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January 21, 2020

A Manifesto for the Traveler’s Soul.

It seems that there’s this acceptable age to travel the world, live in hostels, and explore yourself.

Travel and exploration are encouraged for a while but then we’re supposed to “get over it” and “move on”—settle down. Society tells us that, just like a first love, travel is meant to change us and introduce us to parts of ourselves, but is not meant to last.

I don’t agree.

We’ve all heard that we have everything we need inside us—that we’re all born with this innate wisdom that’s here to help us navigate through this world. My life got a little more complicated when I understood the journey I’d have to take to unlock that innate wisdom. Some people don’t need to go far; their keys are close. But for me? My keys are scattered all across this world, in every pocket and every corner.

We’re conditioned to want a conventional, secure life. Pressured into the nine-to-five, the marriage, the house, the kids, and made to feel guilty for not craving that stuff. Only when the kids are grown, the house is paid off, and retirement strikes is it acceptable to uproot and travel again. We’re allowed to explore these new, aged versions of ourselves, but at what cost? If this isn’t a life that we truly want in the deepest level of our being, where does that leave desire and purpose?

If there’s one thing I’m certain about, it’s that desire is the fuel for this existence. It’s the biggest clue as to how to make the most out of this life. Most of us—myself included—try to suppress desire in favor of this life we’re taught to want. When we do this, it’s not only a disservice to ourselves, but to all of humanity. When we choose to ignore desire and what our soul is communicating to us, we’re not doing what we came here to do—we’re not fulfilling our purpose.

I’m learning that the desires in each and every one of us act as a compass to bring us to the places we need to go and the people we need to meet. Desires are signs showing us how we’re meant to show up in this life.

When I sit on my desires, life becomes bleak. I know this isn’t specific to me. Most of us numb with alcohol, sex, television, and shopping to escape the inner calling—our knowing. So, I’m spontaneous. I follow the pings that I get.

I’m the type of girl who decides she wants to work in Africa, and three weeks later has an internship and a flight. The kind of girl who wakes up one morning and decides to buy a one-way ticket to Mexico, the type of girl who flies to a different country to see if she is in love, only to have her heart broken. I once booked a two-month trip after a few too many patio drinks with an acquaintance. She became my best friend, still is. Every single one of these experiences has asked me to evolve, learn, and step into a new version of myself—a version closer to fulfilling my purpose.

Impulses and desires aren’t random. They’re here to help you on your way—to change the direction of your life, teach you lessons, to heal you, and even to break you.

So many of us convince ourselves we want the common life, scared of the unknown, of our power, of this world. I tried. I got the degree, the job. I tried to mold myself into the girl who someone would want to marry and have a quaint life with. But guess what? It never worked, not once. Perhaps I’m one of the lucky ones, one of the ones who feels miserable not following the cues from my soul and so I have no choice.

Maybe yours isn’t travel, maybe it’s a business, your art, a sport. It doesn’t matter what it is; I know that when you follow those desires, magic happens. Always.

I used to feel guilty for wanting to travel the world, or like there was something wrong with me for not fitting into the mold society asks us to shrink into. I felt shameful and broken for not being able to have a “normal” life.

I’ve learned many times over that my soul tribe is scattered across the globe, and that this part of my life is a massive scavenger hunt. The clues to my highest purpose are in foreign lands, friendships abroad, and fleeting romances. I’m going to not only live in my truth but embrace it with my whole heart.

So, this is my declaration, my oath: to listen to my soul when I hear it whisper—to stop justifying. To honor my truth even when it’s not understood by myself or others. To trust that my desires are leading me to the person I am meant to grow into, and helping me shed old layers. To do everything in my power to uncover my light and make a difference in this world. No shame, no guilt, no worries. Join me?

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Lisa Kowalyk  |  7 Followers

author: Lisa Kowalyk

Image: Author's Own

Editor: Marisa Zocco