Power in Asking | Healthy Travel Mindsets
I’ve been inspired lately about how healthy travel mindsets help us enjoy travel. The power in asking is one that I consider to be important and fun in travel and all aspects of life. A while ago I read about how powerful it is to ask. It helps us exercise willingness, openness and foster connectivity with others. So I’ve been contemplating how the power of asking looks like when we’re traveling. Since I live a traveling lifestyle now with my boyfriend and partner Eric, I’m freshly inspired to enjoy the power in asking as part of being healthy in our travels too.
Healthy Travel Mindset # 1 – Asking Transforms Fear
What can be the biggest hinderance to traveling? A lot of times it’s fear! Fear of the unknown, fear of getting lost or stranded, fear of not having enough money, fear of whether or not it’s a good use of our money, fear of meeting new people or being safe…the list can go on and on, right…Yet, we each have fears in this life, wether it’s related to traveling or something else.
Well, great news! It’s not that we have to get rid of fear or achieve some point where we never experience it again. We can transform it. Because, I don’t know about you, but I have yet to see myself completely banish fear from this life of mine. But I have found myself facing fear and able to transform it into wonderful things. And not only am I still alive after that, I’m even stronger and happier because of it. What we once felt fear about can become a moment of inspiration, turn into awe and amazement, and can become our courage.
When we ask for travel in our lives, we certainly ask for fear to be transformed. I like to see it as a big adventure that’s made up of a bunch of little ‘asks’ along the journey – asking for help to travel, ideas of where to go, tips on how to organize it, or maybe directions when we’re not sure of the way, or heck! even asking another special someone to travel with us – each ask gets us that much closer to enjoying the journey. Next thing you know, and your enjoyment of traveling has started before you’ve even walked out the door.
What’s amazing is that traveling is an experience that places us in situation after situation for asking. It can be asking of others and also asking of ourselves. Yes, we have opportunity and practice ‘asking’ in all life situations. Yet you gotta admit, that traveling really heightens the power of asking and how it affects us.
Healthy Travel Mindset # 2 – Asking Connects Us with Others
Maybe you’re thinking, well, duh – traveling has us around people. Not quite. A person can travel and decide to be closed off to people. Know what I mean? And there’s nothing wrong with traveling to be by yourself. I know people who travel to have time with themselves. They go alone and many go to retreat centers or do things where they are alone. Hiking the Appalachian Trail is a lot like that, from what I’ve heard. That’s awesome too because when I say asking connects us with ‘others’, I don’t just mean other people – I mean ourselves too.
I spent 9 months in 2012 traveling by myself. It was an experience and time that powerfully changed my life. There were times when I was with people – visiting them and staying with them; I asked people for help and I asked people to join me for certain parts – and there were also times that I was alone. Asking was present for me in both times because I asked of myself as well. Asking of ourselves is where I think a happy, joyful life starts.
There’s nothing like traveling to teach us about the richness and power of connecting with ourselves and with others. We come to appreciate people so much more with our differences, rather than despite them. Yes, we end up feeling vulnerable to others, yet what is life without being open!?! Travel, and I think our hearts especially, show us all the time, all around us, that our nature is to be open, rather than constrictive and closed-off. It leads to unconditional love of ourselves and then others.
Asking is also a healthy travel tip because it connects us with others despite fear of what others think of us and fear of being told no. There’s nothing wrong with getting a no. It’s like directions and guidance that lets us know that it’s another fork in the road to try. Remember that saying: It never hurts to ask!
Healthy Travel Mindset #3 – Asking Expands Travel
Expansion. It’s a mindset that has become very important to me. There is a style of traveling that takes place and then is done. For some, that trip was enough and they’re fine with not traveling for quite some time. Then there’s a style of traveling where one trip leads to another; a trip diverges into a spontaneous detour; a trip develops soon after from the one you just got back from. I think asking is a part of this. It helps us, and our traveling, expand.
Think about it…when you ask while traveling, you learn even more. It opens up your mind and your heart until next thing you know, you’re curious and eager to visit that place you heard of in response to something that you asked. Or maybe you even decide to revisit a place because now you have a whole new way to enjoy it! You grow your current perspectives and allow them to evolve into new views on life.
Recently, Eric, myself and our visiting friend Jeanne, were enjoying our local Chiringuito Mojito Beach Bar here in front of our house in Denia, Spain, when Eric asked some people next to us where they were from. A pretty simple question and quite common while traveling – Hey, where are you from? What resulted was a fantastic three hours hanging out and making new friends. We got to know Ryan and his wife Claudia and college-age nephew Spencer. We got to know each of them because of that one question – Ryan is originally from Chicago, Claudia from the Dominican Republic (where my mom is from, of all places – small world right!) and Spencer is going to college in Fort Collins, Colorado. Again, another small world experience, since Eric, myself and Jeanne are all from Colorado too!
Ryan and Claudia have been in Spain together for some years and they own 5 restaurants in the heart of Madrid. Turns out, Eric and I are spending 4 days in Madrid this beginning of August on our way to Asturias. We love visiting the city, especially for its metropolitan array of dinning experiences. Now, we get to enjoy some new restaurants in a neighborhood of Madrid that we haven’t quite yet explored. It’s going to take us out of the usual barrios (neighborhoods) we have comfortably stayed in and tended to explore time and again, so that we expand our traveling experience of Madrid. Needless to say, we’re pretty inspired and excited.
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Healthy Travel Mindset #4 – Asking is Not Just for Help
I realize that some may be wondering, what is it we’re asking for? Hopefully you’ve been able to tell by this point that I’m not talking about just asking for help. Many may think that ‘asking’ means we’re asking for help. That’s not always the case. We ask because we’re curious, we’re learning, we’re seeking and exploring. It demonstrates that human nature of our’s that loves to be open, to receive and be awed, to take in and also to share.
Asking for help is great too. And important. It reminds us that we’re not here to do this alone. We’re together in this life and world, whether we feel that at times or not. To ask for and receive help, is also a way of giving – it gives another the opportunity to share themselves and what they have with another. And that is a beautiful part of life.
My personal favorite is that asking is also about becoming more intimate; getting to know ourselves and others, even more and in ways that bring them close to us. Life, relationships, travels, become so much deeper and meaningful when we ask to get to truly know them and ourselves. With traveling, there’s a very unconditional aspect of the asking, because we don’t know if it’s going to lead to another experience or if we’re going to ever see that person again or be in that place again. Yet, we want to know them and be fully present in that moment with our experience. It’s the magical essence of travel.
Does the asking ever stop? No. It doesn’t. Our universe is a changing one. So since things and ourselves and others are always changing, we get to keep asking.
What’s been a powerful ‘ask’ that you’ve experienced in your travels? Thanks for sharing your story with us below!
Written by Amalia Maloney Del Riego
Writer & Film Co-Producer
I love traveling and tend to be a slow-traveler, taking time to enjoy places and especially the local culture. ‘Eating and drinking’ my way around a new place and meeting the people, is how I love to travel. Enjoy my other writings and published poetry on my site AmaliaVida.com.