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Travel as a field of experimentation: let yourself drift

How this experience led to the vision of the educational initiative Navigaia Journeys on the subject of conscious travel. A guest contribution by Veronika Mercks.

Let go

Don't plan anything. Do nothing.
Just be there.
Like a quiet, calm lake.
Don't rush, don't rush.
Just let yourself go.
Like a cloud in the sky
Don't fight, don't persevere.
Just let go.
Like a feather in the wind.
– Jochen Mariss

Imagine that your life was like a river that flows through an adventurous and incredibly diverse landscape and on which you let yourself float. You do not know where it will take you or where you would like to drop your anchor. You just let yourself drift, listen to your needs and desires, stay where you like it or where you are drawn to. Sometimes you just watch the landscape pass you by. You have no set goal, no set task. You are just there and let things happen. Sometimes you stay on the bank for a while before lying back in the river and drifting on. Actually, our whole life is such a river. In our “normal” everyday life, however, it is often difficult for many of us to let ourselves drift just a little or for a short while. I do not believe that this should always be done. Making plans, securing yourself, earning money, appointments, fixed appointments, etc. are often important parts of our lives, no question about it. They give us security, orientation, structure and a timetable. They enable us to feel more secure, that we can look forward to specifics and that we know what to “hold on” to. However, these things shouldn't rule our lives.

Where better to try out, live and experience the "visual rubbing" than during a trip, because it gives us a wonderful environment to experiment. It helps us to free ourselves from deadlines and obligations and can serve as a blank sheet for us. As a sheet that we can write on piece by piece and paint with the most colorful colors. During a journey, we can consciously throw ourselves into the flow of life. The less we plan our trip, the more space we give to the unforeseen: new encounters, adventures, experiences and ultimately, above all, ourselves and our personal development.

We shouldn't force ourselves to be completely planless if it doesn't suit our nature. It is much more about trying out again and again what it feels like and, above all, sticking to it, not making great plans and sticking to it. To allow yourself over and over again to live into the day and see where life takes you on the journey.

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Wait a moment! I stay here. - Life in the moment

What the visual rubbing also implies is to learn to really live in the moment and to feel into it. When we can really let ourselves go, we think less for a moment about the consequences of our decision or action. We take the signs of our journey as an opportunity to be guided in a certain direction. Maybe we meet someone we would like to follow or we hear about a beautiful place and discard our previously made plans at short notice. Simply because it feels right at that moment. How often have I seen the formative encounters, discoveries and adventures that can result from swimming with the flow of travel.

Surrender to the flow of life

When I went on my backpack trip through several African countries and India in the fall of 2016, the experiment of "letting it rub off" was one of the main focuses of my adventure. I wanted to leave for the first time in my life without knowing when I would be back and exactly where it would take me. Know what it feels like to have no real plan for a long time and to be able to decide at almost any moment where I want to be and which paths to take. Until then, I went to school for years, studied, took care of my next training and job steps, looked for jobs, found them and in the times in between I found my "gaps" to be rather painfully disoriented, because I couldn't focus on anything hold on properly. So often I had the pressing feeling that I had to have a plan and never realized the important potential of the transition phases in life.

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This trip, which I finished after 8,5 months, was now over a year ago. It was by no means easy and it challenged me a lot in many places. Above all, also related to not making so many plans, listening to intuition a lot more and exposing yourself to unproductivity for a while. She taught and enriched me a lot. By drifting along, I was able to get to know wonderful people and had time to observe and perceive. I realized how much I “have to” plan myself with my conditioning, ultimately restricting myself. Above all, I also learned to follow and trust my inner voice much more often. And above all, the trip taught me to let myself drift much more often in my everyday life and in life in general, to trust and let go.

Navigaia Journeys - An educational initiative for inner and outer journeys

The magic of rubbing sight is just one of the wonderful learning experiences I think we can get from traveling. By traveling, we cannot get to know the facets of this world, but ultimately also get to know ourselves better. Travel broadens horizons, makes us more courageous, changes our perspective, enables us to meet in depth and so much more. Due to the numerous experiences and perspectives, traveling has a lot of potential to grow personally and thus also to be able to positively shape our society. Especially in transition and transformation phases in life, people have always used travel to leave the old behind and the new to come. However, there are still many travelers who set off very unconsciously with regard to themselves, the environment and other cultures, which can lead to many negative effects. In addition, there are many people who hear the call to “get on the road”, but for various reasons do not dare or believe that they do not have the opportunity.

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Based on my own history, my passion for education and getting to know other cultures, the vision for the educational initiative Navigaia Journeys arose after my long journey. It is a project close to my heart and could only come about because after my trip I did not try to hold onto something concrete, planned, but to trust my personal flow.

Navigaia Journeys supports, accompanies and inspires above all people in transition on their inner and outer journeys. Through experience-based and holistic seminars, events and inspirational offers, we create opportunities to further develop your own personality through the subject of travel, to reflect on learning experiences, to broaden horizons and to gain self-confidence for one's own path in life. Navigaia Journeys aims to encourage individual travel and is committed to making travel experiences accessible to more people. We would also like to encourage people to travel culturally sensitive, responsibly and consciously.

Cast off for the educational project "learning to travel"

Our first project is the experience seminar to learn to travel for young people shortly before they graduate from school. It's a travel simulation where we don't have to leave the school location great. Especially for young people who, for a variety of reasons, have not yet come into contact with the subject of travel and international experience, this is a great opportunity to get a taste of the world of travel and perhaps find the courage and inspiration to find out for themselves after school to go on an adventure. The seminar combines various experience-based and experience-oriented methods and creates a real experience with the dramaturgy of a travel experience. The young people can strengthen their personality and broaden their horizons through topics such as curiosity, expansion of comfort zones, encounters, other cultures, challenges, etc. This year we have already successfully carried out the seminar with young people from two different schools. We want the seminar to benefit especially young people who otherwise have little contact with the topic.

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Your support makes a contribution to conscious travel

Our first one is currently running Crowdfunding Campaign for Navigaia Journeys. We look forward to your support. You can find more information about Navigaia Journeys here .

By the way: Our first travel encouragement & preparation seminar "EnCourage" will take place in November. You can find more information on our website.

I wish you all a lot of joy, insights, learning experiences as well as nice experiences and encounters during (daily) sight rubbing. Because in the end our life itself is a great and adventurous journey.

“We don't just travel to other places
but also in other constitutions of our soul. "
– Werner Bergengruen

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About Veronika Mercks:

After two exciting years at a Hamburg school as a so-called Teach First Fellow, Veronika traveled with her backpack for a year through several African countries, India and Germany. Now she felt that she had found her way that remained hidden from her for a long time after graduating from school: the connection between the topics of travel, personal development and education. For them, traveling is a wonderful way of learning.


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