At my 21st birthday my mother gifted me my first trip beyond Southern Africa. Not wanting me to wander too far, she choose Mauritius as my destination. Of course, Club Med in Mauritius is a resort experience, what I would call a ‘holiday’, and not ‘travel’ the way I know it today. Still, something fascinating shifted for me on that trip which laid the seed for all my future travels. When I arrived back home, I felt changed. I felt somehow bigger, braver, expanded, extended. I had the feeling of having grown from the inside. And this was not post-holiday euphoria – it didn’t dissolve when I went back to my regular routine. I felt like somebody new and I stayed that way. Until my next trip – this time to Europe. And again, the same experience of coming home changed and new. And so it went on over the years with each travel experience inviting another layer of personal expansion. Now this feeling of stretching the internal comfort zone and becoming bigger by it can be achieved in many different ways – yoga practice, learning a new skill, falling in love, running a marathon, getting a divorce – life offers us multiple opportunities. And whilst I have experienced some of these other things, its travel that really shifts me. So I have taken to consistent slow travel, working while I travel, and I am grateful and confident that this approach is making me a better coach. Here’s some of the reasons why;
To me, slow travel means I head to a new destination for three weeks or more. I rent an apartment with good wifi and set up my virtual coaching office. I meet clients in the morning via Skype and spend my afternoons exploring my surrounds. I might catch a bus to a neighbouring city. It might be a 4- or 6- or 21- hour bus ride. Since I’ve never done the journey before, I no idea what the road or traffic conditions might be. And, this is happening in a foreign language and culture. So I am perfecting patience – learning to not be in a rush to get to the destination. Learning that there is no action I need to take to speed things up and that’s ok. Learning to trust the process, confident that an outcome will be reached. And so it is in coaching. As coaches we gift our clients with an unhurried approach. This is what Nancy Kline speaks about in her body of work called The Thinking Environment where she suggests coaches cultivate a sense of ‘ease’. Ease is an internal state free from rush or urgency. This, she concludes, creates the best conditions for quality thinking. I agree.
I’ve watch bodies being burned on the funeral pyres of India. I’ve watched Peruvian men in carnival with exotic dead Amazonian birds wrapped to their chests. I’ve interacted with shamans and explored the mysteries of medicine plants. I’ve been a vegetarian and a meat eater. I’ve travelled shoulder to shoulder with the poorest of locals and the wealthiest of tourists. I’ve stayed in some whacky apartments and shopped in some obscure markets. In my experience, the successful long-term traveller does well to withhold judgements and embrace diversity. Diverse points of view are what makes our planet the special stew of humanity that it is. And not only do I welcome my coaching client’s diverse perspectives, I gently challenge them to expand their thinking and to embrace multiple possibilities.
“I created this mother f*cker” Tony Robbins says as he points to himself in his latest documentary ‘I am not your guru’. And we are all indeed creating ourselves by our daily actions and habits. Often, we do so without thought – habitually leaving decisions about ourselves to parents, teachers, bosses, spouses, children. I realise that when I travel, I am the one responsible for my own fate. If I make a mistake, get lost or hurt, run out of money or food – I am the one to blame. Conversely, if I have a great time, I am the one to celebrate. Of course I have a support system and I know I will find help if I need it. Still, each day requires me to think about my next step, my next meal, my next choice. I walk in the mantra that ‘everything will turn out wonderfully well’, and so far, so good! This raised awareness of self-responsibility allows me to gift my clients this: 100% respect and belief that they too are capable of achieving whatever they are truly committed to doing in the blossoming light of self-awareness. I have no need to rescue them, direct them, tell them or push them. They are able to do that all for themselves. My role is that of a soundboard, guide, confidante and your Chief Motivation Officer.
If you are a globally minded-pioneer and a self-made leader I believe you will enjoy my brand of coaching. And I know you will enjoy traveling vicariously with me too. Please be invited to www.motivcoach.com to schedule a no-obligation 40-minute call and let’s see if we a good fit to help you to achieve your ideal lifestyle goals.
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