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I Took An 'Eat Pray Love'-Style Vacation Around The World & Here's What I Learned

The blessings may not manifest as quickly as we'd like, but God's timing is perfect.

Travel

My first passport stamp was in La Romana, Dominican Republic.

I remember the beautiful people and blue waters but not much else. I hadn't quite come into my own yet spiritually. But it DID awaken a part of me that wanted to see more of what the world had to offer. That was three years ago. Since that spark has been lit, I haven't stopped traveling.

Every year, I commit to seeing at least one new place. And the more I dedicate myself to satisfying my curiosities and becoming more of an "explorer" than a "traveler", the more the universe yields lessons that nurture my spirit. Today, travel is more than just an opportunity to show off for "the gram". It has become a chance to connect with the Source and receive lessons that I may not have if I had simply stay home.

New Orleans reminded me of my power.

The energy was thick and welcoming, the food nourished me. The ancestors spoke to me. I remember speaking with my grandmother before making the trip. She'd made her transition in 2015 and had been gone for two years. I put her picture next to my bed hoping she'd visit me in a dream. It wasn't until I got to New Orleans that I heard from her. A random tarot reading in Jackson Square encouraged me to step out on faith and expose my writing to the world. It was probably some of the best advice I received in years. I haven't stopped writing since.

New OrleansWriter Tiffany D. Smith

Jamaica taught me patience and that although blessings might be delayed, they aren't denied.

I missed my flight going and coming back. In between, our excursions were cancelled or delayed due to heavy rains. I was introduced to the ackee fruit and learned how if it is eaten before it becomes ripe, it could cause death. A lesson in receiving the right thing at the wrong time. While stuck at the airport in Jamaica, I learned that after two months of waiting, my work had been published for the first time. The blessings may not manifest as quickly as we'd like, but God's timing is perfect.

London taught me that I don't always have to control every situation, that sometimes the beauty is in NOT knowing what's next.

I booked a flight to the U.K. for my sister's birthday and decided not to take over the planning process like I usually do and just see where the trip led me. And every experience (from the food to the sightseeing) was memorable. Usually, I don't trust that to happen without my doing. But changing my approach and thought process yielded something special.

TulumWriter Tiffany D. Smith

Tulum taught me to be still, I don't always have to be in constant "tourist mode".

Many times we go on vacation and we think that if we don't maximize the time by sightseeing that the trip is a waste. NOT SO! The ocean commanded me to slow down. I was captivated by the breeze, the beautiful white sandy beaches and the sun. It was probably the first time that I had actually napped while on vacation.

There are so many messages to receive while jet setting if we're open to them. Here are 5 tips to tap into your spiritual side and receive lessons from source while traveling:

1. Set an intention.

LondonWriter Tiffany D. Smith

When you go on a trip, set an intention to receive something special from that particular place. Sometimes the "something special" is just rest. But if you set out looking for a lesson, or to receive direction and guidance from the Source, I promise, you'll get it. You don't have to force it. All you have to do it set the intention and just be. You always get what you look for in life. Setting an intention is the best way to receive nuggets of wisdom from your higher power.

2. Get to the nearest body of water and meditate.

There is something powerful about water. It teaches us a lot about how we should go about our day-to-day lives. It is gentle, yet forceful. It flows where it chooses. Meditating at the nearest body of water, (no matter how small or how vast) reminds us of our OWN power. Sitting still (preferably with your eyes closed) for at least 5 minutes not only allows you to hear from the Source in a special way, but it gives you a chance to see just how creative and infinite your personal capabilities are.

3. Get up early and watch the sun rise.

Jamaica Writer Tiffany D. Smith

Watching the sun rise not only relieves stress, but it brings a sense of peace that is unmatched. It also reminds us to be thankful for another day of life and to appreciate God's art. Much like the sun is a vital part of the earth's function, we should allow it to remind us that we too are necessary and needed as a source of someone's light and growth during our time here on this earth.

4. View setbacks with a different set of eyes.

I get it. Sometimes a thing is just a thing. And whether it's an unpleasant encounter, a delay of some sort, or something much worse, in the midst of chaos, the last thing we want to ask ourselves is "What is this teaching me?" But most times, there is a lesson in every mishap and setback if we take the time to not panic and take a more rational look at the bigger picture. Ask the Source what you should be learning from the current situation.

Understand that life doesn't happen to you, it happens for you.

5. Show gratitude.

Look around. Remind yourself that you've been granted the opportunity to see the world, connect with people, and explore a new culture. It shouldn't be taken lightly. When we show gratitude, we open the door for even more beauty, abundance, and blessings. It also helps us to better enjoy our time away because we are focused on the good vs. the bad. Taking the time to be present and thankful for all of God's wondrous works should be top priority on everyone's travel list.

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissions@xonecole.com.

Originally published October 2, 2018

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