Cruising as a path to enlightenment

This has been my third cruise experience and this latest one has taught me that it’s much more than a hedonistic approach to travel.  It’s actually a path to enlightenment.

I don’t know if the cruise lines will ever use that concept in their marketing, I doubt their general clientele would realize it, but it’s there if you are open to looking for a way to come into the present moment.

Cruising provides you with a place to sleep, eat and rest in between going out into the world and traveling.

It allows more room in your body and mind to take in and contemplate the various cities and sights you go to see.  And the ship spares no expense at comfort: your bed is made 3 times a day (in case you decide to take a mid-afternoon nap), there are relaxation rooms, acupuncture, yoga and other activities to maintain your wellness.

And of course, if you are a Reiki practitioner, there are ample opportunities to lay in a lounge chair, tap into the energy of the sea and receive her healing energy.

In the evenings, the dinners are served and made with care and the company you travel with can provide stimulating conversation and opportunities to widen your perspective.

I used to think the way to get the ‘most’ out of a travel experience was taking a backpack and heading out by bus, train or ferry, staying in youth hostels and eating street food.

I did learn much from those experiences, I also felt drained, tired, over-extended and in some cases got very sick from poor nutrition.

But what does it mean, ‘getting the most’, or having the ‘most authentic’ travel experience?  Being open to the moment is most authentic.  If your body and mind are not being stressed, I’ve found, you can take in a culture that much more deeply and then in effect,  give back to the world in a greater capacity.

But one caveat for cruisers, and that is, you do have to get off the ship to see the cultures you are going to.  Just staying on board is hanging out in the familiar comfort zone of the English speaking world.

Travel should be an expansive experience, from which you return changed and recharged.  I can happily say I am in that space.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sandie Bruemmer
    Jun 06, 2011 @ 10:14:03

    Dear Eileen and Richard,
    Amen to this blog! We so enjoyed cruising with you. Thanks for the fun and laughs. You’re very special friends. You enahanced our trip. Love, Sandie

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