Travelling for self-discovery

I was in the heart of the Himalaya mountains, somewhere between Leh and Likir in the region of Ladakh in India. Mountains hugged me on both sides and through the early morning mist I caught flirtatious peeks of the piercing blue sky.

The blissful silence of the early morning hours had me in awe as I am staring at the gorgeous mountain range feeling small and powerful at the same time. I knew deep within my soul that I  was right where I was suppose to be, and the the sensation of gratitude and thankfulness flowed through me. It was a moment of pure magic.

But as I was contemplating the breathtaking view in front of me, I didn’t realize that I was actually contemplating my own inner world, my life thus far.

As I felt my whole being filled with contentment, happiness and love, it hit me: this was it. This was my purpose. 

It happened without effort, without thought, without work … it simply happened. Where I was and who I am came together in one grandiose moment of clarity. The answer to the question I had been asking for my whole life – what is my purpose, what am I suppose to do with my life –  came, as easily as taking a breath. It came effortlessly, and was so obvious. It was my ‘ah-ha moment’.

My purpose is to provide the opportunity for others to grow, transform and lead happier lives through travel. After all, my purpose combines my passion and my deepest desire: travel and being of service. By creating Heart and Soul Journeys I am living my passion of travel and fulfilling my desire to be of service.

The feeling I got when I realized my purpose was unmistakable. It was a mix of excitement, joy, happiness and incredible energy that made me feel energized for hours on end. It simply felt right. There were no doubts, no “how in the name of all that is holy, am I going to make it happened?”, none of that. It was pure bliss.

This moment felt like an egg being cracked open, the shell on my heart – and my mind – busted open, unleashing the essence of my true self, inner knowing and spiritual wisdom. It was just the start, but it was enough for me to catch a glimpse of the possibilities and power of transformational travel.

That moment, brought on the amazing other experiences that I had led me to that moment in time, although it felt as it happened effortlessly, I realized that each prior incredible experience had prepared me for that moment. I was ready to hear, listen and be. Some of these experiences were truly life changing, although I didn’t realize to what extent until that day in the middle of the Himalayas.

I was gifted with the opportunity to walk on fire. Yes, you read correctly: walk on fire! It was challenging, life-changing and it allowed me to fully understand and appreciate my own innate power. I was scared, so scared, I thought to myself “at what point did you think this was a great idea, are you nuts, OMG this is a mistake?!” But I did it anyway, and I now I draw on this experience whenever I feel fear, and hear, the same concerns in my mind. After all, I was able to control my mind to do something totally counter-intuitive. I turned a fearful experience into an empowering one. Had I not done it, this experience would have been filed as a failure in my memory, but now it’s a source of power whenever I needed.

In the blue waters of the pacific in beautiful and mystical Hawaii, I swum with sharks and finally begun to realize the interconnectedness of all earthlings and our environment. Seeing these fierce animals in their natural environment took me to the very outer limits of my fear, but it showed me how strong, and brave, I can be given the chance. And by the end, I wanted to pet the sharks … not a good idea, I know, but somehow I felt close to them. I was not scared of them anymore. I was one of them, kinda. So now each time I am scared of something or it feels too different for comfort, I remember the sharks, and how we connected despite the obvious, predator prey relationship we originally had.

I always wanted to skydive, I could imagine the adrenaline rush, the extreme feelings I would feel. I did not think fear would be one of them as I love adventures of the sort, pushing the boundaries of own self has always been something I love doing. As the airplane was gaining altitude, I was smiling and looking out the small window of the plane. My skydiving gear and myself were attached to the instructor. Our fates were connected and sealed together. I remember looking at all the things on the ground getting smaller and smaller.

I love flying, I kept telling myself with a huge grin on my face. I got snatched right out of that blissful moment when the plane’s door opened. The chilling wind, the noise, the reality of what I was about to do, smacked me in the face. I was 10,000 feet above the ground and I was going to jump out of the safety of the plane. “Are you ready?” my instructor yelled. I thought “Heck, if I die, it will be a cool death.” So I replied ”yes”, but before I could finish the word, we rolled out of the plane … and that feeling was unlike any other I experienced before. It was fear and excitement. It was freedom, pure freedom. Thoughts about the parachute not opening, or any other possible issues that would put an end to my earthly experience, never crossed my mind.

I was IN the moment, I was loving life and I never wanted that minute of free fall to end. I was weightless, I was present, I was happy, I was excited. I felt like a kid. It was pure joy. When the parachute opened and we soared above Miami, the feeling of freedom was there once again. I loved that feeling. As soon as we hit the ground, I wanted to do it again. What I learned is that skydiving introduced me to the intensity of those feelings, but other experiences can yield the same results. I had to go out there and look for more of them, actually, recognize them. Sometimes I even found them in the simplest un-extreme of circumstances, in my everyday life and in the little things.

Each of these experiences allowed me to prepare, open the space, grow and be ready to hear my purpose.

These incredible experience were just some of the many avenues and pathways through which transformational travel allowed me to open my mind, heart and soul. And I’m sure there will be plenty more experiences to come.

From speaking with other kindred spirits, I know that they too have experienced the heart, mind and body opening benefits of transformative travel. They’ve raved about being able to socialize more easily with others (and being more open minded to those around them!) and also being able to drop expectations and live more mindfully.

 I’d love to hear about your travel experiences and how you’ve discovered more about yourself through travelling. You can leave a comment to connect with me!

Nadia Gualtieri

I am the creator and founder of Heart and Soul Journeys, a transformational travel company that specialises in crafting one-of-a-kind adventures, retreats and holidays.

Travel has always been the cornerstone of my spiritual development and has helped me fully embrace who I am and experience pure love, creative freedom, wellbeing and peace of mind. I also learned to simply be (instead of constantly doing).

So It is my joy and passion to create journeys that will allow people to grow, be who they are, continue to expand their consciousness and happiness and live the life they want, the one they deserve.

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