SUSTAINABLE TRAVELING THROUGH MEDITATION

10th December 2015

Meditation and Traveling: finding balance

2015 was a year of great changes for me: in the span of just a few short months, I lost a family member as well as my long-term relationship, amongst other things. Traveling became something that I both dreaded to do by myself and needed to do all at the same time, and I fortunately came to the simple realization that what I needed above all was to change how I traveled. So I swapped my backpack for a bicycle and everything suddenly clicked into place.

In many if not all aspects of my life, I have always aimed to live as sustainably as possible. But airplane and bus travel do leave a massive footprint behind, so it has always been difficult for me to make the best decision in regards to my transportation.

converting to bicycle touring as a solo female traveler

That is, until now: the only print I leave behind is the trail of my wheels and the laughter of the kids who can’t quite comprehend why my bicycle looks like a donkey. I am now both energy and money efficient and I am exercising while I travel – it’s the best of all worlds! But sustainability has taken on a new meaning since I started pedalling all on my own: in order for this to be a successful lifestyle change, I have to sustain my own health and wellbeing first and foremost. And I have found meditation to be a great tool to achieve that.

Adopting a wholesome plant-based diet is one way I have used to sustain my health and mind naturally for years. And meditation, just like eating a vegan diet and doing yoga, is a self-sustaining activity that creates vibrancy and ease from within my body. I do believe that health starts from the inside out and the combination of eating healthy and taking a few minutes (usually twenty) to gather myself every morning before I hit the road is both empowering and healing: it’s a stress reliever, it helps me be at peace with myself, quiets my inner chatterbox, makes me feel more balanced and more connected to nature and to others. I have found that the combination of Vipassana meditation, yoga and bicycle touring have helped me reach a more meaningful and mindful travel experience, one that goes above and beyond materiality and one that I know will stay with me long after (and if…) this is all over.

“Let it be still, and it will gradually become clear.”

A video posted by Amélie ? (@mostlyamelie) on

Meditation is a powerful tool that can help us all live a simpler and more natural lifestyle, eliminating the need for modern sought-after external means for acquiring temporary peace and happiness – such as an expensive day at the spa. And you don’t need to be traveling on a bicycle to reap all of the benefits from meditation 😉

One thing I have found really helpful to get me started meditating is Headspace, a guided meditation app that walks you through meditation techniques in a fun and helpful way, starting with 10 free 10 minute lessons and increasing the time up to 15, then 20 minutes if you so decide to subscribe, which I promptly did even before my 10 day trial was over. It is that good. And now I can’t start my day without spending 20 minutes alone with Andy! The app is well designed and super interactive. It’s had a huge international success and is really changing the way people are seeing meditation. It’s like the new cool kid around the block, a little. And the videos are just adorable.

Do you meditate already? Would you give it a try?

25 thoughts on “SUSTAINABLE TRAVELING THROUGH MEDITATION

  1. Vilia - mindtgreen.com

    Headspace indeed helps a lot to find into meditation practice. I used it myself at the beginning but now prefer to be on my own while meditating. Its a powerful tool to start your day right and practise mindful habits for your day.
    I hope the whole meditation thing is getting more and more out of his image to be a awkward spiritual thing.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it, sending you love, Vilia

    Reply
  2. Megan

    Definitely, a great thing to share. I keep meaning to give meditation a try but haven’t really gotten into it. I can only imagine how it can be helpful while being off on the road.

    Reply
  3. Anna @ shenANNAgans

    2015 was a total pain in the behind, so many bad things happened my end too, but now I am through it, I can see that those things needed to happen to get me to the place I am now. Thank goodness you made it to the other side of your awful experiences and that you found a mode of travel that makes your heart sing. I haven’t had much luck with meditation in the past, but I feel if I had a go at it now, I might just be able to do it. Thank you for sharing your journey, your post is a solid reminder for me to get unsettled and keep moving toward my dreams. I appreciate you so much for that. Happy weekend. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Laura

    That’s a really big change to make, but so great! It sounds like you’ve found a way to travel that works for you and is sustainable and good for the environment.

    Reply
  5. Christopher

    You always have great posts (and great bike videos 😉 Mental health is very important. Just as important as physical health and nutritional health. I guess when we are travelling we sorta forget about all that but really we shouldn’t. Thank you for sharing this…

    Reply
  6. Stefan

    Your bike looks like a donkey! Crying!! 🙂

    Loved your meditation video and outlook on your travels (and to life). I lost my mother to breast cancer many years ago and those final moments really made me evaluable what I wanted to achieve with my precious life moments.

    Loved the app, but was still being distracted by your awesome meditation insta video 🙂

    Reply
  7. melody pittman

    I’m a fan of meditation. I generally do mine in the weirdest place, but it works for me, the bathtub. Looks like you have quite a strong will to keep things pure and I applaud you. 😉

    Reply
    1. Amélie Post author

      Thank you, I constantly have to remind myself to take time out and just be with myself everyday – it gets pretty crazy with the blogging and all that. For me what works is too keep it regular, at the same time (ideally at the same place, but clearly that’s not possible!) every day. Thanks for your comment 🙂

      Reply
  8. Melanie

    I am so sorry for your losses but I am glad to hear, you found a way to deal with it. Also, impressive you’re traveling by bike now. Looks great. Just did a yoga teacher training a few months ago in Bali and it changed a lot. I feel more centered whenever I do meditation. I try to do certain breathing techniques during the day. While I wait for something, when I am in public transport, washing dishes, at the beach, etc. It’s so great! Never head of the app, but you know what? I’m just downloading it now and will give it a try 😉 Thanks for sharing! Usually I do meditation silently on my own, but might be a nice change!

    Reply
  9. Meg Jerrard

    Thanks for the tip on Headspace Amélie – I really haven’t done any meditation before now, though I may take your advice and give it a go. I really think it can only be beneficial.

    I’m sorry to hear about the trials you had in 2015; it’s never easy to lose a family member or a relationship. Though I’m glad to hear that you’ve found a travel style which really works for you and which you love. Massive kudos for making it on the bike!

    Reply
  10. Lesley

    Beautiful! Kudos for making it on the bike.

    My mother talks to me about the benefits of meditation regularly but admittedly I’ve yet to try it. I’ve been searching for balance lately and it might be a step in the right direction.

    Reply
  11. Jennifer Melroy

    I don’t quite meditate but I do like just sitting somewhere and listing to the sounds of the world. It is amazing the things you can year if you just listen. I love that you are travelling on a bike. Its a great way to explore.

    Reply
  12. Pierre

    Est-ce qu’on peut communiquer en français sur ton blog?
    Mon nom est Pierre de Québec, un grand amateur de vélo à l’approche de la retraite.
    Juste pour te dire que ta détermination, ton ouverture sur le monde, tes multiples talents, ton désir de partager m’impressionnent au plus haut point. Je te félicite et la variété des sujets abordés dans ton blog me fait cheminer beaucoup.
    Merci

    Reply
    1. Amélie Post author

      Pierre de Québec, salut! Merci tellement pour ton message, bien entendu qu’on peut communiquer avec moi en français! 🙂 Je suis de la Gaspésie en fait 🙂 C’est vraiment un message gentil qui me fait du bien à lire, il y a toujours une partie de moi qui est coupable de faire tout ce que je fais en anglais, mais la vie en a voulu ainsi 😉 Je suis contente que des gens de par chez nous me suivent tout de même et ça me fait toujours du bien d’avoir des commentaires de la sorte!

      Au plaisir et merci encore,

      Amélie

      Reply
        1. Amélie Post author

          Je suis en Europe pour le moment, j’explore l’Italie avec ma mère pendant quelques semaines. Ensuite je vais à Berlin pour quelques mois. Je dois me poser quelque part pour faire un peu de travail, pas facile de combiner la vie sur la route à vélo et le travail 😉

          Reply
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