Zen and the Art of Travel

I once read a quote by Mavis Gallant which said “Success can only be measured in terms of distance traveled.”  If Mavis was correct then I have found great success in this life. I have been fortunate to travel extensively and my travel experiences have truly shaped my life. Though I have not always been an avid traveler, I started out on a different path. I was a pre-med student in college bound for medical school. While working in the oncology unit of a local hospital during my final year of undergraduate studies, one of my patients encouraged me to postpone med school and travel the world. She felt very strongly that once I went on to med school I would never find the time to travel and the opportunity would be lost. A few days after our conversation, she passed. It had a major and lasting impact on me.

I decided to postpone med school for one year. I couldn’t afford to pay for a trip on my own and sought a job in the tourism industry. I found work as a tour director which took me from the Grand Canyon to New York City. Within months I knew that I had found my passion and doubted that I would ever look back. While traveling domestically the wanderlust set in. I became determined to travel internationally and set my sights on Europe. I found a job on a cruise ship and sailed to the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas. Eventually I moved to France then further east to Thailand. It’s been 14 years and I’m still traveling constantly.Traveling can be addicting but it can also be life changing. Every trip I take is a journey in both body and spirit. When I find myself at a low point in life, it is rare that a trip to a new destination does not provide the perspective I need to find a solution to my problems, or more often than not realize that they were never really problems at all.
I guess you could say I abandoned the study of science to study of the art of travel, an education that is limitless, and has an almost inverse affect on me. For every part of the world that I see, I learn of several other places that I have not yet seen. For all of the pins on my map I see only the spaces in between, and the list of places I want to see seems to grow exponentially.In this blog I will share my adventures, spiritual journeys and travel tips in the hopes that I can inspire others to pursue their own travel dreams. Consider that it is the experience, not the destination that will be remembered. Regardless of where your travels take you, remember to find your way to Zen.

Photo credit: Passport by hjl on flickr

2 Responses

  1. I love this post Kristin! How inspiring!

  2. Kristin

    Thanks girl 😉 I just had lunch with a friend yesterday who works at that hospital where I used to work in college. We talked about my pre-med days and she said "I can't even imagine how different your life would be if you'd gone into medicine." Me neither! Lol. Very grateful for how everything turned out…

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