Mindfulness, Iceland, and Some Thoughts on Transformational Travel

If you have even remotely been following Devon and me on Facebook lately, you'll know that we're pretty excited about this upcoming mindfulness workshop in Iceland in late July. (Sorry about that. Like I said: excited.) 

Thinking about our travels this summer - in which we'll be traversing Iceland, Denmark, France, the Faroe Island, and possibly Ireland, teaching folks from around the world - I've been mulling over what travel is all about. Are there different categories of travel? And are some better than others?

Unsurprisingly, I've concluded that there are different types of travel.

With equal predictability, I've concluded that some types of travel are better than others. 

And what are the different types of travel?

The first I'd call travel for consumption. In this manner, we go to a place in order to get something from it: relaxation, edification, a few pretty pictures to post on Instagram. (BTW, Devon just got on Instagram, if anyone's interested.) Nothing wrong with travel for consumption. It's safe, it's pretty, and it's pleasant. 

There is, however, another way to travel, as Paul Bowles and a hundred other ruffians have noted. 

This is travel for transformation. When we travel for transformation, we travel to be impacted. We scratch the surface, not only of the geographies we temporarily inhabit, but of our own selves. We let the landscape rattle us. We get a little dirty, build relations, end up eating things we should never . . . well, you get the picture. 

So how do we open ourselves to transformation when we travel? 

My answer is simple: mindfulness. The practice of returning, to this body, these senses, ourselves, moment-by-moment, wherever we are, whatever is happening, whoever we're with. 

So, you see, I'm hoping this mindfulness workshop in Iceland will be transformational travel. We're doing our best to make it so. We're teaming up with local friends. We're holing up in a little village where tourists fear to tread. We're bringing locals and travelers together. And we plan to dig and delve and join together in inquiry. 

Yeah, I'm excited. Long live transformational travel.

For more on the Iceland workshop, click here.

For information about upcoming mindfulness workshops with Devon & me, please click here.

Craig Hase