Did you know that one of the most important things on people’s To Do Lists is travel? That when it comes to happiness, people consider travel one of the most valuable things they can spend their money on? Ironically, looking back, it’s one of the few things most of us can remember having spent that money on. So why is it that so many Americans STAY HOME? Until Mexico and Canada required US citizens to carry passports, only 18% of us even owned them. As a spiritual tour leader, I have had so many experiences of seeing people’s lives change in the short week or two they spend on one of our Spirit Quest Tours (www.spiritquesttours.com). I have had many opportunities to see what new cultures and sights can do to help expand a person’s life: how it can make them more loving towards their family, show them where they should step next in their search for a fulfilling career, or heal a long-standing hurt.

Sure, you can visit another country to lie on their beach and soak up their sun, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Luckily, we’ve seen people’s vacations turn into more, over and over again. People who have never traveled before often come out of their shells; whether it’s a woman in her 20s or her 60s, because the very act of getting on a plane and traveling on your own can be so empowering. I’ve witnessed countless people wound up too tightly to grieve the death of a loved one, letting go and not just allowing their grief, but getting through it enough to enjoy their vacation and welcome the trip as a new beginning, an opportunity to leave old baggage behind. I’ve sat with a woman who thought her church had abandoned her, as she saw a new culture and realized there were other religions for her to choose among. And of course so many people’s eyes open to the larger happenings of the world and realize that people everywhere in it are the same - they want their lives and those of their families to continue safely, they want their dreams to come true. It makes the world seem smaller, more neighborly, and actual, not just something on the news.

Whether it’s playing in an ocean on the other side of the planet, experiencing a new cuisine, or getting to see an iconic site with your own eyes, traveling somewhere new [LINK TO CUBA SITE] in the world—especially to a foreign land—can expand what you think about yourself, other cultures, and humanity as a whole. When you give yourself the gift of travel, the memories last a lifetime

Author's Bio: 

Halle, aka "Julie the Cruise Director" is one of the founders of Spirit Quest Tours. She makes sure that all Spirit Quest travelers are happy and looked-after and provides musical inspiration for the trips. Overseeing marketing, PR, and trip organization, Halle is responsible for all aspects of the tour planning, and acting as liaison on the ground for our luxury tours. She is the author of the new spiritual travel memoir Red Goddess Rising, and when she is not on the road, Halle writes and edits screenplays and books. Visit http://halleeavelyn.com for your FREE Red Goddess Rising photo book featuring a gorgeous photographic journey through Egypt!