside a sound bowl stimulated from every direction. 


That experience is one that I carry with me everywhere I go now, and at the drop of a hat, when precipitated by another magical experience involving sound, I can bring it back up to the desktop of my mind and revisit it. This is but one item in my invisible suitcase.


This invisible suitcase we pack and carry with us has no value if it is empty of life purpose and vision.

But what else might this invisible suitcase look like and what might it hold?

That suitcase is of course our mind.  Now I am not talking about our physical brain, although neuroscience is demonstrating daily how our brain is physically and chemically changed by all the sensory experiences we have.  I am referring to that part of our being which thinks, processes and dreams our physical lives into existence – our mind! 


This invisible suitcase we pack and carry with us has no value if it is empty of life purpose and vision.   The following is a partial list of the items you might want to consider packing before you take a trip, a cruise, a journey or a pilgrimage.


·       Hopes and Dreams

·       Life Purpose & Vision

·       Habits

·       Health & Well-Being


Here is an order for packing!


Hopes and Dreams


Without hopes and dreams there is little chance you will arrive at a new place or situation and be happy with it.  Creating a working vision and having a life-purpose helps catapult these dreams into action.  


Now these dreams should be carefully selected, mindfully packed and gently carried across the world.


Life Purpose and Vision


If we imagine our hopes and dreams to be like a loaf of bread, then our vision is the yeast or leavening agent.   This helps to multiply and grow the results.   Packing a sensory visual picture of what we would prefer, enjoy or absolutely love to have, be or do is foundational. 


Connecting your life’s purpose to travel, rather than just traveling without purpose is the most joyful experience ever.  Your journeys transform into pilgrimages or heroine’s journeys and simultaneously deepen and awaken us to what is possible, far more than staying home ever will.




Observing our daily habits is not exactly the most fun activity, for me personally.  However. I have discovered along the way through living in eight countries that raising our awareness can identify habits that serve or hold us back.


Life in the Camel Lane: Embrace the Adventure is a snapshot into a different lifestyle.  I am pretty sure that many of the habits I had in the US, Cameroon, Japan, Dubai etc. are still with me today here in Mexico, but I have dropped some that were not serving me, and added new ones.    


Travel and a change of environment can assist tremendously in creating new habits, and it also gives us the option to take a breather, sit down and evaluate what is working and what is not.  



Health and Wellbeing


Remember the old saying “everywhere you go, there you are” (Jon Kabat-Zinn)?   Well, everywhere we go our body is along for the ride.  From the casual traveler who goes away for a weekend, to the tourist, to a global nomad working and moving from place to place, or a full-time expat planted overseas, everywhere we go our health and wellbeing go with us.


Wellbeing embraces everything from personal habits, mindset, physical exercise, nutritional choices and everything in between.   Having consistent healthy and happy habits packed inside your invisible suitcase will guarantee you a much more satisfying journey.


The next time you are packing for a trip, give some attention to the invisible side of your nature, the part of you that you carry everywhere you go, but sometimes arrives disheveled and upset.  


So next time you travel, take both your suitcases, the visible and the invisible!

For more information about Doreen M. Cumberford and a chance to win her latest book, Life in the Camel Lane: Embrace the Adventure visit my earlier post, Spotlight + Giveaway: Life in the Camel Lane.

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