One of the things we review as a group before setting off on a journey together are the 7 mantras of travel. Some may call these mantras “rules” or “expectations,” but they are offered more as an opportunity for personal reflection. The goal is to have each person enjoy the journey, experience something new and meaningful, while finding out something about themselves along the way.
Yet these 7 mantras aren’t just for the days when we set foot on Earth that is new. Each step we take through our daily routines is also an opportunity to see and experience something new. We travel each day to work, to run errands, or have a family meal together.
If we approach each journey in life, whether to a summit or just down the street, these mantras can help every one of us find the perfect moments of life that are just waiting for us right now.
1. Know your objective.
Many people come onto a trip with different objectives. Some may want to reach the top of the summit, meet new friends, or catch up with existing friendships. Whatever your objective may be, set it into action before you begin your journey. Then keep that objective in sight along the way. Keep it in your journal, as your mobile screensaver – the options are endless. Unless you know where your target happens to be, it is difficult to know where you should aim.
2. Be a positive and encouraging force.
We travel together as a group. This means there will be days when not everyone will get along. There will be days when the journey is difficult. Yet being in a group means being able to bear one another’s burdens. If one person is having a bad day, then together we can rally to make that day better. Work to be a blessing. Think of ways to make each journey a pleasant one and this will be returned onto you.
3. Step outside of your comfort zone.
In the stories of Exodus, the Israelites wandered for 40 years in the wilderness before reaching the Promised Land for one basic reason: a lack of gratefulness. They were unwilling to step outside of their comfort zone to find something better. Many called for a return to Egypt, even though that meant a return to slavery. When we travel, we get to immerse ourselves into new experiences, ideas, and cultures. Not everything may be appealing, but these differences are what make us human. Life is a learning journey and travelling is its classroom – embrace those differences.
4. Leave no trace behind.
There must be respect for the rules of each journey. Local guides will have certain expectations that must be followed. This may even include how cultural interactions occur. It is also important to be an eco-friendly trekker, so leave no trace of your presence behind. The beauty of nature deserves to be experienced by all. We each have a responsibility to take care with each step we take by having and maintain good trekking etiquettes.
5. Offer respect.
Travelling with a group means having the opportunity to make new friends. This doesn’t mean you need to be the “life of the party” during the journey, but it does mean that there will be few moments of loneliness and silence. Since you have signed up for a group trip, offer respect to all and it will be returned to you.
6. Lose yourself.
When you are on the journey, it is too late to worry about whether you’ve left the kettle boiling at home. Let those worries go. Anxiety about things at home will only lessen the impact of the journey that is ahead of you. Give yourself permission to let everything go for a few days and give your senses a chance to explore where you are. We are so very connected these days thanks to technology – sometimes losing yourself is the reset button we need to push. Find your story.
7. Enjoy the total travelling experience – #TTE.
There will be singing, so sing. There will be dancing, so dance. There will be laughing, so laugh. The best memories that are created from travelling come from these perfect moments in time. Photography has a time and place, as does our moments of sharing these captured images, but so do the memories we make without a camera lens to capture the moment. Be active and enjoy the #TTE because these are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
Life is a journey which offers many twists and turns. The paths we take may be easy or may be difficult, but they are our paths. These 7 mantras can help each of us claim every footstep we take, enjoy each memory we make, through every mountain or valley we experience.
Please feel free to keep these mantras as a personal reference for your journeys in life so that together we can laugh, love, and learn.